Stephen Hotchkiss, owner of The New New Age, spent his youth in Elgin County but it was when he was living in Los Angeles that he met his wife and business partner Katie.
Together the two started an herbal tea company and were in the process of opening a storefront location when they learned that Stephen’s father was looking to retire from farming back in Canada. The opportunities to grow all their own ingredients and to be stewards of their own land were appealing to the pair who decided to move north of the border and settle on the family farm in Bayham.
After arriving back in Elgin, Stephen and Katie began to transform the farm into an oasis of biodiversity, restoring it to its original habitat, and encouraging the growth of native species. Many of the herbs that are featured in their organic tea line are now grown or wild foraged directly on the farm using sustainable practices that go beyond just producing organically grown products. They focused on the restoration of the entire ecosystem of the farm including increasing the biodiversity of organisms, creating a wetland habitat on the property, planting native species on 40 acres, and planting 20,000 trees. The farm also became a sanctuary for pollinators of all sorts; especially bees who are kept using natural, minimally invasive methods.
Stephen and Katie sell their organic teas, honey, and other herbal products at The New New Age, their storefront location in Port Stanley. This unique artisan market expertly combines the atmosphere of a trendy Los Angeles boutique with the earthy, laid back vibe of the lakeshore. In addition to the complete line of herbal teas, The New New Age also offers homemade chocolate, spices, farm fresh cheese, Kombucha tea, and local artisan goods such as pottery, glassware, natural body products, and fine art.
The New New Age is also home to a bistro that specializes in dishes created using wild foraged, local, organic ingredients such as fiddle heads, Lake Erie fish, and sustainable Amish farm products. Approximately 90% of products on the menu come directly from Elgin County suppliers.
The newest edition to The New New Age is a brew pub, Last Castle Brewing Co. This partnership between Stephen and Brewmaster Aiden Norton specializes in small batches of herbal and farmhouse style ales inspired by the ingredients of the Elgin County countryside.
The New New Age also hosts a series of workshops and classes both on the farm and in-store. On-farm Yoga and permaculture workshops will be held on the farm throughout the summer and various beer and wine tastings, chocolate making demonstrations, and nutritional workshops will be held at the Port Stanley location.
For more information about The New New Age or to register for a class or workshop visit them online, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Instagram.