I don’t especially like buzz words, nor do I like complicated concepts. In truth my passion has always been about people; meeting people, people watching, understanding personalities and nurturing and mentoring.
Spot in the Woods is giving me plenty of opportunities to ‘feed’ and enjoy that interest. It is important to stress that ‘Spot’, whilst developing from the old, Hotel TerraVina, is really a new and fledgling business in its own right. Now almost 12 weeks old, it is fair to say that the past few weeks of creating ‘Spot’ have been both challenging and exciting in equal measure.
It has been challenging because there are varied streams of revenue and they have experienced mixed results. The kitchen café has taken off very quickly and we have served a lot of people, many of them already returning regularly. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence, it is greatly appreciated! However, we hadn’t consciously considered that the bedrooms would need too much of our attention, but in fact it has been slow in the uptake as a B&B. On reflection, I suppose it is not that surprising, as it is now a very different offering. We don’t serve dinner and we don’t have a bar anymore, so some of the reasons to come to visit are not the same as before. Nevertheless, the rooms are still of the same quality and the locations is still as peaceful. Thus a few weeks in, I am now turning my attention more towards the bedrooms and how to attract more business for them.
In addition, in its past guise, we had many guests who would not leave us empty handed. They would be tempted by some of our goodies, displayed about the place and would purchase a dog doorstop, a set of glasses, a decanter, or sometimes even all three; that is why the idea of the gift shop was born for ‘Spot’, but as yet, whilst many love the artisan gifts, the quirky products and the ever present dog doorstops, sales have not been as buoyant as I had hoped. Being so busy with the kitchen café I have not showcased our goodies and products as well as I should have.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a passion for people and we are so privileged that some of our suppliers to the kitchen café, that Gavin has chosen to work with, are talented, locals artisans and in the gift shop we are working with some fabulous local, craftsmen and women too. Moving forward, over the coming weeks, I intend to showcase one of them every week in this blog and to share the fascinating stories of their businesses and products.
There will be plenty of people to highlight along the way, as later in the summer we will increase our offering with more foodie goodies and tasty treats, again from as many local producers as possible. From jams to chutneys, local honey, sausage rolls, pork pies and cheeses, oils, granolas and homemade cakes, with olives and hams, wine, local ciders and other beverages too; it will be an eclectic mix of great fayre, produced locally and all from producers with a story to tell.
And there’s the secret…..we have come full circle and we are back to my favourite theme of people. We have created a new business that is developing itself piece by piece and with each piece of the jigsaw puzzle in place there is more and more to discover… just as people are a myriad of emotions, complexities and divergent personalities, so too is our business and to understand it better we need to get to grips with its character and personality and that is a challenge we are relishing!
Until next time