You’ve Met Your Match, Mary Poppins

It’s true what they say…you don’t realize how fast you have been moving until you stop. We have been fortunate enough lately that the Inn has been very busy. In fact, July was our busiest month ever since we opened the Inn. We LOVE when the Inn is full and are grateful for all of our repeat guests and the new people we get to meet on a daily basis. But with more guests, comes more responsibilities. Mary Poppins is one of my all time favorite movies (I even dressed up as her one year for Halloween) and I have been trying, to no avail, to snap my fingers at the piles of linens or at the unmade beds and magically finish all of the seemingly unending tasks. But I think it is finally time to come to terms with the fact that Mary Poppins is just a movie character and I’m just going to have to roll up my sleeves and get dirty. 
Thankfully, it is not a one-man show at the Inn. We have the best staff at the Inn and none, I repeat, NONE, of what we do at the Inn would be possible without them. Honestly, with the group we’ve got working here, I think we could give Mary Poppins and her snapping fingers a run for their money. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to introduce you to all of them today on the level I would like, but throughout the year, I will be doing interviews with them so you can get to know each of them a little better and put some faces to the Main Street Inn name. For today, I will start with the employee who has been here the longest and is the fastest bacon fryer this side of the Mississippi. So, without further ado…
Meet Meghan

  

When and why did you start working at the Main Street Inn?

I began working at the Main Street Inn in the fall of 2010 after working on an organic vegetable farm down in Bucks County. Pam’s middle daughter, Jo who is one of my best friends, had been working at the Inn, but was planning to move out of town for work and Pam was looking for her replacement. Right place at the right time! I have known the Corrado family since I was a kid. I even got snowed in at their house for a week during the ‘96 snowstorm.

Describe your typical day and responsibilities.

I get to the Inn bright and early, usually before any of the guests are up. I get the guest kitchen set up for breakfast as I wait for the guests to come down from their rooms, While I wait, I am usually in the kitchen getting some baking done for the week or weekend. I cook breakfast to order, then as the guests check out, I start cleaning the rooms, doing laundry, answering the phone and taking reservations.

What is your favorite thing about working at the Inn?

I enjoy the baking a lot. Coming up with new cookie or bread recipes for the guests to enjoy. I also like talking with the guests. They come from all over the world and are always very interesting to talk to. I love to travel and it is always fun to talk with guests about where they are from or where they have traveled. 

Least favorite?

I don’t know if I really have a least favorite. Sometimes the piles of laundry in the basement can seem endless.

You are quite talented in the kitchen. Where did you get your cooking skills?

Both of my parents are great cooks. I grew up eating really well at both my mom and dad’s house. My dad makes the absolute best dippy eggs, cookies, and desserts and my mom never makes the same meal twice, she is very creative in the kitchen and the result is always delicious.

What is one thing you would like to see us add to the Inn?

Our outdoor seating area is so beautiful. I think it would be great to open a little café in the Inn and open the courtyard to patrons of the café to sit and enjoy the beautiful sycamore trees.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

In January my fiancé, John, and I opened our own yoga studio called Kutztown Yoga. The studio is located just a few blocks from the Inn in the old Town Hall building on North Whiteoak Street. We spend a lot of our time at the studio when we aren’t at work.

Tell me more about Kutzotwn Yoga. How did the idea start? What is it like owning your own business? Where and how do you see it growing?

I was teaching yoga classes in and around Kutztown since 2012 and after John and I returned to Kutztown after traveling around the country for 7 months in 2014, we had a lot of family and friends asking us when and where was yoga going to start again. We wanted to serve our community and build a business that would bring people together. John and I both love practicing and teaching yoga and thought opening our own studio would be a great way to bring our community together, fulfill the needs of the locals, and help people in the best way we know how. We hope the studio will grow as more people hear about us. Word of mouth is our best advertiser right now. We hope to add more classes to the schedule to accommodate the busy schedules of our students and make attending a yoga class more convenient for them. We would love to offer workshops in partner yoga, restorative yoga, and kids yoga. Owning my own business is scary but fun. I love having control over my own studio space and my own schedule. I have met so many wonderful people who live in and around Kutztown just since opening in January. The support system we have is absolutely amazing.

Tell me about your family.

My family is from the Kutztown/Allentown area. I am what people around here call a “townie.” I grew up in Kutztown along with my two brothers and one sister. I am very close with my family and they all live fairly close so we get to see each other a lot. My fiancé, John, and I met while attending KU for our Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees. He is from East Petersburg, near Lancaster. We have been together since 2008 and are getting married next year. We have traveled around the country together for a total of 10 months over the past 7 years. We look forward to building our business here in Kutztown and becoming a bigger part of the community.

What is one thing we would be surprised to know about you?

When John and I met, one of our first conversations with each other was in Japanese. He had studied abroad there for a summer and I had hosted Japanese exchange students for a few summers. We don’t know much, but we formed a connection that way and we both would love to learn to speak it someday and travel around Japan together. I also would love to learn how to play the ukulele.

Until Next Time…

Your “Determined to Make These Snapping Fingers Work” Innkeeper,

Shena

*If you are interested in taking classes at Kutztown Yoga while you stay at the Inn, don’t worry about packing a mat or assistive blocks. Meghan provides both for her customers who either don’t have one or forgot to bring one. Visit Kutztown Yoga on Facebook to see her schedule and get more information. 

Don’t Worry Kutztown, Age is Just a Number

As I am sitting here writing this post on the front porch of the Inn, I just waved to my dad who was turning from Baldy St onto Main St. I saw the mayor of the town walking with her husband, and I saw my landlord leaving work and walking across the street to his house. A friend was power walking up the street for exercise and the son of the owner of the Kutztown Strand was strolling by with a friend. What I love about all of that is that I will most likely see all of them at least one more time by the end of the day. Kutztown is small town life at it’s finest. That’s why, in addition to being the Innkeeper here at the Inn, I also decided to join the Kutztown Bicentennial Committee to help plan the week long celebration. When I leave here today, I will head over to the Kutztown Area Historical Society for our last Kutztown Bicentennial Committee meeting before the celebration kicks off on Saturday. Just yesterday, I was having drinks at the K’town Pub for a friends birthday and we were discussing how strange it is that we have been planning this celebration for three years. It feels like just yesterday I was asked by Craig Koller, Bicentennial chairman, to join the committee. But here we are, less than three days from the first event when all of our hard work is about to pay off. 

It’s a bittersweet feeling, really. On one hand, I won’t be seeing the committee members anymore and truthfully, they have started to feel like family. We’ve shared this common bond for so long, it will be sad saying “see ya later” and not knowing when that later will be. But on the other, I am excited to get some free time back and finally be able to enjoy these events we have been planning for so long. 

And you should come out and enjoy them, too. We have an event (or in some cases two events) every day from Saturday, July 25th through Sunday, August 2nd. The full schedule is shown below and you can get more information about each of the events on the website at www.kutztownboro.org/bicentennial. And as a little added surprise, we will be inviting people to enjoy our courtyard from 3pm to 6pm on Saturday with some music, food, beer from Saucony Creek Brewing Co., wine from Vynecrest, and some fun raffles of local items. I will be posting some more information about that tomorrow on our Facebook. For now, take a look at the Bicentennial events and I hope to see as many of you there as possible in support of our home town. 

Until next time…

Your “Kutztown’s Biggest Fan” Innkeeper,

Shena

Passing the Torch

For many of you, the name Main Street Inn is synonymous with Pam Corrado. So, when the “For Sale” sign went up last year, it triggered some sad faces and disappointed feelings. It was a difficult decision for Pam to decide to sell the Inn, but after 7 years of hard work and few vacations, she came to the conclusion that it was time to take a break. The sign went up and stayed there; a constant reminder of what was coming to an end. There were a few bites and some interested buyers, but ultimately the sign remained well into the winter months. 

Around the same time, I began to lose enjoyment in my current job as an insurance claims adjuster and yearned for the conversations with guests that I used to have at the Main Street Inn. By mid February, I had had enough of my desk job and approached my parents about coming back to the Inn to take my mom’s place. This Inn held a special place in my heart and I didn’t want to see it leave my family just as much as any of you did. 

At first, my parents had their hesitations and not without reason. After all, I had worked at the Inn and left once before to pursue a more corporate career. But I was older now, more aware of what I knew I didn’t want and sure of what I did. I wanted to carry on the family business; keep the Main Street Inn a “home away from home” for travelers in the charming college town of Kutztown, PA. With a Bachelor degree in marketing from Kutztown University of PA and a Master degree in Hospitality and Tourism management from Florida International University, this was right up my alley. Not to mention, I had been learning from the virtuoso herself since I was born, right?!

So I did some convincing and made some promises and they finally said YES! The “For Sale” sign had met its demise. And not because we had sold, but because we decided to keep it in the family and carry on what my mom had started. I’m excited to continue many of the practices my mom has put in place and improve on a few things to make your stay at the Main Street Inn as exceptional and unforgettable as possible. But don’t worry, we won’t venture far from what is already here so you can still expect the same service and amenities you’ve had all along. 

I hope you will follow along with me as I make my way through some new territory and share my journey, behind the scenes tidbits, local information about Kutztown, and tips and secrets I’m learning along the way. I’m sure it will make for an enjoyable ride.

Your Enthusiastic and Eager Innkeeper,

Shena

P.S. My mom says hello and that you are in good hands…and that she is only a 7 minute drive away from a visit and some drinks in the courtyard.