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2023 Awards of Distinction Finalist Spotlight: Newcomer

Date Published: September 21, 2023

Congratulations to Tenmile DistilleryThe Reclaimed Motel and ​​​​Foxtrot Farm & Flowers!

2023 Awards of Distinction Newcomer Category Main Image

Each nominee for the Newcomer Award of Distinction must be a tourism-related business or attraction that opened between January 1 and December 31 of 2022 and is located in Dutchess County. While newly opened, these nominees are already making quite an impression on our visitors and community. Join Dutchess Tourism in celebrating all the honorees at the 10th annual Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at The Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home in Hyde Park. Read more about the event and purchase tickets here


Read on to learn more about each Newcomer Award of Distinction finalist.

Tell us about your organization/business and what makes it unique.

John Dyson and Joel LeVangia, Tenmile Distillery: Tenmile Distillery was founded in Wassaic with the intent and belief that a small, independent distillery with the right team could return to traditional methods of whisky-making and produce a superior spirit. At Tenmile, fast-paced global production schedules don’t exist. Our goal is to make best-in-class spirits, from the best ingredients, with the best people, and we take our time.

Jared Vengrin and Kendra Sinclair, The Reclaimed Motel: The Reclaimed Motel, formerly the Hearthstone, is an iconic 1960s motor lodge that has welcomed visitors to Red Hook for the last 60 years. We purchased the motel in 2021 and went to work restoring the property to its original mid-century glory. The name “Reclaimed” is an acknowledgment of the motel’s thoughtful restoration, as well as a reference to the ethos that guided the renovations and furnishings. Each room comprises over 50% second-hand products, including vintage bathroom tile, antique lighting, and all pre-loved furniture (except for the mattresses!). All of these second-hand items were sourced locally, between individual sellers and favorite antique shops around Dutchess County. The Motel has eight rooms with king-sized beds and large personal decks overlooking the Catskill Mountains. There are also exterior social gathering spaces, and for visiting groups, guests are delighted by a secret passageway between rooms disguised as a bookshelf.

Kate Farrar, Foxtrot Farm & Flowers: Foxtrot is a regenerative cut flower farm and flower studio in Stanfordville. I prioritize soil health in all my farm work and create joyful, whimsical, and organic shapes in my floral design work. Foxtrot is a one-stop flower spot — from field to floristry, happening all on-farm. I prioritize this local community in my day-to-day work, which has meant all sorts of things from donating flowers to our local food pantry, working with local makers and artists to stock our Flower Shop, and creating workshops and events where people can have easy, joyful connections. Foxtrot is so much more than just a farm.

How did the idea of your business come about?

John Dyson and Joel LeVangia, Tenmile Distillery: John Dyson had a vision of honoring his Scottish heritage by returning single malt to its roots. Tenmile Distillery is making whisky as close as possible to the practices and principles established during that golden period between 1850 and 1950 when communities made things for themselves and whisky was at its height. Our process is led by Shane Fraser, whose 30 years’ experience making Single Malt whisky perfectly suits our vision.

Jared Vengrin, The Reclaimed Motel: I was born and raised in Red Hook and have always felt a tremendous amount of pride to be a part of such a vibrant community in Dutchess County. On the way to school, I drove past the Hearthstone Motel every day and, over the years, saw it fall into a state of disrepair. When I saw that the property was for sale, we jumped at the opportunity to bring the motel back to how I imagined it was before I was born — a clean, social, and hospitable environment that people looked forward to gathering at.

Kate Farrar, Foxtrot Farm & Flowers: I worked on larger-scale organic farm operations for 10 years and always dreamt of what could be possible for me on a small scale. I wanted to cultivate joy and delight with flowers and aromatics. When I had the opportunity to steward this parcel of land, my daydreams became a reality as Foxtrot was born.    


What has been the most fulfilling thing since opening?

John Dyson and Joel LeVangia, Tenmile Distillery: Our loyal customers!

Jared Vengrin and Kendra Sinclair, The Reclaimed Motel: Early on, we recognized that this motel should be a memorable jumping-off point for visitors to explore all that Dutchess County has to offer. Creating an in-room guide to local businesses that prompt visitors to stop at local destinations, building relationships with guests and seeing them return to the property has been particularly rewarding. After every weekend, we connect with guests to ensure that their expectations were exceeded. We commonly hear that guests loved the unique rooms and were relieved to find an affordable property on the east side of the Hudson River. Whether it’s parents visiting children at Bard; folks coming home to visit their family; groups from the city traveling to enjoy the landscape, restaurants and breweries; or tourists from all over the world coming to see the Fall foliage, we feel so lucky to be able to host such a diverse group of visitors. The experience of hosting is made even more special thanks to the encouragement of the local community. Kendra has been deeply engaged with the local Chamber of Commerce and its members. During every step of the motel’s restoration, we have been buoyed by how supportive local neighbors and business owners have been, and we work to show that appreciation by directing guests to spend time at local establishments across Red Hook, Rhinebeck and Tivoli.

Kate Farrar, Foxtrot Farm & Flowers: Engaging with my local community and watching the farm's ecosystem respond positively to our growing practices. 


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