With final approval given on the opening of The Clary Sage Bed and Breakfast located in Roswell, New Mexico, Rick Wiles and Janlee Zumwalt began their newest adventure in the art of innkeeping. Rick spoke with enthusiasm about what they have done for their bed and breakfast and Janlee added more detail in email about the uniqueness in location of their place. Converting a California mission style home into an official bed and breakfast had its challenges with zoning which they learned and through proven research found the best solutions.
Q: How long have you been in business?
We actually just opened. We got all our licenses. There was a slight delay with the zoning which we have taken care of. Now, we are finishing up on our marketing and website.
As we were going through the licensing process, we contacted all the local neighbors as we wanted their support in the process. We did an open house for the neighbors and community. They got to sample some of our desserts and coffee.
Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?
This was the brainstorm of my partner, Janlee Zumwalt. We had always looked at historical homes and other properties. We “tripped” over this historical home which is hundred and one years old. There were no bed and breakfasts within the city limits of Roswell. We felt there was a need and the house was just perfect to become a bed and breakfast.
Q: What is your signature breakfast?
J- At this time I don’t have a signature breakfast simply because we are just starting the B&B and are anxious to try out different recipes for item such as sweet rolls, quiches, scones, yogurt, granola, and a variety of muffins (all homemade of course!) I just tried a recipe for baked pears with caramel sauce and a dollop of homemade yogurt and my family gave it rave reviews.
Q: What’s the best thing you have done for your business?
Along with taking the place back to much of its original look, the way the rooms are decorated really has added elegance to it. One of the hidden treasures we found was a hundred year old chandelier. And, we found a dining room table with its full set. We estimate it is over a hundred years old. We found out it was from a company back east called Lincoln. A friend use to own the company and gave us the history.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
J-The biggest challenge in starting the B&B was convincing the city planning and zoning committee to allow us to obtain the special use permit that was required to open the business. It did delay the opening of the business for about sixty days.
Government funding for historical homes does have restrictions. I would have needed to meet their requirement if I had wanted funding from the government.
Q: What motto do you live by?
J- Do to other as you would want them to do to you.
Q: What is unique about your inn?
We are the only official bed and breakfast in Roswell. The place we bought was a home before we made it into a bed and breakfast. We have a wrap around porch. We tried to restore the house to as much original as possible. We restored some of the floors to its original woodwork called tiger oak. We put in a pool table and we will continue to add to the place.
The yard is big enough for an outdoor wedding. I am currently restoring a water fountain and we will have an outdoor BBQ. Also, it is five minutes in walking from downtown with its museums, art center, and more.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
J- Rick and I are both personal trainers, firefighters, EMT’s, and massage therapists and have enjoyed doing all of those things at some point and time. There’s not a lot of free time lately but we do enjoying bike riding our tandem bicycle together or road bikes.
Q: Any fun or helpful advice have you learned from other innkeepers, friends, etc.?
We received overwhelming support from the neighborhood and community. We did our homework and met with everyone from the fire marshal to food & licensing person. We attended a state bed and breakfast organization where we got a lot of insight. We both had businesses of our own so we have past experiences with customer service.
Q: Any little known facts about the town?
Roswell facts- We have great weather, industries ranging from agriculture to aviation. It is home to one of the largest mozzarella cheese factories, once home of Robert Goddard who invented the rocket. The famous Sheriff Pat Garrett of Lincoln county who shot Billy the Kid was once a resident of Roswell. The not so little known UFO incident of 1947.
There is a Girl Scout camp in the mountains and one of the largest GridIron circuit challenges was held in Roswell.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring innkeeper.
J-At this time we don’t have a lot of advice for other innkeepers because we are still learning, but if you have a dream to own a B&B then persistence is key and lots of hard work.