Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Next Chapter

Ready for Retirement "For Real" This Time...

When we told friends and family that we were going to buy a former bed & breakfast building, remodel it, open it, and run it as a small Boutique Bed & Breakfast, many of them (quite frankly) thought we were crazy (but at least they didn't all say it to our faces... ha)!

With Jeff getting ready for retirement from Anheuser-Busch after 27 years, we thought it would be fun to run a business together for 3 to 5 years (or at least until our friends began to retire).  Okay, read into this "Chris thought it would be fun for her and Jeff to run a business together for 3 to 5 years."  Jeff agreed, and our adventure as "Innkeepers" began.

Building up the business from scratch, gutting and remodeling a large portion of the property, learning about zoning, wastewater treatment facilities, SEO, social media, reservation systems, etc., was a large learning curve, but one we found challenging (and we have always loved a good challenge).  We had worked together similarly early on in our marriage, when we started the St. Louis Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a childhood friend in 1986.  That too, was fun and challenging.  We did some research and decided to become "Aspiring Innkeepers" with the state Bed & Breakfast association.  We met a great group of folks with Bed & Breakfast Inns of Missouri (BBIM), and they have been wonderful mentors along the way.  We opened the business, became certified and approved as a Missouri Bed & Breakfast, and away we went, serving travelers to our area.

All of that being said, we are now approaching our fourth season as Innkeepers.  We have had a blast hosting people from all over the world; providing some R&R to weary travelers; giving recommendations on activities, wineries, and restaurants, and meeting amazingly fun people.  In fact, many of our repeat guests are now considered treasured friends.  We've just received another consecutive year's "Certificate of Excellence" from Trip Advisor, thanks to the generous reviews by our guests.  That could not have been accomplished, however, without the culinary expertise of Chef John Richardson, who is like family to us.  He consistently brought unique, tasty, and farm-fresh menu items to our guests, while providing them with cooking tips along the way.  John stayed with us for almost three full seasons until he took a great position at Montelle Winery.  Jeff, who always was our weekday cook, picked up John's weekend Chef duties and finished up our third season in fabulous style.

So, we've decided as we begin year four that we've accomplished what we set out to do and we are now ready to find new owners who want to take the business to the next level.  With our oldest son getting engaged, both our children living out of town, an aging parent, and our friends now retiring, we're now ready to pass on to the next phase of our lives.  We are going to continue providing the best service possible until we find new owners who are ready for this to be the new adventure in their lives. 

Do you know someone who would make great new owners and Innkeepers?  If so, please pass this on to them.

In the meantime, we'll look forward to seeing our return guests and meeting new ones along the way!

To view the listing, click on the link below.  We are selling the business as a total "turn key" opportunity.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter in Wine Country

A lot of people often ask, "what is there to do in wine country in the winter?"

The answer is... A LOT!

Wineries --
The majority of the wineries in Historic Missouri Wine Country are open, with indoor seating, many with fireplaces and several with food.  You can also catch a "pop-up dinner" at Montelle Winery on select nights, special events at Noboleis, Mount Pleasant, and Chandler Hill, or just stop in for a glass of wine and bring your own food to Sugar Creek.  There is always something going on at these fine places.

Hiking --
A hike in the winter is often said to be the best time of year.  With the foliage gone, it is easy to see wildlife, landscape formations, and a beauty that isn't always visible.  You can find some great hikes off of Highway 94 at the Lewis & Clark Trail, Klondike Park, Lost Valley Trail, Matson Hill Park, or just walk the Katy Trail between Defiance and Weldon Spring to see some beauty.

Historic Sites --
Everyone knows the story of Daniel Boone, don't they?  If not, drive out to the historic Daniel Boone Home, now a St. Charles County Park.  There you can tour the home, visit Boonefield village, and learn about a piece of pioneer history.  History can be found a short drive away on beautiful Main Street in St. Charles, one of the sites of the Lewis & Clark adventure. 

Of course, there are also plenty of quaint B & B's in the area from Defiance to Augusta if you'd like to experience more than a day.  Don't let the winter keep you at home when there is so much to do just a short drive away from the city.  There's always plenty to do in Historic Missouri Wine Country!