Fresh baked cookies

My Biggest Fear

Day 2…..Just kidding! I won’t torture you with the day to day minutiae.

But let me share with you my biggest fear.

When I looked at all of Nancy and Bob’s reviews, it was quite clear they were loved by many guests. And as a result these guests showed their love and loyalty by booking stays. So it was a bit concerning to think about how people would react to me. I asked myself “how can I highlight my best qualities?” I knew I had to use my best asset immediately and shower guests with good food! It’s true that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. But my fear still stuck with me.

At first, I thought I had to continue to be Nancy and Bob in order to succeed and continue their tradition. I decided I would answer the phone and say I was Nancy. So much for confidence! I also thought that if anyone said they didn’t recognize me I would say I was in a tragic car accident, had plastic surgery and oh poor Bob…..he didn’t make it. I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head. Obviously some of them dark! How would I ever live up to them?! I had to think, think, think. Again, I just went back to my backup. I can cook, I can cook, I can cook!

But keep in mind…..everyone wanted to make sure that their favorite breakfast on the menu wasn’t going anywhere. And this led to me having a huge daily specials list. I thought I found my secret weapon! We added buttermilk pancakes with blueberries, watermelon salad with berries, and feta cheese with mint and basil. I had biscuits and sausage gravy, eggs Benedict, and breakfast pizza. We had grits, muffins, cornbread and on and on it went. The ladies who work here couldn’t keep up, but I was using my food to ensure guests would love the new owner. I thought there will be many satisfied stomachs with so many choices! People like choices! Right? Did I mention the best chocolate chip cookies that are in your room when you arrive?



At first the specials weren’t well received. In particular, I did a dish of baked egg in a wonderful spicy tomato sauce that was finished with fresh ricotta cheese. It is delicious, fresh, bright, and light. Great for the summer. So says me! Nobody has a better palate than me! When no one ordered it, I just started bringing an order to each table. The first table received it and said, “well that sure does look good.” Now mind you our dining room is a very cozy and intimate setting. So now I have everyone’s attention. Every table gets one and low and behold it’s a hit!

I decided to use that moment to my advantage. A few couples stayed more then one night. I would introduce the special and say those folks over there had it yesterday I believe. And they would nod and say yes you should try it. Eventually, I would get a few good raves and move on to my next special. Can I tell you that as a chef this has been the best part of this whole deal. I get to do what I love and with guests that feel like a part of my family every single day. I love so much about what I am doing but it all circles back to food. Food has always been the heart of what I do.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am everyday for the opportunity to do what I love. And I have an amazing team that helps me. The best part of it all is I meet people from all around our great country and all over the world. Ultimately I get to share my experiences with you.

And you know what? I am not Nancy and nor am I Bob. Even though they have become very, very dear friends of mine, I think I bring a uniqueness to this already strong foundation. And I will continue to see old faces and bring in new faces. I think Nancy and Bob will be proud of my journey that was birthed from their start.

And it’s all good.

P.S. We will have a recipe section on our website coming soon.

Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast