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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

When Travel Gets Real: The Two Cowboys - New Zealand Beer and Culinary Experience

Parking the Elusion

Here are some big numbers to keep in mind: Travel & Tourism constitutes ten percent of the world's GDP. The GDP contribution of travel touched $8 trillion in 2015 and is set to be rising to almost $12 trillion a decade from now. It is also one of the most fragmented, complex and misrepresented industries in the world!

Yet, for a small country like New Zealand, international visitors deliver $40 million in foreign exchange to the economy each day of the year. This is one in five export Dollars earned by the country. Domestic tourism contributes another $59 million in economic activity every day. Tourism generated a direct contribution to GDP of $14.7 billion, or 5.9% of GDP in 2017. Why is New Zealand so prosperous in their tourism campaign?


We have our views about why New Zealand is punching above its weight in this sector. Firstly, the New Zealand landscape is unique. It has an incredibly diverse natural beauty from the North Island to the South. You don't have to go far to be in awe with the shades of greens, blacks, blues and whites that are dished up to your camera lens, all hours of the day and night. It is a nature photographer's paradise.

New Zealand has a rich and diverse cultural landscape too. It blends Pacific, European and Asian into a beautiful tapestry of people and community. It is probably one of the only places where you wash down a lamb dim sum donburi with limoncello, and have a creampuff with your kumara madras.

Speaking of food, it is an absolute culinary paradise. Everything grows and thrives in the fertile New Zealand climate. Agriculture has been the backbone of the economy since the country's inception. It was only in 2013 that Tourism took over from dairy as the dominating export of the nation. New Zealand attracts great culinary talent with all this beautiful produce, that is locally grown and innovatively cultivated. There is no shortage of food celebrations, shows and festivals which, together with sports, make the country an event magnet.

Getting Real Marketing Done Deep Downunder

Here is the real reason why we love New Zealand: Small businesses thrive! Competition is healthy, and people are innovative when they bring products and services to market. The tourism product is good, and it keeps growing. They know to celebrate their successes and tell their stories. Marketing is a crucial foundation for everyone involved in New Zealand's tourism businesses.

Our Canadian Provinces are missing this crucial point. It doesn't matter how many Dollars you throw at the not-for-profit staff-bloated destination supposed marketing organizations, if the product is not solidly good, even they cannot put lipstick on a pig. There must be an incentive for tourism and travel operators to market themselves. Like so many other matters, leaving a government in charge of this crucial business task is courting disaster.

Canada has a lot of natural splendour, but its entrepreneurs have lost their motivation. What should be a help to develop the tourism product of Canada has become like so many things in the country, just another destination marketing gravy train for tenure incentivized bureaucrats. What remains to be marketed then is... natural splendour. If only we - the Two Cowboys - can get a more significant chance to highlight Canada's tourism product and related businesses, then we may just be able to light the flame again of entrepreneurship and blow it stronger for Canada, our other home country.

In the meantime, while we sit out the cold winter months, we cannot get enough of exploring this great little country of New Zealand. We can call it our village because we also carry a Kiwi Passport. We are and remain committed to its success!

Enjoy our travels deep Downunder and we hope you can make the journey with us in person, one day. See you back in Canada again, soon.

Kiwi Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. Please book us here so we can tell your story too.


Episode 2: Flying from Kelowna, BC to Auckland, NZ

Monday, October 29, 2018

Two Cowboys: Clean and Healthy Cowboys with Chem Free Cleaning and Essential Oils in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada

Staying Clean On the Road

We travel a lot. We do it in our motorhome or campervans. We often "Boondock", or as it is known Downunder, "Freedom Camp".

We like to save on camping fees so that we have more money for beer, cooking, bbq, fresh produce, and great adventures. This comes with a few challenges. For example, staying clean on the road and keeping clean cooking utensils requires innovation. We don't want a man down with the runs during the journey. Things need to be sanitary.

Life on the road is a little different because, while we boondock, we don't always have ready access to water for washing dishes, knives and cutting boards. We have water. Just not a lot. We have to invent and use alternative ways to keep our cooking materials clean and sanitary and save on our precious water.


Antibacterial soap may be the go-to for anyone doing dishes at home where water is plentiful. Every good cook should follow the standard operating procedure of soap, scrub, rinse and sanitize. It keeps things clean and safe to use around the home and during food preparation.

We've discovered that there is another way to do it when access to water is limited. People have been using vinegar as a cleaning solution for a long, long time. More and more people are also returning to it for a greener and safer cleaning option.

Through our trials and research, we've found that vinegar worked really well for certain things. For example, de-greasing, cleaning mould and mildew, cleaning and descaling a coffee maker, as a replacement for rinse aid in the dishwasher (not that we have dishwashers when we are on the road). It also sanitizes while it cleans. We've turned to our own self-made vinegar concoction to keep our gear clean and sanitized. The more we used it the more it made sense to have one go-to spray bottle that is cheap and easy to use.

There is a little problem with using vinegar, though. Everything smells like vinegar!! Lemon juice may be an alternative, but we'd rather keep that for seasoning our pork and chicken.

Charlotte Lomenda from Chem Free Cleaning made a call to us and offered us an alternative. She's done a fair amount of cleaning in her life and have experimented with combining vinegar and essential oils for an even better way to clean and sanitize. She launched her business in Okotoks and offers ready to use, alternative cleaning products that work, are safe, and that smells a lot better than we can make.

It is in fact only one product. It is the right formulation of Vinegar, but with different flavours (scents) of essential oils. She took the guesswork out of our own mixology and she made it smell nice. It is made with the antibacterial and antimicrobial cleaning properties essential oils provide. It is also food-grade safe! What does that mean? It means that it is so safe that it can be used to sanitize around food, in restaurant kitchens and dining areas, as well as in your own home. She even tested it for accidental human consumption. So did we!


We trust the ingredients that Charlotte uses in her Chem Free Cleaning products.

We've trusted it even before we met her. The nice part now is that she's made it a little easier for us to have something we can use to clean with, on the road, and at home. She's taken the guesswork out of the formulation and she made it smell nicer.

Our cooking expeditions are now cleaner, we stay healthier and some have remarked that we smell better ;-) Give it a try and while doing it you know you are supporting a local entrepreneur that truly cares about her products and her customers. We are proud to know Charlotte.

Hendrik van Wyk 
Fresh Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. Please book us here so we can tell your story too.


Chem Free

Cooking Cowboy

Two Cooking Cowboys

Safe Mellon Cleaning

Life on the Road

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Gold Mine at Deadwood Junction and Tarnish Turkey Cappuccino in Greenwood, BC, Canada

An Ounce of Gold

Bruce Jepsen, the latest custodian of Deadwood Junction and Tarnished Turkey Cappuccino, acknowledges that he has a gold mine.

He makes a very valid point though, about his mine, "How much effort do you think is required to get an ounce of gold out of the mine?" In the case of Deadwood Junction, a surprising amount of effort is required to operate the small coffee shop, tourism stop, bakery, and summer BBQ joint on BC's Highway 3.


Deadwood Junction is in a place most people, and some would say time itself, has long gone forgotten. Greenwood, British Columbia and the Boundary Country south of the Okanagan, on the US Border may be the last holdout where small businesses can still stand a chance to mine an ounce of gold.

Ask most small business owner-operators in Canada today, and many will admit that it may not be worth the effort anymore. Many have mines that are abandoned, shut down, or the miners are on strike hoping for another time where small business owners and entrepreneurs will be allowed to succeed again without hindrance from overbearing bureaucracies.

Many, like us, strive to live and work in a Utopia where rules, taxes and operating costs are not an issue. Where entrepreneurs are allowed to hang on to more than half of their profits. Where people can be employed, skills can be developed, where they can create value and can focus on making great products and delivering services that are appreciated by the people around them, their community.

If this is you, then maybe this part of Canada with its rich history, simple pleasures and great weather may have a place for your business. Life here is easier. Much slower and a dollar goes a lot further.

Be prepared to hear more about the Boundary Country in BC from the Two Cowboys.

Deadwood Junction was founded in 2009. It is located in the beautiful City of Greenwood right off Highway 3. It is a must stop and comes highly recommended by the Cowboys. Bruce and Katie Jepsen are the current owners of a business that looks like it pre-dated Canada. Knowing the fascinating history of the area, it probably does date from a couple of centuries ago.

They make great coffee. Bruce has been baking all his life and cannot wait to get out of bed at 03:00 in the morning to get your cinnamon bun hot, sweet, sticky, and ready. He and Katy also make a prize-winning Beef Chilli. That is a story for another time.

Their little store also sells antiques and local artisan work. As small businesses do, they support local small town talent where they can!


Once a baker, always a baker. Bruce claims that he was born a baker. Nothing can replace the joy he gets from seeing you appreciate his baking and his coffee (which he takes great care to do custom for every one of his favourite clients (you know if you are one ;-))

We are proud to feature Bruce's buns this time and hope to have many more stories for you from Deadwood Junction and Tarnished Turkey Cappuccino and the small communities and entrepreneurs in this fantastic part of British Columbia, Canada.

Hendrik van Wyk 
Cinnamon Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. Please book us here so we can tell your story too.



Two Cowboys Flatwhite

The Junction

The Team

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