Meet the Innkeepers
We are always asked the question by our guests, “Why did you become innkeepers?”
Here is our story…
In the winter of 2007, we made the serious decision to leave New Jersey and purchase a Bed & Breakfast in New England. We almost bought one in Brattleboro, Vermont but decided it wasn’t the perfect place for us. We continued on with our search in New Hampshire and Maine. Though we had often vacationed in Maine and enjoyed the seacoast, we weren’t convinced that we should live and work there. After viewing several Bed and Breakfasts in New Hampshire, we fell in love with The Buttonwood Inn. In the heart of winter, we were amazed by the amount of snow and the serene beauty and peacefulness. Driving past the Village Green in North Conway that evening, we spied families ice skating and marveled at all the shops and restaurants decorated in holiday lights and holiday greenery, as snow fell around us. Above the town, Cranmore Mountain’s ski slopes lit up the night sky creating a veritable winter wonderland. We were sold!
The inn is located on nearly six acres on Mount Surprise with access from our back door to the hiking trails in and around Merriman State Forest and Bartlett Mountain. This location was particularly appealing to us because we wanted our guests to be able to explore the peaceful surroundings and enjoy the solitude, while being only minutes away from the village and wonderful shops and restaurants.
Bill and I both worked in the corporate world in New Jersey. Bill was an industrial engineer by training and managed staff in production plants and retail product facilities. I went to cooking school to become a chef and also obtained a degree in food service management. I worked in hospitality and took a detour for a time, working in the pharmaceutical industry as a marketing analyst. During those years working in corporations, I yearned to get back to my passion of cuisine and food preparation, while Bill was searching for a way to combine his love of conversation and his “fix-it” nature in a business we could call our own.
Thus, we began our search for a B&B in New England and after touring the three large common rooms, ten nicely appointed guest rooms, huge kitchen, and owner’s quarters at The Buttonwood Inn, we realized this felt like home, not just a business. We always loved fine old homes with character and that was what we bought—an 1820’s farmhouse in the classic style of New England.
Returning to New Jersey after signing a contract to purchase The Buttonwood Inn, we excitedly informed our son and daughter that we were moving to North Conway, New Hampshire. They were surprised because we had talked about making this sort of move for many years and were happy when they saw how excited we were about finally taking the plunge. We were “empty nesters” and it was time to pursue our dream. On July 31, 2007, we closed on The Buttonwood Inn and served our first breakfast to a “full house” on August 1. We were now, officially, Innkeepers!
During our time here, we’ve redecorated common rooms and guest rooms, painted the inn inside and outside, re-established gardens, and added various amenities to make our B&B more like a “home away from home” for our guests. The true joy of our business is meeting great people from around the world and learning a little about them and them about us. We continue to add to the pleasurable memories of our conversations with them and look forward to the return of the many guests we have come to know and love as friends. We pick up the conversation wherever it left off during their last visit.
As we continue to grow our business, we also continue to grow as individuals learning so much about what we are capable of, and are happier for it. We’ve been able to balance our work life with a more tranquil lifestyle by exploring the natural scenery of the White Mountains. We often go out our back door on our hiking trails or explore the many trails in the Mount Washington Valley near waterfalls, lakes, and rivers observing wildlife along the way. At the time we purchased The Buttonwood Inn, we had a good idea of the time and energy needed to run a successful B&B. We expected, but could not be certain, that the experiences ahead would enrich our lives. We are happy to say that they have and that each day continues to be better than the one before. We hope you will join us and find out why.
Bill and Paula Petrone