Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast

Innkeeper Brenda at Sea in the US Navy


Why We Became Innkeepers – The Brenda and Peter Story

Of all the conversations we have with our guests, one of the most common topics is undoubtedly, “Why did we become innkeepers?” or “Have you always wanted to be an innkeeper?”. These are such fun questions to answer as answering helps remind us why we chose to become bed and breakfast owners. One of the things that we love about B&Bs (and most of our guests do too) is the story behind each and every property as well as the stories of the owners and innkeepers. That’s why we love the new tagline of Select Registry so much (“Stay for the Story”) as staying at B&Bs and independent Inns is all about character, personality and good old fashioned American spirit. Before our time as innkeepers, we used to love visiting small towns and staying in B&Bs as it helped us connect with the area, the people and feel at home. All that being said, we wanted to share a bit more of our own entrepreneurial story that led us to become owners of the beautiful Andon-Reid Inn. We are so lucky to have landed here in Waynesville at this spectacular property.

Our story starts when Brenda and Peter met in graduate school in North Carolina (North Carolina has always held a special place in our hearts). The Navy had sent Brenda to grad school for a couple years to build her skills and Peter was a young professional looking to further his career by getting a master’s degree. As fate would have it, Brenda and Peter were placed in the same rotational group in school, took many of the same classes and worked together in small groups quite frequently. Our first B&B experience together also happenedPeter and Brenda Graduation from School in grad school as we bid on and won a weekend stay together at a B&B in Southern Virginia. We like to think this was where our B&B adventure started as it was a great experience, certainly one we will never forget.

After graduate school, Brenda and Peter settled in Norfolk, VA and also settled into professional careers; Peter as a digital marketing professional and Brenda as a Department Head on the USS CARR (FFG 52) in the US Navy. A few deployments and promotions later, plus the welcoming of two beautiful children, we saw Brenda’s 20-year retirement on the horizon and began to hatch our plan to become innkeepers. Any chance we got, we took trips to visit B&Bs in Asheville, Virginia’s Shenandoah Region, the Outer Banks, and other areas in the Southeast and started to learn what it takes. We also began attending seminars with B&B specialists and embarked on practicing baking and cooking. Peter began making the family brunch for dinner every Sunday and also began reading any cooking and recipe book he could get his hands on.

Innkeepers children hiking in western North carolina

Much to the delight of our children, Brenda baked cookies and other goodies every chance she got.

Fast forward to 2022 and Brenda’s 20-year retirement from the US Navy. We worked with The B&B Team to help us find a B&B to buy in North Carolina or Virginia. After seeing many Inns, we had the pleasure of staying at the Andon-Reid in February of 2022 and meeting the (now former) owners George & Andrea. The Andon-Reid was just perfect; everything about it made us feel comfortable, relaxed and at home. We stayed in the Grand Library Suite, which is our favorite room at the Inn. We put in an offer to buy the Inn a few days later and the rest is history. When we took over the Inn in July of 2022, it was perhaps the busiest and most hectic time of our life, but one we look back on with pride as it launched us into this wonderful career.

So why did we decidPeter and Brenda, Innkeepers at the Andon-Reide to become Innkeepers? To start, our background and shared passions are the foundation for why we chose this lifestyle. At a fundamental level, we both wanted to do something where we could work together, be our own bosses and get back to being the solid team we were in grad school. We knew from parenting together that we had complementary skills and we both have a heart for service. It’s a common reason given by innkeepers that they became innkeepers because they loved staying at B&B’s. While that is also true for us, there is so much more to the story than that. The innkeeper role is varied, exciting, rewarding and uses so many different skill sets. We get to pursue individual passions (cooking, baking, decorating, design, marketing) while simultaneously challenging ourselves to run our own small business, with all the different intense roles required of an entrepreneur. And to top it all off, we have more time for our family and can show our children firsthand values like independence, work ethic, hospitality, problem-solving and creativity, just like our parents did. To be an innkeeper is to live a full, interesting and well-rounded life and you get to meet so many different people from all over the world. At a small Inn like the Andon-Reid, you get to know each guest quite closely and many repeat guests feel like new members of the family.

While being an innkeeper is a lot of work, we often tell guests that our old jobs were also a lot of work, while this one fits the bill for the both of us in terms of the well-balanced lifestyle, the interesting challenges, and the small-town American charm we sought in life. Just like all the former owners of the Andon-Reid, we look forward to putting our own stamp on the Inn and making it the home away from home that we know it is for so many people. We can’t wait to host more guests and add new and repeat guests to our extended Inn family.

See you soon at the Inn!

Your Innkeepers,
Brenda and Peter

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