Tanis Hargreaves and Patty Lawson, two farm women who happen to be sisters, joked six years ago they should buy a bus and start Canadianoriginated tours. In 2003 the entrepreneurial dream of these ladies came true.
“When we saw a bus advertised in the paper, we joked about buying it but we procrastinated too long and it was sold. It is important to us to promote shopping at home. However, when it came to purchasing a bus, one could not be found in Canada that suited our needs. For over a year we searched on the Internet for one and finally located one in Wichita, Kansas. We knew we wanted a gas engine, no washroom (we don’t like cleaning the ones at home – let alone another one on the bus!) and it had to be 24 seats or less, as that is what we both have a licence for,” said Patty.
“Your company name must be registered with the government. The first two names we picked were rejected when we went to register them because someone else had registered a similar name. Tanis and I decided we needed something no one else would ever have. Our maiden name was Haggerty and growing up we got names such as Hag or Bag and obviously Hagbag came to mind. We were sure no one would pick this name. Junkets are short trips, thus Hagbag Junkets was chosen. Most people don’t forget the name, so it’s a bonus. Our bus is named from the last five letters of our maiden name “Gerty,” said Patty.
Shelley Hargreaves, another family member who also lives in Brandon Hills is a backup driver when one of the sisters can’t make a trip. They always have two drivers on the bus.
“Our families have been very supportive of our business venture. Over the Christmas holidays we take our families on the bus to Spruce Woods for a toboggan and skating party. It’s always a fun-packed day,” said Tanis.
Hagbag Junkets takes people for weekends to Temple Gardens Mineral Spa in Moose Jaw, on day trips to Inglis, Riding Mountain National Park, Dugald Costume Museum, Oak Hammock Marsh, etc. They also take groups of people who want to travel together to occasions like weddings.
“We have supplied transportation for people taking part in the Special Olympics, and ran shuttle service for the Senior Men’s ball tournament. We only run tours in Canada. Most of our trips don’t seem like work because we can do the same things our guests do, be it relax at the mineral spa or watch a concert in the city,” said Patty, who can be reached at 204-724-4829.
– Joan Airey writes from Rivers, Manitoba