Our Members Speak Out
Mountain Thyme Bed & Breakfast
Inn, Jessieville, AR
Question for October:
Why did you take the
plunge into innkeeping? Inspired by an inn where you stayed?
Enjoyed a financial windfall? A life-changing event?
Email your responses to
Sandy@BedandBreakfast.com. If we publish your comments, we’ll thank you
with a $25 credit in our Featured Properties Auction program!
You were asked: Buying an inn doesn't make you an innkeeper - it takes time. When did
you know you were really an innkeeper?
“I knew I was really an innkeeper when:
Everything I requested for Christmas, birthdays or anniversaries were
for things I could put in my cottages.
could control my hypertension when my housekeeper would call in sick for
the umpteenth time in a month. (I learned that scrubbing toilets and
chasing hairs in a shower stall, while in a rage, can be very
therapeutic.) This also aided greatly in my skill for placing ads for
out, I found myself cleaning off the tables meticulously when we were
through dining. Not a crumb, not a smudge was left. My family is always
mortified. If my husband didn't put his foot down, I would probably ask
for a carpet sweeper for under our table.
found myself getting really excited about a new ‘revolutionary’ mop or
cleaning product on the market.
Christmas card list had more guests on it than friends and family.
found that I had more business cards in my billfold than pictures of my
children and grandson.
would get up a couple of hours earlier than I needed to just to be
alone. No phones, no guests needing anything and my only chance during
the day to really have some ‘me’ time.
last but not least, hearing from our far-flung relatives for the first
time in years and years. Extended and distantly related DNA-sharers that
hadn't been in touch forever, suddenly starting flooding our phone
lines. However, I really started to believe I might be a serious owner
of a B&B when I let them know they were welcome and then proceeded to
quote our rates. I did offer a discount for midweek stays. In the
beginning, I took their long pause on the other end of the phone as
astounded gratitude for being offered a discount. But that was before I
really, really knew I was a serious innkeeper. To date, not one of them
has visited, and to the best of my knowledge, not one of them has passed
on to that great golden B&B in the sky. I just hope St. Peter doesn't
quote them any rates when their time does come.”
– Kate Wentworth,
2 Wee Cottages B&B, Fredericksburg, TX
“When I really, really know I am an innkeeper is when I am
reading the loving and revealing notes left me by my guests who
have been touched.” – Greta Zeit,
Backyard Garden Oasis B&B, Middletown, CA
“Imagine that upon returning from a relaxing overnight romantic
night out to recharge your batteries, you find that the
house-full of 16 women have just spent one of the hottest days
of the summer at the botanical gardens and are very hot, tired
and cranky … and that two of your three A/C units blow … and
that all 16 women are trying to take a cold shower at the same
time so the water pressure drops to nothing … and one frustrated
woman pulls so hard on the shower handle that it comes off in
her hand ... and that amidst the turmoil your cat manages to get
into the guest area, runs for the guest rooms and lodges himself
under the bed of the one person who is allergic to cats.
“You really know you are an innkeeper when you can offer a wry
grin to your spouse and say ‘Welcome home, honey’ as you each
head off to address one of catastrophes.” – Rhonda Hicks,
Mountain Thyme Bed & Breakfast Inn, Jessieville, AR
“We were serving one of our very first breakfasts to an older
couple from the east coast via England and Germany who were
‘avid B&Bers,’ and he had a dairy-free diet. It made us nervous
because we knew we were going to be held to high expectations.
“When they checked in, they were very impressed with the room,
expecting it to be much smaller than it was, and when we asked
them about food restrictions her comment was, ‘He doesn't eat
dairy, so just cook him some bacon and eggs; that’s what I do.’
“Normally we do a three-course gourmet breakfast, and I was not
about to serve someone bacon and eggs! Luckily we live in an
area that has a lot of vegetarian and vegan people, so I went to
my local resources and found a recipe for vegan scones (no
dairy), roasted pineapple with rosemary and honey, and for the
main course potato pancakes, applesauce and sausages. He loved
“During breakfast they asked us questions about the area and the
house and how long we have been here. Nathan told her about two
weeks. She asked, ‘So where was your first B&B?’ Nathan smiled
and said, ‘Right here.’ They really couldn't believe that it was
our first B&B and that we had only been innkeepers for a few
weeks. It was a great compliment and boost for our confidence
that we were doing the right things.
“They enjoyed their stay with us and have come back since then,
but when they were checking out she said, ‘The only problem is
that now he will expect me to cook something other than bacon
and eggs!’“ – Nathan & Casey Allan,
Swantown Inn Bed & Breakfast, Olympia, WA
“A few years after we opened, I checked in a guest who was
visiting her aunt and uncle in route to Minneapolis. Her
relatives had made the reservation and paid for the room; all I
had on file for her was her name and phone number. Our
conversation as I showed her to her room was brief, as she was
rushing to meet her relatives for dinner. I didn't even find out
where she was from.
“In the morning, she came down to breakfast and spoke with tears
in her eyes as she told me that she had slept through the night
for the first time in over a month, that in fact, it was the
first time in weeks she had slept for more than a couple of
hours. She was from Oklahoma City and had lost several friends
and loved ones in the terrible bombing of the Federal Building
just weeks before. She said it was the first time since the
tragedy that she had felt secure and at peace enough to really
sleep. Through her tears, she gave God credit for leading her to
the Blue Belle Inn, for knowing exactly what she needed on that
particular night, and thanked me for providing her with a safe
haven during a very sorrowful, tumultuous time in her life.
“Knowing that I had made a small, but very significant
difference in someone's life really, truly made me feel like an
innkeeper. Since then, I have always had a sense that what we do
as innkeepers -- all the labor, and all the love – has a purpose
-- sometimes mundane, and sometimes divine.” – Sherrie C.
The Blue Belle Inn Bed and Breakfast, Saint Ansgar, IA
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