Tucked away in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, The Wildflower Inn is a village-like resort comprised of restored New England farmhouses and barns and located on over 500 acres of pristine farmland. But it’s not just a picturesque setting—it’s also your Totally Awesome pick for best escape & getaway for Boston-area families. Boasting an animal petting barn and a wide range of children’s programs, the folks at The Wildflower Inn pride themselves on being family-friendly. Innkeeper Mary O’Reilly recently took the time to chat with us about what makes The Wildflower great for kids, how she and her husband were inspired to start their inn, and more. Read on:
Red Tricycle: Congratulations on being voted “Most Awesome” by your community! What do you think your customers value most about your business?
Mary O’Reilly: Our visitors love our warm, friendly staff and the fact that we are “Kid Friendly,” not just a place that accepts kids. Having 8 children of our own, we know how to make this a great place for the whole family.
RT: What inspired you to start your business?
MO: We traveled extensively before becoming innkeepers, and liked the idea of hospitality. Having traveled with our young children, we realized that there was a need for a family-friendly inn: where children were welcomed, not just tolerated. We had four young children when we opened (that grew to 8), so it made sense to create a very family-friendly atmosphere for others. Our kids were a great inspiration! After a short time, that became our niche.
RT: Any advice for new business owners just getting started?
MO: If someone is looking at getting into the Inn or B&B business, or any home based business, make sure to have a separate space for your family, so that when you’re at home, you can focus on family.
RT: Can you give us one tip for balancing entrepreneurship with parenthood?
MO: Put the kids first. Make sure a parent is always available for them. Allow them to engage in the business at their own pace. They grow up fast!
RT: What is your proudest moment as a business owner or parent?
MO: Some of our proudest moments have been seeing how our children have used their hospitality skills to succeed in their adult lives.
RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
MO: Sure! Red Tricycle readers can get 10% off their 2013/2014 winter booking when they mention this offer at the time of booking , or if they book online, by entering Access Code redtricycle