Now that our first year is behind us, we finally had time to sit down with Chad Dingwell, one of the owner's of the Station Street Adventure Company, and find out some of his thoughts about the shop, the business, and the Town of Montague.
What made you want to start a business in Montague?
I really just think that Montague is a place where business can thrive. I mean, just look around us, it’s pretty easy to tell that Montague is doing really well, and is experiencing a lot of success, and I wanted to help contribute towards that success. It’s so often the case that people think you have to go off-Island to make things happen, and I kind of wanted to prove that that isn’t always the necessary.
Honestly whenever I think of PEI in the summer, my mind always sort of ends up in Montague. There’s something about the waterfront, especially early in the morning, or late in the evening, that is so relaxing, you know? It’s always given me this sense of… potential, I guess would be the word. So when I heard that the Station Street building was up for rent, I thought to myself ‘this is your chance. It’s now or never.”
What has been your favorite thing about working in Montague so far?
That’s an easy one. I can say for sure that my favorite thing about setting up shop in Montague is the people. And I know that sounds kind of lame, but it’s the truth. I guess this is the part where I give a shout out to my staff, because honestly we couldn’t do it without them. They’re the ones who are out there everyday making it happen, you know? They’re the ones loading paddleboards into the water and making those memories possible for all our customers, from all over the world.
But it’s not just my employees; it’s all the people that I’ve met along the way. They’ll stop in to visit, or say hello, or even stop me when I’m out and about and just ask how things are going. There’s a real sense of community here that you just can’t get anywhere else, and that really means something. Years from now, it’s that sense of community that people are going to remember.
What do you like most about the waterfront?
Well now, it’s not easy to pick just one thing! Like I said, I love it in the early morning, when everything is so quiet and the sun is just coming up, but then I also love it in the evening, when things are starting to settle down and I can get out on the water for a nice calm and quiet paddle. But then… I love it during the daytime too when you get to see the hustle and bustle of the town, and the tourists, and you really get the feeling that place is alive. I don’t know, it’s so hard to choose!
If I had to choose though, maybe I might even choose those rainy days, where everything turns grey and sort of moves in slow motion. Those days where you’re shut up inside the shop, with the rain pouring down, and looking out the big door, it makes me feel like I’m in a movie. It’s so contemplative… ah, but that’s getting pretty philosophical, isn’t it? Did I even answer you question?
How did you decide on the shop name?
The shop name just seemed like an easy choice for me. Like I said, I was so excited to set up shop in Montague; I’m proud of this area and I wanted a name that would add to the place, and that would sort of tell the history of this awesome building we’re set up in. You likely know that it was part of the old train station, so I thought, what better name could there be than “Station Street”? And, as a bonus, no one is ever going to get lost trying to find us. Like, ‘oh, where are you located?’ ‘We’re on Station Street.’ Like that’s pretty unforgettable, it is it not? I guess when something fits, you know it right from the start, and that’s the way I felt about the name. It just sort of stuck.
How did you decide to do rentals and adventures?
Oh man, a great question! I can remember when I was younger, working at different restaurants for the summer, when people would often ask me what there was to do around here, and quite honestly I was never really sure what to tell them. I mean, for someone from the area, or even someone from PEI, you just kind of know where to go and what do, but how do you explain that to someone from away?
How exactly do you explain to them where Angus Lane is, or that there’s a wicked little path three miles down the Confederation trail that has an awesome view? I had always been something of an outdoors enthusiast, or an adventurer, and I know that it’s not easy for people to find that sort of thing on their own, so I thought that maybe I could do something to help them out.
If someone was thinking about visiting Montague in the summer, what would you tell them?
I’d tell them to get out here, without a doubt. In the last few years Montague has really transformed itself into the place to be in Kings County, as far as I’m concerned; there’s just so much going on. Town Council has done a really good job of promoting the town, and the area, and their summer time festivals offer something for everyone. Not only that, there’s just this vibe to the town in the summer that everyone should be a part of. Whether you’re young or old, you’re going to find something that you love about Montague. It’s as simple as that.
What is one of your favorite “hidden gems” in the Montague area?
The problem with this sort of question is that if I tell you, then it’s not a secret anymore. But if I did have to answer, I think I would choose this one spot where the Confederation Trail crosses the Brudenell river. The view alone is awesome, like you’re up so high, but if you follow this tiny little path down to the water’s edge, I just feel like you can hike and explore forever, without ever seeing a soul. It makes you feel so small, but in the best sort of way. But, like, you really have to be there to know what I mean.
Are you a paddle guy, or a pedal guy?
Honestly I really can’t choose. They both just have so much to offer. I think if I’m on my own I like to be out biking; it just moves so much faster, and I feel I can really get out there, down and dirty, and explore something that I’ve never seen before. But if I’m out with friends or family, paddling is the way to go. It allows you to just throw your cares away and relax. There’s something about the water that does that to people, it seems. I really can’t explain it. But I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to choose between the two, I’m passionate about both, and I get to experience both every day!
To learn more about the Station Street Adventure Company, or to discover your own adventure in Montague, Prince Edward Island, connect with us below!