On June 16, 2016 The Wooster Inn hosted the Small Business of the Year reception for The Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce for the first time. That event was booked back in January way before we were ever nominated and ultimately selected as one of the four finalists. Two of the four finalists are long-standing companies headed by people I consider personal friends. Ultimately, I was truly surprised to win. While I have had the honor to lead the operation of the Inn for 13 years, it is not always smooth running. Some folks are not as happy as others. Nonetheless, we were customer nominated and Chamber ratified.
After the initial shock, and the many congratulations, I made a quick, retreat to my office where I collapsed in tears and disbelief. That’s how much this recognition means. The reality is that there have been many, many people who have helped bring the Inn to this honor. A few are staff who have been with us for 30 years: Kathy who remains at the Front Desk and Beth who opens and manages the kitchen nearly every morning. Then there are those who have been here for the last eight years and those include my sons, Christopher and Kenny. Joining that list in time is Chef Benjamin. After these named employees, we have a number of folks that have been with us for two or three years, and then there are always a bunch of new ones in the hospitality industry. There is also a long list of those who have been with us for a while and then moved on, each making a contribution to our success.
On top of the employees, we have incredible partnerships that are so important: First and foremost is that with The College of Wooster, our landlord and neighbor. Our partnership with Certified Angus Beef® brings credibility and quality to our menu while frequently bringing their visiting guests to us. Their continued generosity helps us support so many worthy causes within our community: The Village Network, CAMO, The Humane Society, and The Ohio Light Opera to name just a few. As Wooster continues to grow, we are pleased to house, wine and dine the employees and guests of those many important companies. After all, no one can offer the combination of dining, bar, and accommodations that we do. We love to host those business travelers and the many visitors to the College.
When I accepted the award, I mentioned that in some ways competing with the other nominees is difficult since I know them as friends. In reality that will always be the case as Wooster is essential a community of friends and friends-to-be. This brings me to the final and largest component of our success: YOU, our friends, our customers, our guests. Each time there has been a change or an addition or an alteration to the Inn, it has been embraced by the community. This then allows for continued reinvestment and enhancement to the property and the overall experience of the Inn. Ultimately it is impossible for me to convey the depth of my gratitude for all the support that the greater Wooster community has provided in my 13 year journey.
Ken Bogucki - ProprietorContact Ken