Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

The B&B Team

Posts Tagged ‘culinary travel’

Norumbega Inn – Open for Business

June 4th, 2013 by Janet Wolf


Norumbega Inn, Camden Maine

A Rebirth of ‘Maine’s Castle By The Sea’

The Norumbega Inn in Camden Maine is now receiving guests. The transfer of this grand ‘Stone Castle by the Sea’ bed and breakfast to Susan Walser and Chef Phil Crispo took place just a few months ago.

Sue Walser or Vanna ?

Sue Walser or Vanna ?

After a lot of cleaning, scraping, wall removals, landscaping and just general sweat equity the Inn opened to paying guests on Memorial Day weekend. The B&B Team was pleased to be a part of this transfer and we could not be more thrilled! Quoting directly from Sue and Phil, “We are proud and honored to renovate the castle, bringing its heart and soul back to life.” Sue brings her extensive business and marketing skills to Camden and Phil was recently an instructor with the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York. He brings many more past accolades and culinary experience to the table and the future looks bright with their passion for food and this lodging property extraordinaire.

Chef Phil Crispo and Innkeeper

Chef Phil Crispo and Innkeeper

The culinary travel draw for the Norumbega Inn will be huge. Sue and Phil will  initially offer dinner for inn guests and breakfasts to awake your soul but will soon expand with the offering of cooking classes and special catered events . All of which will ‘Complete the Package’. By the way this is Phil’s quote. We liked it so much we wrote it down on a card and it sits on Rick’s

This does not literally mean, wrapping up a gift in a box  and tying it with a pretty bow, but it does mean this figuratively. The total package starts at the time a guest is greeted at your Inn and presented with your package.  They open and view the contents then savor it, gather all the contents together and take it home with complete satisfaction and gratitude. That total package, lodging, dining with great service and attention to every last detail should be a WOW from beginning to end. That ‘completes the package’. The B&B Team hopes that many of you will be able to visit Sue and Phil and experience the complete package that awaits every guest at the Norumbega Inn.

Every day presents itself with the opportunity to create and present another beautiful package to your guests. What a gift that is.

Thanks for Listening

Janet Wolf


Full Service Inns – Time for a Renaissance

May 16th, 2013 by Janet Wolf


Food Glorious Food at Restaurant Verterra, The Inn at Weathersfield, Vermont

Picture a beautiful pristine Inn, beautiful surroundings with comfortable first class lodging then…add a dining component to this picture and what do you get? What we call in our industry, a full service Inn. Urban or country, food and lodging have always gone hand in hand. After indulging in a meal featuring locally sourced food that reflects the culture of the Inn’s location what could be more inviting than to retreat to a cozy guest room just steps away. Today’s traveler is often seeking a culinary experience along with their lodging. It completes the package.

The culinary travel trend is exploding. Full service Inns need to capitalize on this explosion, big time.

Take the example of The Inn at Weatherfield in Vermont. This property had a flourishing and successful restaurant and Inn business thanks to the former owners Jane and Dave Sandelman and Chef Jason Tostrup. The B&B Team recently transferred the Inn to new owners Richard and Marilee Spanjian. They have taken an already successful Inn to another level and the view looks great! I had the privilege to interview Marilee and ask what’s new and cookin’ at the Inn.

Private Dining in The Inn at Weatherfield's Wine Cellar

Private Dining in The Inn at Weathersfield’s Wine Cellar

Question: “New England’s Premier Culinary Inn” is your new brand modifier. This is a very gutsy goal, has this been your goal from the beginning?

Answer: We didn’t just want to say ‘Culinary Inn ’and our goal is for Weathersfield to be New England’s Premier Culinary Inn, so why not go for it.

Question: Your new specials are very cleaver. Especially ‘The Guinea Pig Club’, Chef’s Choice-$8 plates keep coming until you say ‘Uncle’. How has the response been?

Answer: The name is intriguing and it is really starting to catch on. Chef Jason and the kitchen staff really love it too. They can be creative, it really thumps their energy. We chose Thursdays for this special because we found the diners on that day tend to be really adventuresome.

Question: I also was intrigued by your ‘Vitality Fix’, tell me more about this concept.

Answer: Chef Jason came up with the idea. This menu option covers all the bases. It is vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free! More people are commenting how they like the fresh way of cooking and the way it makes them feel after their meal.

Question: What are some of your future plans?


Pasta Cooking Class with Chef Jason

Answer: Our new cooking school will be called ‘Hidden Kitchen’. This is named in memory of my late mother’s restaurant in California. They will not be your typical cooking classes. Chef Jason will teach about sustainability, eating fresh, how to prepare the fresh food and create your own dish and not rely on a recipe. We also will have a two day hands on cooking adventure package that includes visiting our local farms with Chef Jason. An outdoor kitchen set right by our vegetable and herb gardens is also in our plans.

Thank you Marilee. She sounded so excited and energized while I was talking with her. Love the enthusiasm.



Chef Max Mattes knows where some of the vegetables come from at Pilgrim’s Inn, right in their own back yard


Seared local scallops and a crisp Pinot Grigio at Pilgrim’s Inn, what a way to end the day

The Pilgrim’s Inn in Deer Isle Maine is a true country Inn with true local flavor. Culinary travelers like to know where they are as well as where the food is coming from. With the Whale’s Rib Tavern’s rustic historic post and beam dining room and a very warm inviting pub, you know where you are, the coast of Maine! Deer Isle, on the eastern edge of Penobscot Bay. Lobster is caught just off the rocky coastline as well as clams, mussels and oysters, oh my! And, the folks that bring in the catch may be sitting in the pub next to you enjoying one of the Tavern’s popular house ground burgers! True local flavor.


A True Country Full Service Inn

Owners Tina and Tony have just posted a blog about their ‘Farm to Table’ approach and the challenges it presents. Take a moment to read this blog, great information on the area and farming community. And what a great coastal community it is, natural beauty with countless coves and inlets with lots of privacy, a great place to own a business and call home. The B&B Team is privileged to offer this true and spectacular country Inn for Sale.

The B&B Team believes a successful full service Inn should focus their business on both the lodging and food equally. Neither business should take the back seat. Both of the full service country Inns featured in this post have spectacular guest rooms and top notch amenities. It completes the package. Stayed tuned for my next blog where I reveal the author of this quote.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf


Culinary Travel – Marketing Your Culinary Getaways

April 18th, 2012 by Janet Wolf

“There are those of us who travel and those of us who travel to eat.” Kendra Bailey Morris

I found this to be a great quote from a travel and food author and blogger I just discovered. She writes with gusto and passion about the food and places she loves. Check out her latest blogs, ‘Fatback & Foie Gras’. One important feature about her blog is the great photography. They are large and enticing shots that bring you close to the food being featured. People do eat with their eyes first. Warning, don’t look if you are hungry.

Culinary focused travel is becoming increasingly popular. You want to bring these travellers to your Inn to feast at your table and the tables of your favorite local restaurants. Here are a few B&B’s I believe do a great job creating and promoting culinary getaways. The Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunk, Maine not only features their special breakfast offerings with great photos and text, but also on their blogs. Take a look and read their two recent posts featuring culinary topics. The Inn at English Meadows and the Hartstone Inn in Camden, Maine have both teamed up with to promote their culinary getaway packages. This is a go to website for travellers looking for culinary focused travel events and specials. BnBFinder also has a page dedicated to posting culinary getaways, another great source.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to bake the perfect cake? You can, during a Culinary Getaway at our B&B in the Kennbunks.

We all know it is all about the experience you create for your guests. And food is a big part of that experience. An event that involves cooking with a professional chef in cooking class or demonstration followed by a meal with your group feasting on your creations accompanied with good wine and good conversation, that’s the ticket! Sign me up. Another quote from Kendra; “Let’s face it, chefs are now rock stars and food is definitely in.” Well you must have a local rock star chef in your area that would love to perform and show off their culinary creations, or you may be the rock star! Go for it.

Risotto Close Up by Jenn Cuisine



Jenn Oliver of Jenn Cuisine is another great food blogger I discovered. She offers some great advice in her blog, ‘The Importance of Good Food Photography’. She says:” When I take a photo of a dish, my goal is to bring the viewer to the table, so they can mentally reach out and taste the full flavor of the food I’m displaying.” In this blog she shares some photo shots that are good next to the same shot that is great. You really can clearly see what the difference is. We always recommend professional photographers that will produce artful interior, exterior and food photos . Christian Giannelli and Jumping Rocks Photography are two of the best out there for our industry. Christian did the photography for The Inn at English Meadows and Jumping Rocks did the photgraphy for Hartstone Inn.

Sticky Toffee Pudding-Hartstone Inn-Jumping Rocks Photography

I have included a lot of links in this posting. I hope you view each and every one of them and that they help you visualize the importance of good food photography when marketing your culinary getaway packages.

Here is a question for you? A picture is worth a thousand words so does this mean a picture of food is worth a thousand calories?