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Nottingham Farm Goes Viral with Goat Yoga Classes
 
Published Tuesday, August 29, 2017
by SCOTT MURPHY


Peter Corriveau, owner and proprietor of Jenness Farm, with Waffles the goat in the farm's Goat Yoga Studio.
Photo by Scott Murphy.


Sure, you’ve heard of the downward-facing dog pose in yoga, but thanks to Jenness Farm, the baby goat pose is catching on. The Nottingham goat farm received an explosion of interest when it rolled out goat yoga classes in April that have continued to fill up though the summer, adding a new element to the farm’s business and prompting new hires and a barn-style yoga studio renovation to accommodate the new venture.

Owner and proprietor Peter Corriveau has been running Jenness Farm since 2001, producing and packaging more than 90 varieties of goat milk soaps and bath and body care products on site. He found the idea for goat yoga online and decided to see just how Zen his flock was with an initial class in April. Jenness’ retail space became a makeshift yoga studio for an instructor, eight participants, a Boston-based news crew and five baby Nigerian dwarf goats.

Corriveau posted a video of the class on the farm’s Facebook page that night and awoke the next morning to find it had reached over 2 million people. To date, the video has received more than 114,000 likes, just under 532,000 shares and 39 million views. The 5,000 page likes Jenness had received since joining Facebook eight years ago has jumped to about 52,000 as of press time. The class’ popularity has also attracted international coverage from outlets like the Daily Mail, Huffington Post, People Magazine and the Today Show.

“The power of social media is incredible,” says Corriveau. “People started calling us nonstop asking how they could sign up for a class.”

That back log of calls reached 350 names before Corriveau had a class schedule set, and he quickly realized he was going to have to hire more yoga instructors and expand his initial plan of holding classes just once a week. Jenness now employs three instructors that run five to six classes a week in a renovated space above the barn,  which are open to 16 students each and cost $24 per person. All classes are booked through August and continue to attract locals as well as vacationers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and elsewhere in the Northeast.

Corriveau says the influx of foot traffic has also benefited the farm’s primary business of goat milk products, a trend he hopes persists. “There will definitely be some seasonality to this, and when the hype settles, I’m still going to be a soap maker; that’s what pays the bills,” he says. “I hope the publicity we’ve received shows we’re an actual working farm and a great family destination.”

One of Jenness’ non-goat milk products recently received a unique branding makeover. In May, the farm posted on Facebook it had received two letters about its “Bug Off” bug spray made from essential oils. “It’s safer for children and pets since it avoids the harsh chemicals of regular bug spray,” says Corriveau. “Since we’re on the edge of a swamp, it’s been well tested on our [farm's staff].” The first letter was a notice stating the name had been trademarked by another company, and the second letter stated the product needed to receive an official certification to be labeled as “insect repellent.” So Corriveau got creative and relaunched the spray as “F’ing Bugs!” He also removed insect repellent from the label.

Even with the addition of goat yoga classes, Corriveau views maintaining the farm and rolling out products like these as his top priority. It’s why he turned down a national grocery chain’s offer to carry Jenness’ products.

“For me to fill their orders, I’d have to transform my farm into a factory, and that’s just not what my life is about,” he says. “I don’t want to lose the cottage industry feel that we have.” For more information, visit jennessfarm.com.


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