Jim and Ferne Austin opened the Farmer’s Daughter Country Market in 1992 in Whycocomagh on Cape Breton Island.  The family run market sits along the Trans Canada Highway, selling locally made baked goods, produce, ice cream, fudge, and crafts.  After losing three full-time employees this summer, the Austin’s and their two daughters Sandee MacLean and Heather Austin Coulombe put their heads together to figure out a way they could keep their beloved store running.

There were no locals looking for work, and hiring internationally was too complicated considering the position available.  So, Ms. Maclean and Ms. Coulombe came up with a solution that would make the position worth the while of any applicant who should become interested.  The family decided to parcel off free pieces of land from Mr. Austin’s 200-acre property as a benefit associated with accepting the full-time market position.

The Austin’s Cape Breton property upholds all the beauty standards of the gorgeous region.  Covered in trees and perched on rolling hills, the land is secluded but stunning nonetheless.  Applicants were offered two acres should they receive the position in an add posted to the market’s Facebook page this past August.

Over the course of 24 hours the advertisement went viral, and the Austin’s were featured on national radio and television programs including the CBC.  The New York Times even wrote about their story yesterday in a segment on the America’s.  In total the position received over 50,000 applicants and was filled by three families this past Thanksgiving.  It just goes to show how sought after a home within this community truly is!


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