Story and photos by DONNA LEON
Mike and Sherry Goede know all about good vibes. They took their surname and a play on words for their latest venture, Goede Vibes Gallery & Gifts, a colourful modern rustic home . décor shop and gallery on Hwy 3 in Chester Basin.
For the Goedes, the move to Lunenburg County 14 years ago was rather spontaneous. But they sensed it would be the right fit for their young family.
Mike was born and raised in Holland, and Sherry grew up in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. The two met while traveling in Nepal. After spending a month together, Mike decided to follow Sherry to Penticton, B.C., where she was working in the import business. After a short stint in the Okanagan Valley, they moved= to Holland and had two children. In 2005, with son Liam and daughter Zoe in tow, they headed to Canada in search of a place to call home. After visiting the Waldorf School in Blockhouse, they decided to make the move to Lunenburg County.
Mike studied photography at the School of Arts in Utrecht. He knew that his new surroundings in Chester Basin would provide inspiration for his photographs. And they did. The tiny villages and rocky harbours along the South Shore have given him ample opportunity to capture the beauty and charm of his new home. He’s fascinated by early morning light, and his photography work has a stillness about it.
Mike sells his photographs at farmers’ markets in Lunenburg and Hubbards. “I love that I can work close to home. I don’t have to go far to find beautiful places to photograph”, he adds. Sherry still imports, and their new shop features a blend of locally and imported handcrafted home décor. It also has a selection of Mike’s Good Natured photography and folk art. Zoë, who’s now 16, also has a talen t for art. She paints watercolours, designs handcrafted cards, and makes jewelry, all of which is sold in the shop and at the Hubbards Market.
Although they’re rooted in Chester Basin, Sherry says they do hope to get back on the road again in a few years. “We still love to travel, and we’ll do that again, likely after Zoë and Liam have left the nest.”
For now, they’re content to stay close to home. With their new shop a stone’s throw from their front door, the walk to work is short, and the coffee’s always hot. Goede Vibes Gallery & Gifts is located at 5370 Hwy 3, Chester Basin (opposite the Petro-Canada).