Nathan and Staci White were looking for a change last fall. The couple was raising their daughter, Savannah, in California, and they were searching for a new purpose in life.
Staci grew up in a Navy family and lived in California and Louisiana – moving from base to base through the years. Nathan grew up in England and stayed in one place. That is, until he graduated college and moved to California with grand plans.
Two weeks into his stay in the Golden State, Nathan met Staci and all those plans changed. The couple lived there for 12 years before packing up and moving across the country to Slaty Fork.
The trip was to help them determine if they were just visiting or if they wanted to become permanent residents. It led to them to buy the Morning Glory Inn Bed and Breakfast.
“We came out here this time last year,” Nathan said. “It was Thanksgiving, so I was like, ‘I’ve got some time, let’s just go on this trip.’ We literally drove across the country. It was an adventure, for sure.”
“I’m not a road trip person, but this was cool,” Staci said.
“We came here – sort of vacation, sort of maybe we will look for a house,” she continued. “So we decided we’d put it in God’s hands. So [Nathan] was looking in California, and we were looking here and we were like, ‘whatever door opens,’ and this was it. By that time, he knew he wanted to live here, too.”
The family spent several months at the B&B before deciding to buy it from owners Rod Molidor and Karin Anderson, who built the sprawling seven bedroom B&B.
“Rod and Karen built the reputation for this place,” Nathan said. “We go to know Rod really well. They moved to Arizona. They wanted some warm weather and little-to-nothing to do, so they can enjoy their retirement.”
Before moving west, the former owners helped Nathan and Staci find their footing in the B&B industry.
The Whites were impressed with the sound structure of the B&B and with several small upgrades, the Morning Glory Inn was ready to enter its new phase as a welcoming home away from home for visitors to the county.
“I’ve done pretty much all of it myself now,” Nathan said of the upgrades. “I don’t like to do electrical and I don’t like to do plumbing. You can make a mistake on other stuff and you can fix it. When it comes to electrical and plumbing, it’s a different story.”
“We wanted to give every other place we looked at a chance, and nothing compared to this place,” Staci said. “This is a really well built house. That was one of the things we were looking at. The structure, the quality, and there was just nothing else like this.”
Nathan was so enthusiastic about the possibilities for additions to the B&B, that he got a little ahead of himself, but Staci helped reel him in.
One project he wanted to start before the winter season was the addition of small cabins on the hillside next to the main Inn.
“We were going to try to break ground before winter, but Staci – being wiser than me – was like, ‘I think right now we need to really think about what we’re doing with the main building,” he said.
“I have a bad habit of taking on too much. I get excited.”
The couple is considering building a house on the hillside instead of cabins, but there is always time for new ideas.
In the meantime, Nathan, Staci and Savannah live on the first floor of the B&B, leaving five spacious suites upstairs available for visitors to rent.
The family is also joined by their dog, Rosebud, who happily and eagerly greets guests at the front door. Her bark is bigger than her bite and really, all she needs is a little scratch on the head and a few pets to make you her new best friend.
“She’s our doorbell,” Staci said, laughing. “We were hoping it wouldn’t bother the guests because she barks every single time. The same guest could come in and out, bringing in their suitcases and she barks. Everybody is so understanding. They’re like, ‘well that’s her job.’”
Two of the guest rooms have two large beds, two with one bed and a couch and one room has three beds and a couch. They are roomy with sitting areas, bathrooms and a “kitchen” nook with a microwave and refrigerator.
“That was one of the things Rod and Karen had decided because they had been in the hospitality industry for so many years, that they just felt hotel rooms were too small,” Staci said. “So they decided they were going to make the rooms big here.
“When we got here and we walked around with the real estate agent – we looked at the rooms – and were like, ‘you could cut these rooms in half and they’d still be big rooms,’” she added. “They’re beautiful. They have vaulted ceilings.”
The Inn is also very pet friendly, so the rooms are spacious enough for a family and the family pet.
“We were going to choose just one room for animals, but it seems like everybody has an animal,” Staci said. “So were going to rip all the carpet out upstairs, so that way if we do get someone with an allergy, we can clean the room effectively.”
As for the other B of B&B, it’s been an interesting year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Whites have not been providing a home cooked breakfast, opting instead to provide meal vouchers to the Last Run Restaurant and Route 66. They also have pastries from Jackson River Bakery and Deli in Monterey, Virginia.
Now that the restrictions have eased, Staci said she plans to open the kitchen and dining area for guests to enjoy a breakfast with several options.
The Morning Glory Inn Bed and Breakfast is located between Slaty Fork and Snowshoe and shares an entrance with Slatyridge Farm.
For more information, visit www.morninggloryinn.com or call 304-572-5000.