Il Cedro…Coming Soon to a Town Near You…

Well…not exactly coming to a town near you, but hopefully you will be coming to us. Today is March 2 – which means THIS month is our goal month for opening Il Cedro Bed and Breakfast.

And, we’ve come a long way baby…

In May we gutted our downstairs apartment and began creating our very own Bed and Breakfast. We didn’t have a name or a mission, but we had a goal. Several goals actually.

1) We want tourists who come to the area to have options;

2) We want to have better customer service than any other hotel or bed and breakfast; and

3) We wanna finish the damn thing already!

Ten months later we are well on our way. We have a name – Il Cedro Bed and Breakfast. “Il Cedro” translated into English means The Cedar Tree, and we have one that stands majestically over the B&B, shading some of the citrus trees that surround the area.

The contractors have completed their work (well, all that we are going to get out of them anyway), the towels have been purchased, dishes have been bought, bedspreads and drapes are being sewn as we speak (or, so they say…). Piece of cake? Not quiet.

The Five Most Difficult (and, yet I never imagined they would be) Things About Opening a B&B
5. Choosing a Logo. I started out, in all of my creative glory, with the idea that I could design one myself. Well, I couldn’t, and my good pal, Antonino Condorelli told me so. So, we hired a professional! My other good pal, Brett Nicholson aka, the husband of my best bud, Emily (of Red Couch Communications fame) fixed us up. However, even with Brett’s help, we had about 30 versions of this thing floating around until we finally made the decision. Don’t you think the logo is nice? I won’t show you my version…
4. Selecting shampoo and shower gel. Peppe and I are officially the cleanest people in Catanzaro! We’ve met with several reps who are trying to sell us various types of shampoo, shower gel, and hand soap to use in our nifty little shower dispensers we found on an American website. We are trying them all, and, boy are we picky! This shampoo is too thick, this shower gel doesn’t foam enough, this scent is “uneventful”. One rep yesterday left me a cute little biodegradable box filled with a shampoo/shower gel combo (it is all the rage in hotels these days – you can use one product for both your skin and your hair – I’m sure you’ve seen it), body lotion, facial toner, facial cream, and a handmade bar of facial soap! How cute…and, you’ll never guess what the name of the line is…IL CEDRO. It’s un Segno di Dio. Sadly…that was the shampoo, that was just too dang thick.
3. Making it Legal! Those of you who live in Italy know about Italian bureaucracy, so you probably aren’t surprised by this. But I am new here – and I am naive, so I was surprised! I can’t really recall how many times we have ridden the funicolare to downtown Catanzaro to meet with this person or that person about various “legal” aspects of the B&B. There is the guy in the tourism office, the lady in the “other” tourism office (they don’t work together…I don’t get it), some other man who knows some woman who we need to know for this or that…I can’t keep up. But, to give you a better example. Last week we took all of our papers (thinking we were ready) to the tourism LADY. She accepted them all with a smile. We then had to take the same set of papers to the tourism MAN (across downtown). He was not so accepting. We were missing a contract we needed giving Peppe permission to use the building (from his dad and his brother), we had to type in the address at the top of the page, and we had to type in the legal name of the business somewhere else on a different page. Luckily, Peppe always carries these documents on his jump drive, so he made the clerical changes in the man’s office and reprinted the paperwork. Then – we had to get the legal contract for Peppe’s dad and brother (and pay 210 Euro to get it), and take it back to the tourism people. When we took it to the tourism LADY, she said, “Oh, yes. I’ve been waiting on this to turn in your paperwork.” – woulda been nice of you to tell us this, woman! And, we took another copy to the tourism MAN. Now we are waiting on someone to come out and “check us” and give us a “stamp of approval”. I’ll let you know how it goes.
2. Ensuring every bathroom has enough hot water for the showers! This was one hard project. The decision took months to make, and luckily, this was Peppe’s “baby”. It didn’t really matter to me if we used the pellet system or solar energy or electricity or gas – as long as we had hot showers. Every person we talked to had a different opinion and different products to sell. We did get it worked out, though – and all guests can take long, hot showers to their hearts content…we hope!
1. Actually opening the doors. Have you heard the expression “One Step Forward, One Step Back”? For every one thing we cross off our list, a new thing is added. For example, we learned a few weeks ago that the contractors installed the heating units backward. Although we paid them to do the job (correctly), and a normal person would expect them to correct their mistakes – Peppe has spent all day today inverting the units. But – we did select artwork for the walls this morning! See – one step forward, one step back!
We have our first non-official guests arriving next Friday. Michelle and Dawn, quite possibly the only two other Americans in Calabria are visiting us in Catanzaro next weekend. Although we won’t have our new sheets from Frette and quite possibly, those dang bedspreads and drapes won’t be ready, we do have 1) heat; 2) running water; 3) beds! Nah, we have more than that and are very anxious for the non-off guests to give us good ole’ fashion American feedback. Hopefully, we can make them feel at home…
10 Responses
  1. nikinpos

    You’re brave to go through with it all. Persevere and it’ll all be worth it. Maybe I’ll manage to get further south than Salerno one day and stay!

  2. j

    WowWow Cherrye, that’s exciting. We’ve been getting to Europe about every other year, and although I think Prague is next on our list, I’m sure I’ll get back to Catanzaro. Save us a room!

  3. Texas Espresso

    congrats! we are hoping to venture down to southern italy in the next year or so – will definitely give you a call!

  4. J.Doe

    Interesting post. The best of luck to you. If my husband and I had plans to visit southern Italy we would definitely give you a call. Maybe someday….

  5. Cherrye

    Thanks for the support, ya’ll.

    Nikinpos, J, TX Espresso, and J. Doe – what are ya waiting for? Oh, yea – the new sheets… ha ha

    Delina – I’ll be sure to post more as the drama unfolds…

  6. yours truly B

    Hey if I ever get to Europe I will deffinantly come find you this sounds so wonderful new sheets or not this is an adventure of a lifetime:)

  7. Concetta

    The very best of luck with your new venture! I look forward to hearing more about it. I have a Bed & Breakfast in Scotland (we’ve been open exactly 2 years) and it really is a wonderful job but gosh does it get tiring in the spring and summer!

  8. Concetta

    Oh, P.S… I almost forgot to say, that my father is from Catanzaro… born and raised… he emigrated to Scotland when he was 19. I still have many friends and family there!

  9. Cherrye

    Yours Truly B – we’d love to have you.

    Conchetta – Thanks for stopping by! Do you have a website for your B&B? I’d love to look you up. Send me an email if you get a chance so we can chat about it. That is neat your dad is from the big city of Catanzaro! I hope you get a chance to come back every now and then.

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