The winners for the annual Cornwall Tourism Awards have recently been announced with winners being awarded a Gold, Silver or Bronze award at the ceremony on the 2nd November. This year there was a record number of applicants with 180 entries in the Cornwall area and 644 across the South West. From this judges whittled them down to 75 finalists thanks to their evidence submitted and a mystery visit.
We spoke to one of our customers Steve from Wadebridge B&B who was the winner of the gold for ‘Bed and Breakfast of the Year’ to find out more about his property.
How does it feel to be a finalist in the awards?
It’s very gratifying to be honest as I think the competition was quite stiff this year. They say there were more entries than ever before so it’s very nice to be at the top of your tree.
What do you think winning awards like this does for your business?
Well obviously it doesn’t do any harm. It’s a process that involves a mystery shopper plus having to sit and write the entry so it really makes you think about the business and where you can do things better. The mystery shopper feedback is always very valuable- even if you don’t get any further. The mystery shopper is a genuine guest, you don’t know who they are, and hopefully as I got through, mine was ok!
Can you tell us a bit more about your property?
Well I’ve been running the bed and breakfast for five years. I was made redundant from the council, so I decided that I’d like to do something else – and I’d always been fascinated by hotel structures and how things are organised. It’s a very contemporary house in Wadebridge in Cornwall. Wadebridge isn’t naturally a tourist town it’s a market town, but it’s surrounded by big tourist destinations. The town has the highest number of independent shops than any high street in the country. We’ve also got great independent restaurants. I just always wanted my place to be the best of what I could do. And hopefully when we know what’s happening with the awards, as we’re just finalists at the moment, the award will back up what we’re trying to portray in our marketing. I try to listen to the customers and try and anticipate what they might need. I’m there if they need anything like directions, I do things like day trips where I’ll write a route for them. They tell me where they want to go and I use my local knowledge to give them the best of the local area. So I very often write an itinerary for them.
Do you use locally sourced products in your B&B?
I’ve got an AA breakfast award particularly for the local produce. All of the cooked produce is local – obviously cornflakes is a bit more difficult to find. When I can’t get particularly local produce I use what I call the next best thing which is Cornish yogurt and West Country Organic yogurt. My eggs come from the farm that I can see from my window.
What’s the best part of your job?
Well it’s meeting people isn’t it. It all revolves around you and what you offer the customer and making them as happy as you can. I’m one for always trying to do the best I can for them.
Do you have any funny guest stories you can share?
I couldn’t possibly be so indiscreet! Everybody has a different take on how they are going to enjoy Cornwall. And I enjoy getting to the bottom of making that the best I can for them. And really everybody is different, everybody’s got a story and that’s the joy of the industry.
To read more guest stories click here.