“We are all living together on a planet that’s on fire,” says Zita Cobb

By Kyle LaRusic

Feb. 4, 2015

Zeta Cobb held nothing back when she stood in front of a group of students on Feb. 3.

“We are all living together on a planet that’s on fire.”

And she wants to do something about it.

Cobb talked about this and Fogo Island at Holland College to culinary students looking at a possible internship at the Fogo Island Inn.

Cobb earned her business degree at Carleton University and founded the Shorefast Foundation in 2003 to help ensure small communities build their economies using local resources.

Their main objective right now is Fogo Island, the small island off the coast of northern Newfoundland.

“Fogo Island is one-eighth of P.E.I, but we’re good friends with Newfoundland and they’re pretty big,” said Cobb.

She grew up in Fogo Island and set out to make the community better than it had been when she was growing up.

“Social media nowadays has stolen the true meaning of the word community.”

Cobb has spent millions of dollars rebuilding houses, art studios, and her biggest project, the Fogo Island Inn.

“The inn was the hardest thing I have ever been apart of, it near killed me.”

All the furniture in the inn is from material either made in Fogo Island or Newfoundland, except for certain materials from Nova Scotia.

“I can tell you now that these items didn’t come from Homesense.”

Cobb set out to make the community as connected as possible, with each piece being just as important as the other.

“Every community is like a quilt. Our job is to put those patches together and make a beautiful quilt.”

The inn isn’t cheap. Cobb is aware $1,800 a night is expensive, but she isn’t willing to lower prices anytime soon.

“Not everyone can afford it, but the people who can should friggin well pay for it.”

Head chef Murray MacDonald had some advice for the culinary students.

“Working there is like no other place, the feeling of sustaining local products like we do is like nothing else.”

When asked about how it is living there, MacDonald made sure to let them know the reality.

“There isn’t much to do on Fogo Island, but the bond you get to create with co-workers and locals is amazing.”