Cape Breton store offering free land and a job gets 2,000 applications

Canadians respond in a big way for a chance to live a simpler life in the country.

Canadians respond in a big way for chance to live a simpler life in the country

The Farmer's Daughter Country Market has fielded more than 2,000 inquiries after offering 2 acres of free land in addition to a year-round job. 0:47

It pays to think differently, the owners of a Cape Breton store learned this week.

On Sunday, the Farmer's Daughter Country Market in Whycocomagh, N.S., posted a unique "help wanted" ad on their Facebook page. Sisters and co-owners Heather Coulombe and Sandee MacLean offered two free acres of land along with a job to recruit staff to work year-round at their rural market and bakery.  

They were hoping to attract people from across Canada interested in a simpler life. The store hasn't had much luck finding year-round staff through conventional job ads. 

Within a week, they received more than 2,000 applications. 

"One couple drove all the way from Halifax and spent the night in a local motel to talk to us about the opportunity," Coulombe wrote in an e-mail to CBC News. 

The Farmer's Daughter store is shown in the winter. Any home built on the offered land would have to rely on wood heat and solar or wind power. (The Farmer's Daughter/Facebook )

The store was flooded with phone calls in the days after the Facebook posting went up. By Tuesday, the sisters had to change the store's voicemail message to direct people to email instead, Coulombe said. 

They also posted answers to frequent questions they were asked about Whycocomagh and the store, such as the fact the land is "off the grid," meaning a home would have to rely on wood heat and solar or wind power.  

The sisters are hoping to narrow it down to 100 to 200 candidates for the three positions they hope to hire immediately. They aim to start contacting people on their shortlist very soon, and hope to hire next week.