Liesl, owner of The Historic Browning Guest House, talks about the inspiration for opening a B&B, and some of her favorite travel spots. She also shares the reason she decided to become a 5 Star Partner with Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee, owned by actor and entrepreneur, Scott Patterson, best known as diner owner, Luke Danes in Gilmore Girls.
Lauren – Travel and Write Today: Can you tell us about The Historic Browning Guest House? What inspired you to open a B&B?
Liesl — The Historic Browning: In 2016, I worked 60-hours a week in a Corporate HR job. Unfortunately, this left me little time to prioritize what mattered most to me. Being a natural achiever, I throw myself into things and give too much of myself. It was time for me to break that toxic pattern in my life, but I didn’t know how. I remember lamenting to my husband one day after work and he said, “What do you really want to do with your life?” At the time I found his question annoying and unhelpful. After a good night’s sleep, I realized this question was entirely more thought providing than I realized. I pondered the question all day at work. The following evening, I had my eureka moment: I want to own an Inn! The following week, my husband found a listing for a single-family home. We toured it, fell in love and immediately starting plotting to open the Historic Browning.
TWT: How did it come to you?
Liesl: I dug deep on my core values. I thought long and hard about the things that bring me joy: helping people be the best versions of themselves, serving others, designing spaces that give people rest and hosting. This wasn’t a life-long dream, but the story had been in my heart for decades. As a little girl I used to watch Hallmark Christmas movies with my dad-and later I became a huge Gilmore Girls fan. I found meaning in these stories from a young age and knew they were pointing me towards something bigger.
TWT: You already know how much I love Gilmore Girls, but I’m also excited for Hallmark Christmas Movies every single year!
TWT: When did you start baking? I love seeing photos of your homemade donuts. They look so delicious!
Liesl: This part surprises most people. I did not grow up baking. Part of opening the Inn was learning to make delicious made-from-scratch baked goods. I tried different recipes that I found on Pinterest. Much to my surprise, I had this natural talent for baking. I have been baking for nearly four years now, and I love it! It is my form of meditation, it is my quiet space, and it is something that I’m fairly good at… Seeing the reaction of our guests makes it even more enjoyable.
I love making donuts, and I am particularly obsessed with my Pumpkin Donuts rolled in cinnamon and sugar. I make them every single fall!
TWT: When it is safe to travel, I would love to stay at the inn – I will join you for a maple bacon donut and a cup of coffee. Where are some of your favorite places to travel?
Liesl: Yes! I will make you a hot cup of Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee, and we can enjoy some donuts together. I love Chicago — My sister lives there and I visit regularly. There is nothing like Garrett’s Popcorn, Lake Michigan in the summer or Lou Malnatti’s for Deep Dish Pizza! Also, I absolutely love Boulder Colorado. I love the mountains, visiting National Parks and skiing. Boulder is the perfect location because you can enjoy the city and it is a short drive to all the things I love.
TWT: We are just a few days away from the first day of Fall – what are some of the best fall activities in the area?
Liesl: Visiting pumpkin patches, fall festivals like Oktoberfest (unfortunately not happening this year), and the Haunted and Historic Spaces Tour in downtown Lee’s Summit.
TWT: What did you think when you first tried Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee?
Liesl: I was really excited about Scott Patterson’s line of coffee, but nervous to try it. As I mentioned, I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan. I needed Luke’s coffee to be exceptional because…well…he’s Luke. I ordered the KCups online so I could experience Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee, before becoming a 5 Star Partner. I remember putting the first pod in the Keurig. I tasted the first sip and thought: Scott Patterson DOES make an amazing cup of coffee! Since then we’ve not only carried the KCups, but we also brew and serve the delicious Breakfast Blend.
TWT: I know many business owners are considering becoming 5 Star Partners — how did you decide to become a partner?
Liesl: Scott Patterson has said this himself – anyone can make a good cup of coffee. There are a lot of great coffees in the market. However, the key difference with Scott and Elaine is the relationship they provide to their partners. They are extremely personable, supportive, and incredible people.
The most notable part of the partnership is the marketing exposure Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee provides small businesses. Our budget is extremely small for marketing. Scott and Elaine do a great job of getting our businesses exceptional visibility. It is the least amount of money I have spent on a marketing opportunity and it has yielded the greatest exposure. I think this due in part that our audiences beautifully overlap. People following Scott will be interested in following inns and B&Bs, as well. They put their partners front and center through their newsletter, website, and social media accounts.
TWT: I know being an Inn owner occupies so much of your time — what do you, and your family, enjoy doing when you have some down time?
Liesl: I enjoy attending my son’s soccer games almost every Saturday and cheering him on. I love reading, particularly social development and self-help books. Also, we go to the pool all the time in the summer, and as much as I love the fall, it is hard for me to let go of our pool time.
TWT: I know this is a difficult time for business owners, particularly in the hospitality industry. How has the pandemic affected the Inn, and how can we help?
Liesl: The pandemic has been challenging for our business. To keep small businesses alive, it’s important you continue to share your favorite places on social media, like our posts, and promote us to your network. This is a critical thing and it doesn’t cost you any money. If you want to support us financially during this time, purchasing gift cards to use after the pandemic truly helps support business owners during this time.
Follow The Historic Browning Guest House via the links below:
Follow Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee and Scott Patterson on social media
Pinterest:Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee
YouTube: ScottyP’s Big Mug Coffee
Learn more about Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee, and how to become a 5 Star Business Partner: https://www.scottyp.com/
Purchase Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee: https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/953F9EBE-341B-4B34-8A27-D0EBE02FE3EC
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