Dylan and Kayla Whittall call Vankleek Hill their ‘forever home’.

Living just outside of Ottawa four years ago, the parents of two young children were looking to escape the bustle of the city and focus on raising their family after the birth of their first child. A veteran of the restaurant business, Dylan was running three bars and a catering outlet, while Kayla owned a piano teaching studio and worked for a downtown hotel in the city.

“We were just working day in and day out,” recalls Dylan, who along with Kayla began to research properties outside of Ottawa and coincidentally came up with the same house. “We were both looking at MLS listings for houses in the outskirts and we each go ‘hey, I found one’.”

“We ended up showing each other the exact same house on High Street in Vankleek Hill.”

The couple booked a viewing, ending up purchasing a different property five doors down from the one that came up in their search. Dylan found local employment at the Vert Fourchette, where he continues to work to this day, while Kayla is a photographer and runs Yellow Rose Photography in the village.

The couple’s business focus these days is on The Sticky Cow Southern BBQ restaurant, which they opened over the summer in the Sarah Cole Cider building on Terry Fox Drive. The restaurant grew out of the food truck of the same name, which Dylan and a partner have run for the past two years.

The response from the public and other local businesses has been greatly appreciated since the Sticky Cow opened.

“I can’t thank the people of Vankleek Hill enough for their support of local businesses,” says Dylan, adding the sense of community with both neighbors and businesses is a big reason the couple loves Vankleek Hill. “I still work at the Vert Fourchette and they’ve been super supportive. It’s not competition – we’re just all trying to help each other during the pandemic.

“We are so proud to call Vankleek Hill our forever home. It’s just been great all around.”