Couple enjoys bed and breakfast life
Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2011
By Joanie Morris
For the Salisbury Post
KANNAPOLIS — Vickie and David Duncan bought the house on 5 acres in 1999, moving to the fixer-upper with their daughter Jana, who was in high school.
“It was not pretty when we started,” David said on Saturday from a sitting area in the home. They renovated it and once their daughter moved out, they renovated it again. Now, the couple shares their home with travelers, staying at the Duncan Hill Inn, opened in December 2008.
Vickie and David said it’s a lifetime dream of theirs to run a B&B, as they’re often called. Once Jana moved out, they converted the pool room (once a garage) into a tea room, and made the upstairs a suite for guests.
In the master room, there’s a large four poster bed, and shades of blue and white relax travelers who want the options offered by a bed and breakfast. The suite also has a sitting area with television, wifi service, DVD and cable service, and a separate entrance, so guests can expect complete privacy if they want it.
“If they want a certain thing, or want something done a certain way, we can accommodate that where a hotel may not,” said David. In addition, guests can expect privacy and relaxation. The inn only rents one room — no other guests will be at the home — and even allows couples with children and pets, something not many bed and breakfast inns do. Afternoon tea is offered with scones in the tea room at 4 p.m. daily and dessert is brought to the room in the evening — A guest favorite is Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Cake.
The inn boasts a fully stocked fishing pond, volleyball net, hammock and plenty of country pleasantness. In addition, guests can expect a full concierge service — restaurant suggestions and other reservations, as well as suggestions on places to visit, shop and more — turn-down service and a continental breakfast that can be planned to suit guests.
“We have a lot of people come to visit family, attend weddings and (a few) business travelers,” said Vickie. Last weekend, they even had some honeymooners from Locust who wanted rose petals scattered across the bed, candles burning and champagne chilling. They were accommodated.
The couple hopes the inn will help support them in their retirement; plans are for both to retire in about five years. Vickie currently works in the outpatient lab at CMC-NorthEast and David works at Hersey Meters in Cleveland.
“Each year our business increases,” said Vickie about the inn. In their first years, they were lucky to get a couple every couple months. Last year, they averaged one couple a month and this year, they are on target to serve an average of two couples a month.
“Even with the economy being like it is, restaurants and hotels are not really hurting as much,” said David, attributing that to people who take “stay-cations” instead of long vacations to places far away from their homes. The couple has noticed families staying within a few hours of their home instead of traveling to resorts in Florida and the like. “When we first opened, we went two to three months without guests.”
Along with the bed and breakfast service, the couple also offers other services. Two days a month, full English tea is offered to benefit Tea of Hope, a nonprofit organization started in honor of Vickie’s mother Jerrie McMillan. Profits go to ovarian and breast cancer support and research. The next Tea of Hope event will be held Nov. 11 and 12.
In addition, Vickie, along with her daughter Jana Hale, run Sweet & Savory Treats, a full service bakery offering many different varieties of baked treats, including birthday, wedding and other specialty cakes, breads, brownies and other sweet treats.
The tea room at the Inn is available for showers, luncheons, birthdays, anniversaries and business meetings and Vickie said she can provide baked goods for any special event.
The Duncan Hill Inn will host a special open house on Nov. 12 and 13 for the community. The Duncans said they hope that people will join them for refreshments and see just what the Inn offers from baked goods to gift baskets.
The master suite at the Duncan Hill Inn rents for $105 per night. A separate, children’s bedroom can be rented for $50 per night. For more information about the Duncan Hill Inn, amenities and the Tea of Hope activities, visit www.duncanhillinn.com. The Duncan Hill Inn is located at 803 Ebenezer Road, approximately a half mile from N.C. 29 in northern Kannapolis.
Joanie Morris is a freelance reporter for the Salisbury Post. She can be reached at 704-797-4248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.