With two major accolades within nine months, Steve and Carolyn Touhey’s entrepreneurial adventures in Canada have been very well received.
The duo, who relocated from Maryland to Union Bay after they “fell in love” with Vancouver Island, own and operate Two Eagles Lodge — a waterfront bed and breakfast on 12 acres of land facing the Strait of Georgia.
In addition to winning the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award in 2010 in the hospitality category, the pair recently picked up the 2011 Hospitality/Tourism Business of the Year at the Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards in Nanaimo in late January.
“It’s just a blast, we love to share what we enjoy,” said Steve.
The Touheys discovered Vancouver Island and the Union Bay area in 2004 when Carolyn attended a trade convention in Vancouver, and a peer suggested her and Steve visit the Island.
“I said, what Island?” laughed Carolyn.
After looking at more than 70 properties, Steve and Carolyn chose their waterfront location, and opened the lodge in 2007.
Six months later, the pair purchased the property, and hired an excavator to prepare the property and mill the heavily-forested land for out-buildings.
“We initially designed our house from cardboard and Scotch Tape and a kids ruler, and then we handed it to an architect to make it better,” said Carolyn. “When we saw it for the first time, I turned to Steve and said ‘Pinch me, it’s real.’”
The north wing of the facility houses the B&B rooms, which each feature a private entrance and bath. Guests are encouraged to walk the 12 acres, enjoy the fire pit, deck, garden and even horses and chickens.
Alongside the rooms, Two Eagles has hosted a variety of other events including corporate meetings, lectures, parties and house concerts.
“We never expected our house to be a venue, but when people started asking if we can host a fundraiser or a private party, a wedding, or even a house concert, we figured why not?” noted Carolyn.
Since arriving, the duo have embraced the area, and as avid divers and hikers, became extremely familiar with what the area — and the Island — can offer their guests.
“We are rich in knowledge as much as we can be for not being from here, “ added Steve. “We live in paradise … everywhere we go it gets prettier and prettier.”
Two Eagles Lodge is located at 6409 Old Island Highway. For more information, visit www.twoeagleslodge.com, or call 250-335-2342.