PRINCETON — Debbie Thelen and Beth Sobiloff, otherwise known as Two Grannies on the Road, paid a visit to Princeton on Jan. 30 to film an episode for their community television show.
The pair chose Princeton in part because they wanted to ski at Wachusett Mountain; Thelen said she hadn’t been skiing in 18 years. They also ate lunch at Mountainside Bakery & Café, stopped by Redemption Rock, and visited organic goat milk soap farm Elzire’s Acre Goat Milk Soap and the Princeton Town Hall and Senior Center.
“We not only learn the history of the town, interview people, and see the beauty of it, we’re also eating our way through Massachusetts,” Thelen said.
Sobiloff started the show in 2010 with former co-host Ginny Just with the intent to show that women their age can be business owners, wives and grandmothers and still travel and have fun. Thelen was a licensed optician for 30 years and retired in 2003; Sobiloff has a “very busy” website design business. They have 19 grandchildren between them.
“Ginny retired, and Debbie was crazy enough to say yes to being the second Granny,” Sobiloff said. “I enjoy being with Debbie because we are always laughing, but our adventures are always a learning experience. We meet the greatest people and find out the most interesting things about the places we visit. It makes me feel alive.”
The two women met six years ago through a business networking group in Plymouth, where they both live. Two years ago, Sobiloff interviewed Thelen about her home-based candy business, D and D Candies, LLC, and after that did some guest hosting on Two Grannies before deciding to become a permanent host. Thelen’s husband, Don, is her business partner and their cameraman.
The two hosts are keeping with the initial goal of the show, which is to visit and film in every town and city in Massachusetts. Princeton is their first stop this year and seventeenth on the list. Sobiloff said they select locations depending on the season and reach out to residents of the town and cities for ideas on what to do while they are there.
“We give some thought to where we would like to be at certain times of the year, like somewhere that has a maple sugar farm in March,” Sobiloff said. “Then we go on Facebook and look for a town forum. We join the forum and ask people what we should do, see and eat in their town. We get lots of great suggestions and insider information. In general, we like to film the history, landscape, architecture, commerce, people and food of any location we go to.”
They plan to visit Sandwich in February, and possibly Duxbury in March. In August they are going camping for two weeks in western Massachusetts and will visit a new town in the area every day. They also plan on doing a show devoted to celebrating women.
“One of my favorite places was Marshfield, meeting Steve Carell had to be a highlight!” Thelen said. “I love Two Grannies on the Road and traveling with Beth because we have so much fun together. We laugh all the time, and our hope is to inspire young women to never let go of their dreams. Anything is possible.”
Two Grannies on the Road has more than 100 subscribers on YouTube, and almost 1,000 followers on Facebook. They are always looking for local businesses to sponsor shows, which is broadcast on PACTV in Plymouth.
For more information, visit twogranniesontheroad.com.