Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Blueberry on the Road

Every January for the last few years we have been invited to speak to the Small Properties Management class at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI. Now a lot of people think J&W is just for culinary arts. To be sure a lot of great chefs have sprouted from their curriculum but it offers so much more. Their degree programs in business, hospitality, education and technology are worth checking into if you know someone that wants to earn a very marketable degree. (It also gives you a chance to stay with us in Narragansett when you come to visit the school since we are only 35 min. away.)

Basically we talk to the students about the our reality of planning and executing a B&B without killing your partner. We also give them some very hard financial data about owning an inn. I think the two biggest shocks for the students are how hard we work to run this place without staff and how little profit there is when a 130 year old building makes old building repair demands. This year Dave was a huge hit with the class. (My financial discussion was a little boring, truth be told.)

Dave was really into the discussion this year. He even wrote points on the board that almost everyone in the class dutifully inscribed into their notes. My camera got stuck in video mode but it turned out so cute I just had to share:

The class is a lot of fun and very educational for us. It forces us to sit down and consider where the Inn came from and what we hope to achieve with us in the coming year. The students always pose a few questions that bring us to a "duh" moment which only makes us better innkeepers.

Thanks for inviting us to class and have stunning careers.