Meet Ferdinand and Luiz Kaci, the new owners of Barry’s Bay Cottages Resort on Carson Lake. (Shown above at the resort entrance on Hwy 60.) Going from commuting on the Toronto subway every day to buying a snow-plow-ready ATV, it would be an understatement to say their life has changed a lot in the past few months. When everything shut down because of COVID-19 last March, Luiza and Fred’s work came to a grinding halt.
They realized it was time for a big change – but what? “We both love nature and being outside,” says Fred. “We started looking at ideas that gave us freedom to be in nature all the time.” Luiza continues, “All I kept thinking about was getting to the cottage, growing my garden, and waking up early to the calmness of the lake with my coffee.”
Back in their native Albania more than 20 years ago, Luiza and Fred had had the pleasure of running a local food shop together. Customer service is innate to both of them, but Luiza’s skills truly shine in that type of role. “I love making someone smile.” In Toronto, Luiza worked various customer service jobs while going to school and then worked for twelve years as a dental assistant. Fred worked in construction for the first few years, then opened his own contracting business.
The Madawaska Valley beckoned
After a long search for the right type of business, Luiza and Fred found Barry’s Bay Cottages Resort, with 13 private, full-service cottages surrounded by towering pines and nestled against the most peaceful lake they’d ever seen in Canada. “We had been looking for a long time but we knew [Barry’s Bay] was the right place. It felt like home,” Luiza says.
The purchase went through in November and with help from the previous owners and their family members, the Kacis’ new business venture was up and running almost immediately. Fred’s background in construction helped them make cosmetic improvements to the cottages. They have explored a bit, met their lakeside neighbours and have been made to feel welcome in Barry’s Bay. Fred says, “People are very friendly and everyone offers to help you.”
“We feel very lucky,” said Fred. Luiza continues, “The resort is great as it is now but we would like to make it more beautiful so that our guests think of it as a paradise.”
When our guests leave our resort feeling relaxed and happy, that’s when we’re most satisfied.” – Luiza and Fred Kaci (photo submitted)