Backus brothers bring business to Westfield

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From left to right are Merlin Backus, Rebecca Velazquez, and Luke Backus of Westfield along with some of Merlin and Rebecca’s goats. Luke plans to turn this old barn into a distillery. Photo by Tena Starr
From left to right are Merlin Backus, Rebecca Velazquez, and Luke Backus of Westfield along with some of Merlin and Rebecca’s goats. Luke plans to turn this old barn into a distillery. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle February 10, 2016

by Tena Starr   

WESTFIELD — Not long ago Rebecca Velazquez, who grew up in New Jersey, found herself in this very rural small town near tears, struggling to milk an uncooperative goat.

She was an urban woman, never even had a dog, she said.  And there she was in Westfield, population about 400, with two nanny goats that had to be milked and a partner who was out of state visiting his grandfather.

Ms. Velazquez’s partner is Merlin Backus, who grew up on a homestead farm in Westfield.  As a youngster, he hadn’t envisioned himself still living in that small town as a grownup.

But after college in New York City where he studied writing, and some years living there with Rebecca — a couple of those years traveling back and forth between New York and Vermont to care for his sick mother — he’s returned home.

So has his brother Luke, who also left… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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