A home away from work
Four years ago, my business partner Dr. Ed Farnham and I purchased the Hexagon House, a bed and breakfast in Pentwater, Mich., off Lake Michigan.
Four years ago, my business partner Dr. Ed Farnham and I purchased the Hexagon House, a bed and breakfast in Pentwater, Mich., off Lake Michigan. And we've had the time of our lives with our unusual acquisition.
Our responsibilities include marketing, accounts payable, gardening, light maintenance, schmoozing the guests, and sampling the breakfasts on a regular basis—for quality assurance, of course. Our fantastic innkeepers live and work at the house year-round and treat us as if we were guests at our own bed and breakfast.
Over the summer, we work at the bed and breakfast one weekend a month to give the innkeepers a break. Some guests even request to stay those weekends—there are more martinis served when we run the house. We like to go kayaking or mountain biking and get everyone involved in outdoor activities.
We have a ball interacting with guests and pretending to know what we're doing as adjunct innkeepers—taking off the white jackets and cooking up apple-stuffed French toast for a group of 10.
We have birthday, Halloween, and murder-mystery parties, and weddings at the Hexagon House. And our clients and staff love it, too. We do a Christmas drawing for our team members to win a free weekend at the house. We award a stay to the owner of our clinic's "Pet of the Year." And we do our strategic planning there—two to three times a year the clinic pays to rent out the whole house, and a group of five or six leaders attend.
This will be our fourth year owning the house and we hope to break even. A property investment that's paying for itself is one of many rewards.
I'm still not sure what possessed us to venture into this new business, but it has been a very positive adventure with new friends, new challenges, and an interesting outlet for those nonmedical skills. A unique distraction from your day-to-day veterinary life encourages your imagination and enlists your creativity, opening up a new set of opportunities for fun and fulfillment. —By Dr. Dave Durham
Drs. Ed Farnham and Dave Durham and Boone relax at their bed and breakfast in Pentwater, Mich. They enjoy interacting with guests and serving up apple-stuffed french toast. (See vetecon.com for their recipe).