Origins of Originality

Growing up on Fogo Island, Shorefast Founder Zita Cobb developed a deep belief in the inherent value of place and profound respect for the human ways of knowing that emerge from respectful relationships with nature, culture, and community. After building one of the most successful fibre optics businesses in the world, Zita returned home to Fogo Island in the early 2000’s and, along with her brothers Anthony and Alan, founded Shorefast.

In 2016, Zita was awarded the Order of Canada. She volunteers her time and energies to the active direction and management of Shorefast and our projects on Fogo Island.

Watch Zita speak about our work with PBS.


Outport Aesthetics Charrette

A meeting of local and global minds to examine the traditional furniture vernacular of Outport Newfoundland to help inform the design of The Fogo Island Inn.

Heritage Quilt Project

The process to unearth the patterns made for generations and bring them into a new light was undertaken to ensure they would be preserved, and their work elevated on a world stage.

fogo island inn

The monumental challenge of designing and producing all the fittings from scratch is complete and opens as a home to design in the service of nature and culture.

SUF HALL REStoration

Society of United Fishermen Hall is the most magical workshop this side of The North Pole and home to Fogo Island Workshops. The painstaking restoration helped renew pride in history and give new meaning and life into a place built for building community

putting design in its place

A meeting of design leaders like Ilse Crawford, Ernst Hupel, Barbara Barry and Bruce Mau to understand and advocate for place based design in the places they call home.


Colourist Giulio Ridolfo scanned and surveyed the environment to create a palette of colours that reflect the natural palette.


A new collection of designs connecting the shared experience of the traditional salt box houses with the needs of modern urbanites.

recognized at the rom

Our Punt Chair by designer Elaine Fortin and maker Don Wells, was included in the iconic design at the Canadian Modern exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum.

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