ALBION — In January 2009, Albion resident Tammy Luce was within the crawl area of her historic purple brick dwelling, attempting to feed wires for cable TV and the phone up by means of the ground. Buddies had been ready above, able to seize the wires.
The temperature was properly beneath freezing.
“I really like ice fishing, however I’ve by no means been that chilly in my life,” Luce stated. “I used to be in there two or three hours.”
Luce was putting in the wires as only one activity earlier than she opened her bed-and-breakfast inn, on prime of a hill overlooking downtown Albion and the Noble County Courthouse Sq.. Her frigid expertise below the home was an epiphany.
“This should be how Noah felt when he constructed the ark,” she stated.
Thus the Brick Ark Inn was born within the 1880 Italianate dwelling. Luce opened the inn with three visitor rooms on her birthday in July 2009, and later expanded to 5 visitor rooms due to demand. The pandemic has slowed the variety of guests, so Luce has dropped again to a few visitor rooms with the intention to comply with pointers, do further sanitizing and maintain each visitors and her household protected.
The inn marked its eleventh anniversary this 12 months. Luce stated when she first opened the inn, she thought she might need guests from the tri-state space, perhaps 5 states and perhaps 5 overseas international locations. She underestimated what would occur.
“Indiana is actually the crossroads of America,” she stated.
Luce has hosted visitors from 49 states, with Hawaii because the exception, and 72 international locations, together with Australia and China.
“That has been one of many largest surprises and largest blessing,” she stated. “I’ve buddies worldwide.”
She has visited a few of her visitors in Ohio, Georgia, Indiana and Florida, and hopes to journey extra, even overseas, when she retires. “Guests are a beautiful blessing. The world involves me,” Luce stated.
She semi-retired from her accounting enterprise in October 2019 so she may have extra time to go to her daughter, Jessica, and son-in-law, Pat, in Evansville.
Jessica is a speech and language pathologist for an Evansville faculty district and Pat is a lawyer. Luce’s son, Kaleb, died in a automotive accident in 2013.
Luce stated she’s discovered easy methods to cook dinner breakfast for her visitors, getting ready dishes like wontons and rice for her Chinese language visitors, or cheese, meats, breads and fruit for her visitors from Spain, France and Brazil. She usually asks visitors what their favourite breakfasts are and cooks accordingly.
She additionally cooks an America breakfast, utilizing her grandmother’s recipes, which she tweaks a bit of to include much less sugar. She will get recipes from the Meals Community’s “Brunch @Bobby’s” and different cooking reveals, and finds recipes in magazines.
“I like to serve dishes with native produce and from my very own backyard,” she stated. “And I really like Nation Roads espresso.”
Nation Roads is a close-by espresso roasting enterprise. Luce sources her eggs, produce and maple syrup from native growers. She additionally caters to her visitors’ dietary wants with a lot of recipes for gluten-free, Keto and vegetarian dishes.
The size of keep for visitors usually determines whether or not they need to eat an American breakfast or one thing extra acquainted. Visitors who keep solely brief time usually eat the American breakfast, Luce stated. Those that keep longer just like the consolation of their very own acquainted meals.
Customer support is Luce’s tenet within the inn’s operation. She will supply flexibility in check-in and check-out instances in instances the place visitors are right here to attend a marriage or funeral. She takes bank cards to carry reservations, as most inns do, however doesn’t course of the transaction till she is certain her visitors are happy with their room and the meals.
“One of the best people stick with me,” she stated. “I’ve discovered a lot, one thing new from each visitor.”
Luce has hosted ultramarathon runners, who visited Albion to run a race at Chain O’Lakes State Park. She’s hosted a West Level cadet and lots of enterprise vacationers. Luce is writing a ebook about how the inn was a step ahead in religion, and can share a few of these tales.