It’s a Friday evening at dusk, and about 40 people, many of them families, have gathered at Small Talk Winery for a relaxing movie night under the stars.
Some wander into the winery to top up their glasses before the classic comedy begins, others settle in for the show, and the company of the pygmy goats Melina Morsch has provided as part of the fun.
It’s difficult to tell which is more entertaining, the movie, or the antics of the playful, adorable and very social goats.
Morsch, who has been offering goat yoga sessions through her business, Fox Den Yoga, since early 2017, still fills her classes, offered in NOTL and Ancaster. When she appeared on Dragon’s Den last February to sell the concept of goat yoga, she was told it was a fad that would soon be over.
Instead, she says, it continues to increase in popularity.
“Goat yoga was going crazy, and it still is. It keeps escalating.”
But not everyone is into yoga, and some people are intimidated by it, but love socializing with her dwarf goats.
“They are small animals with huge personalities,” she says.
“They love to be with people — they can’t get enough of being around people.”
And people love to hang around with the goats, she says.
So she came up with Movies with Goats, offering PG comedies from the ’80s, with her goats turned loose to add to the fun.
It’s attracting people of all ages, couples, and families with kids.
When the weather changes and it’s too cool outside, she plans to move to an indoor space Small Talk is providing, and always with a different classic film.
She’s also promoting birthday parties combining goats and movies, or goats with yoga, for the “tweens” who are ready for something a little different from the usual, she says.
Some of the goats are hers, which she keeps at a local stable, and others are from Triple C, an animal sanctuary in Ancaster. It has developed into a partnership with Morsch and sanctuary owner Trish Simons. Together, they train and socialize the miniature goats, and Morsch offers her events at both locations.
“You have to spend time with the animals every day. They have to feel like they mean something to you, and keep them stimulated.”
Morsch’s classes attract locals and tourists, who are looking for something different to do when they visit the Niagara Region.
“As entrepreneurs, we can’t be complacent. If we want to continue to attract people, we have to work at it. We have to get better and better.”
Her next local movie event is Friday, Sept. 13 at Small Talk Winery on Irvine Road.
For more information or to register, visit foxdenyoga.com.
And come prepared, with a chair and a blanket, says Morsch.