Travels take business to Kennett Square

The journey that the owners of a Washington, D.C. travel agency took to open another office benefitted from a series of serendipitous encounters that landed them in Kennett Square.

Cathy Hagle (left) addresses the crowd at the grand opening of Connoisseur Travel in Kennett Square, as her husband, George Hagle, who co-founded the business with her, looks on.

Cathy Hagle (left) addresses the crowd at the grand opening of Connoisseur Travel in Kennett Square, as her husband, George Hagle, who co-founded the business with her, looks on.

On Friday, Oct. 2, George and Cathy Hagle, who founded Connoisseur Travel 27 years ago, opened their second office in the building at 312 W. State St. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by dozens of local leaders, politicians, vendors, and employees, the couple expressed enthusiasm about their new location.

They received numerous welcomes, including remarks from Cheryl Kuhn, executive director of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce; Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell; Mary Hutchins, executive director of Historic Kennett Square; and Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick.

“You couldn’t have picked a better place,” said Fetick. “So many of our business owners give back to the community … It’s such a privilege to represent these folks.”

George Hagle said that Kennett Square didn’t appear on their radar until they realized that a couple of the people they wanted to hire lived in the area. One connection begat another in the Kennett area, and suddenly they found themselves getting ready for the opening.

He said Connoisseur needed to expand because otherwise the company would have had to turn away customers, which wasn’t in anyone’s best interest. He said the business has prospered by offering “specialized, personal attention” that requires a high level of professional employees. He said he’s looking forward to expanding the Kennett Square staff.

Cathy Hagle said that the surge in do-it-yourself travel arrangements has actually boosted their business. The average person typically doesn’t have years of expertise to ensure that a trip becomes a smooth and special experience, she said.

“When you’re stranded at the airport on the tarmac, who are you going to call?” she asked. “If you booked the trip with us, we’re going to be on the phone helping to make sure your vacation isn’t ruined.”

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