In January 2005, we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by staying at the Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast Inn in Gainesville, Florida, which is owned by our cousins, Joe and Cindy Montalto. We were soon to be empty nesters after raising three sons and were planning on doing “something” different, but weren’t quite sure what that “something” would be. After spending one night at the Magnolia Plantation with our cousins our wheels starting turning…”you know, I think this would be a great way to spend the rest of our lives,” says Pat.
As soon as we got home we started researching the B & B industry on the Internet, purchased books and even contacted some B & B’s that were for sale. Two weeks after the research we were on our way to Mount Dora to look at a B & B for sale. On the way to Mount Dora, though, we decided to call our cousins and tell them the good news! Well, that was the beginning of our two-year adventure!
Our cousin Joe not only found us one Victorian Mansion to restore, but TWO…and just two doors down from their Inn! Unfortunately, neither house was for sale, so we sent a letter and signed contract to the current owners with our intent to purchase. The owners were flattered, but were not interested in selling.
Well, we weren’t giving up that easily! After 6 months of negotiations we finally received a signed contract for the houses. The rest is history.
Now, we are happy to live in Gainesville and live out our dream of working for ourselves. Come see us soon!