Cheryl and Jamie Gordon grew up in the Valleyview area, even riding the same school bus as children. When Jamie almost lost his life from an aortic aneurysm in 2015 they realized, life is short and it was time to start following their dreams and pursuing what makes them both happy.
So when Jamie came home one day and said "I want goats."
Cheryl said "Are you crazy!" but then it soon turned to "Sure why not!" So after fencing a few acres of land, off they went to their first ever auction and bought these five little pygmy goat girls who were painted pink on their little backs as they ran through the hectic auction ring. They loaded them into the crate and headed home with them. But to Jamie and Cheryl's surprise when they opened the crate these pink painted little goats were all Billy Goats!
Lesson learned - the color on their backs does not mean their gender!
From there they realized two things, they had a lot to learn about all things farming, but they really loved having animals and working on their own land. So the next year they added sheep and a few more (girl) goats to their family. They knew they wanted to find a way to make a living off of their own 10 acres of land but didn't know how.
Until one day Cheryl thought of her Grandpa Floyd (pictured below) and the giant Crabapple trees in his backyard and how every year he would make wine and amazing Crabapple Liqueur from them so she went to Jamie and said "I want to plant an orchard so we can open a distillery and make vodka from crabapples."
Jamie said "Are you crazy!" but then it soon turned to"Sure why not!" So after touring and learning from many different distillers across western Canada, their new adventure began and "The Crabbie Goat Distillery" was born.
Since then Cheryl has completed - Introduction to Alcohol Science and Production from Olds College as well as Applied Botany and Horticultural Business Management on her way to certification as a Prairie Horticulturalist. Her goal is to produce fruits that most people would never dream of planting in our harsh climate such as apricots, pears and grapes.
Our Grandparents came to this area in the 1930's with their parents, The Gordon's from Ireland, The Swanson's from Sweden and the Lehman's from Germany. There was nothing but dense forest and a dream of what could be. They were some of the first homesteaders in the area. They migrated here through the Edson Trail which was a long and harrowing journey that took the lives of many pioneers. They bought plot's of land which were solid bush and cleared it by hand. Cutting down trees with handsaws and horses, braking the land and seeding fields with nothing more than a horse and small plow.
With hard work and perseverance they made a life in the Red Willow area which later was named Valleyview. For many years to feed their families they planted large gardens they would harvest and preserve, they planted wheat and grain crops to eat and sell, and hunted and fished. Families shared and traded crops, hunts and garden spoils to ensure families survived the harsh winters and together they built a close knit community.
It is because of their hard work and pride of our community that we feel it is important to continue with their tradition of building a better community in Valleyview, and have sought out a business that will help our local farmers and community. We are proud of all our grandparents have achieved in their lifetimes and hope to carry on the tradition for years to come.