Seven Years ago today we became Innkeepers.
It is hard to believe that Margit and I have already been “Keepers of the Inn” for seven years. Today is the anniversary of us purchasing the Ash Street Inn and we wanted to thank everyone who has stayed with us during that time and has helped us become better stewards of the “Grande Dame” (as we love to refer to the inn).
Seems like just yesterday that we were handed the keys and a lot has happened since, including weathering a pandemic that effectively shut our doors for over three months.
When we first moved to Manchester, we were confident that, given our backgrounds and abilities, we would be able to make the transition to be innkeepers but it was still a leap of faith to make it actually happen.
We were reminiscing yesterday about our first few weeks as owners and how hectic and new everything was. The final purchase was official on a Wednesday and we had guests the first weekend. We remember that first morning well and we debated whether or not we should tell the guests that we were rookies and that they were our first guests. After some back and forth discussion, we both agreed that it was better to keep it to ourselves as the couple were enjoying a quiet March weekend away and they were blissfully unaware of any nervousness we may have shown. They did return for another visit the following year to view the fall foliage and they were pleasantly surprised to learn that they had been our “first”. They had no idea.
Chase, if you are reading this, thanks again for staying with us and being easy guests. You set our expectation of what a wonderful guest experience could be and we had taken that forward over the years. After you checked out, we looked at each other, gave a sigh of relief and both said “hey, we can actually do this”. It was a fun weekend and we learned quite a bit about innkeeping and also about ourselves.
A few weeks later we had the entire inn booked for a wedding party and with renewed confidence we knew we were ready.
That first weekend also showed us that even though we had pulled it off, we had quite a bit to learn about the inn and innkeeping, and about working with each other professionally as a married couple.
We have since made quite some progress. For those who have stayed with us during busy times, you may have witnessed the choreography of Margit and I working together in the small kitchen and surprisingly enough we barely ever bump into each other. We have discovered a lot about each other along the way. We may not always agree on all business decisions, but we work out all issues both large and small so it is a lot like any other relationship to that effect. It also helps that both of us have our primary responsibilities, I stay mostly in the kitchen and Margit is the main keeper of the Inn.
Looking back over the last seven years has also reminded us of how many interesting guests have stayed with us. Many stay just once and yet have made a lasting impression that we talk about to this day. Others come back for multiple stays, request to stay in “their room” and have become dear friends over the years.
What do we expect for the next seven years? Well we plan on continuing to provide the same wonderful guest experience, but albeit to a more diverse crowd. It is encouraging to see the next generation of travelers enjoying the experience of a true Bed & Breakfast and discovering that it is much more and different than an Air B&B.
As innkeepers, we are ambassadors for all the beautiful things New Hampshire has to offer and we are always happy to give customized recommendations for things to do, based on our guests’ tastes. The emphasis may be on art, the outdoors, or even a wine or beer tasting tour of the area.
We have learned so much with and from everyone who stayed with us and we are looking forward to keep on growing with our future guests!
Thank you all for making our first seven years a fun ride!