10 Insights About
The Owners of Bordeaux Inn Lodi - Bed & Breakfast
Craig & Rebecca - Owners of Bordeaux Inn Lodi
1. How did you get started with your business? What opportunities did you see?
My wife Rebecca had a dream since age 19 to own a bed and breakfast (BNB). Early in 2016, we decided the timing was right in our lives to pursue this dream. We looked all over America, most seriously in Texas, upstate New York & close to us in Temecula, CA. Nothing clicked. In September 2016, The Inn at Locke House was for sale and we flew up to look at it. However, we felt it was not for us.
While in Lodi my adopted uncle, Ivan Suess, and his wife, aunt Wilda suggested we should seriously consider Lodi in our search because the city had changed tremendously via wine and tourism. Rebecca studied the trends and felt investing in Lodi in 2016 with a BNB might put us ahead of the trend. In October 2016, our current old house popped up on the market, we saw it, bought it. I moved up from Southern California on December 11, 2016. Rebecca joined me on February 5, 2017. It took immense work renovating & converting the old house to a freshened up BNB. We opened on May 9th, 2017.
2. What is the absolute favorite part of your business?
Meeting & hosting people. They come from all over the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Most are well-traveled. We would also say that helping guests with wine tasting and restaurant suggestions can be fun. Many people have never been to Lodi, so it’s great to fill them in on where to go & what to do here. Plus, a little Lodi history (this is Craig's hometown, and he grew up here).
3. What is unique about your business?
A BNB brings a whole different lodging experience for visitors. Many mention they’d never stayed in a BNB before us. Our goal is to treat them wonderfully. We are also unique in that it’s our home. A key benefit is we are just 3-4 blocks from downtown, making it an easy walk for most everyone. Guests love this as they can park their car at our BNB then venture downtown by foot, there and back.
4. What do customers find most special about your BNB?
Our hospitality would be first. Second, we own a historical house where each guest room is different than another. Rebecca is also a phenomenal cook and baker. She teaches cooking classes to guests and also hosts private dinners for those guests looking to celebrate a special occasion. In addition, we have a spacious patio and backyard where people can relax, enjoy wine, have a conversation. To this end, we are not a motel or hotel. We get to know our guests by name, they get to know us, and they become a part of our family; which is how we garner repeat customers.
5. Is there something you do unrelated to your business that helps with your BNB?
Rebecca and I are very well-traveled; over 51 countries for the two of us together (151 countries for me). We have wonderful conversations with guests from many cultures & countries about their journeys. We also love good wines, so occasionally we take guests to a few local wine tasting rooms when practical. Rebecca loves to take cooking classes on our overseas trips. She's studied both cooking & baking in France probably 10 times, including Le Cordon Bleu 2 times & from Lyon-based master chef Jean-Marc Villard 2 times. Other countries include Italy, Spain, Israel, Czech Rep, Hong Kong, Singapore & Argentina. She sees food as an entrance into a country's culture & history.
6. How did your parents influence you? Did you learn any lessons from them?
For me, my dad was a pastor in Lodi and I attended what is now Century Assembly Church. He taught me to work hard, be honest, let God lead & shape your life. He also passed on his sense of humor to me. With my mom, she had traveled a lot and passed on her love of travel. Plus, music. For Rebecca, her dad passed on a very strong work ethic. His attitude was to work until it’s done right. Rebecca is honest, diligent, caring & giving. That comes from her dad, Ed. He also taught her to have a dream and to go for it! Her mom, Rosa, taught her the art of hospitality and hosting.
7. What is your biggest obstacle in life and how did you master it?
For me, it was mastering the craft of tv/film production. It took time, experience & education. I learned from my successes and mistakes. For Rebecca, as a young woman, she had a life-changing accident that nearly left her paralyzed. She had major surgery to repair her back, and nearly 2 years of therapy to be able to walk again. She will tell you her faith in God is what gets her thru life’s obstacles.
8. What are the biggest epiphanies, the moments of life-changing moments that help shape you into the person you are today?
A bible lands trips in 1972 changed my whole perspective of culture, travel and the world. I was just 16 and traveled to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Greece, Italy, and England.
9. What is your life philosophy?
“ Whatever you do, do it from your heart for the Lord and not for people” Colossians 3:23
10. Where do you see your business in 3 years?
Growing! We hope to be able to continue to invest in Lodi by growing our portfolio.