Unique new business helps people explore WNC area

Business owners say new partnerships are necessary as the WNC area continues to grow and gain tourism popularity
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 2:20 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - “This is home. And this place has been growing in popularity for the last 10 years,” said Henderson County native Summer Stipe.

Stipe says over the course of her lifetime, she’s seen her town, and whole Western North Carolina Mountain community, evolve and transform.

That’s why she says she decided to use her background in planning and running nonprofits to help get things to the next level.

“I’ve been sitting on this idea, imagining what it would be like to support people who come here so that they can have the best local experience,” Stipe told FOX Carolina.

That’s the mission of her new company, Juniper, which is still in the first 6 months of operation. The unique company, which is the first of its kind in Henderson and Transylvania Counties, caters to anyone--local or transient--trying to find those hidden gems (whether they live there or are just visiting).

“I like to think of it almost as an inbound travel planner,” Stipe said. “So instead of hiring someone else who doesn’t live here to plan a trip for you, you’re hiring someone who lives here to really map it out.”

Using a curated questionnaire, Juniper first finds out what type of traveler you are, and what type of trip you’re looking for.

“Are they leisurely paced folks or do they want to pack it all in?” Stipe said. “Do they want to go to a waterfall a quarter mile away or hike 10 miles in the Wilderness?”

After that, Summer and her team curate a custom itinerary, offering a pre-planned, fully vetted trip with a personal touch.

But it’s so much more than that.

“The more people that come here, the more opportunities they’re looking for,” said Jordan Turchin. “The more places they’re looking to go to. And having this platform, and also something like Juniper and Summer to bridge it together, it only helps expand what everyone is trying to do.”

Turchin is part owner and manager at the Horse Shoe Farm, a lodge, spa, and dining farm resort in Hendersonville. He says services like Juniper are a huge help as they try to expand their reach and open up their gates to those wondering what’s behind them.

“Now it’s really time to invite locals in to experience the magic of the farm and what it has to offer,” Turchin told FOX Carolina. “Because it’s kind of been the greatest secret for guests coming from out of town.”

He says it’s all an interconnected web, where the entire community--both in business and in quality of life--rise together.

“Our restaurant, which is open now, is all farm to table,” he said. “We’ve been running a supper club series, and that’s all in partnership with local farms around here.”

“I almost wonder if I’m providing something that people don’t know they need yet,” Summer added.

To learn more, and find out how planning your next trip can get a lot easier, you can visit Stipe’s website: https://craftedbyjuniper.com/

You can also learn more about the Horse Shoe Farm here: https://www.thehorseshoefarm.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw-8qVBhANEiwAfjXLrk1GBIe8Y5PlT0Umg6oSbtYcxxB49TEu1KAaMJzc2aAzVxorSl-UghoCRIAQAvD_BwE