Coming to know this land through our daily lives.
Enterprise/business philosophy and objectives of the founder
After a long period of investigation and research, Hsing Wei Chiu decided to establish Mountain Lodge with the business mission of “replanting the mountains how they were” in the hope of re-creating the local supply chain and revitalising the landscape of his homeland. He is looking forward to making it more accessible for tourists to appreciate the beauty of the landscape in Nanzhuang, Miaoli and hopes that people will “accidentally” fall in love with this land on their travels.
History of development/business model
Hsing Wei Chiu, who had been studying away from home for a long time, only realised how significantly his homeland had changed when he joined an investigative project. Mountains were covered with villas and the pebbles had been dug out from riverbeds. Therefore, in 2011, he devoted himself to community building work, setting up “Dananpu Rural Office”. His work includes leasing out set-aside land and restoring its farming activity, helping preserve local folk arts, and organising a self-help association to fight against land expropriation.
In 2014, he officially established Mountain Lodge and started to run a hostel from a rural house, providing an opportunity for backpackers to gain in-depth experience of the rural village during their stay. Later, he also opened a store called “Valai”, which provides meals and drinks, special farm products, and in-depth tours, serving as an alternative way for visitors to understand the rural village.
Creating social value/mitigating social problems
Founder Hsing Wei Chiu believes that, no matter whether it is entrepreneurial activity or cultural preservation, the prerequisite is to make industry sustainable. Hence, Mountain Lodge actively promotes the development of local industry, closely observes the conditions of the industrial sustainability of agriculture, and tries to think of innovative and sustainable mechanisms of operation for the agricultural production process.
In consideration of this, Mountain Lodge recently initiated a new project called “Mountain Forest School”, which has revitalised an abandoned primary school and turned it into a vocational school for agriproduct processing. It wishes to simultaneously preserve local craft and job opportunities for young people who want to work in the agricultural sector, creating a secure and shared economy for smallholders.