Featurepreneur: Jeremy Novak Knows Where It’s At!
By Genevieve Allen Hearn
Many know Jeremy Novak from his previous work with The Grapevine, or you may know him as the spirited tour guide on the Magic Winery Bus, or perhaps as Jerome the Gravekeeper on the Valley Ghost Walks. Without a doubt, you have encountered Jeremy before. Why? Because Jeremy is that guy. He is that guy who loves where he chose to live, loves the people who surround him, and loves hearing and telling stories of what makes this region special. Recently, Jeremy has started a new enterprise called Where It’s At Tour Nova Scotia. On a beautiful patio-weather day, I asked Jeremy about his newest venture over breakfast poutine at Church Brewery.
The Grapevine (GV): Tell us about Where It’s At.
Jeremy Novak (JN): Where It’s At has a number of different tours, that can be tailored to the customer’s unique needs and wants. There is a Taste Your Own Adventure Tour and a Wolfville Food Tour which takes people to local restaurants and watering holes to sample food and talk about the region. Rise & Wine is a morning winery tour that brings folks to four different wineries that are not included on the Magic Winery Bus. The Exit 10 to 11 Beer Tour provides van transportation to the several breweries and cideries between Grand Pré and Port Williams. If someone wants to customize their own day, they can do that too! I also provide Welcome to Wolfville walking tours on Airbnb, a great way for visitors to get oriented with the town when they first arrive!
GV: You’ve done a lot in the Valley to lead up to this enterprise. How did your previous work inform this new venture?
JN: My previous work experience has made me realize that I’m good at being a local tour guide here in the Valley. People know me, and I know about a lot of cool things by being involved. I see the potential here, and I haven’t done everything I want to do yet.
GV: How can a local benefit from taking part in these tours?
JN: Sometimes a local just wants to have a good time without driving. I have a tour van and can drive them around so they can enjoy themselves. They might also want someone else to do the work and customize their day. It can be a more specific experience and we can learn from each other. It is a great thing for locals to do with guests, and together we can show them how amazing this place is!
GV: What have you found to be the best part about starting a business in the Valley? What challenges have you encountered?
JN: The best part of starting a business is using it as a vehicle for creativity. The challenge is taking a small business to the ‘next level’ to make it sustainable.
GV: What advice would you have for someone starting a small business?
JN: There are a lot of great resources in the Valley – especially people. I accessed help from the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre. There is also the Community Business Development Corporation, Farmworks, and other great organizations to find assistance in starting a new business. Also, it always helps to be a good person. Treat people kindly and don’t burn bridges. People want to believe in you and see you succeed.
For more information on Where It’s At Tour Nova Scotia, visit whereitsattours.com.