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Power OF 10

The Hospitality Ambassadors

These 10 local bed & breakfast and inn owners share with us why they got into the hospitality business, what they love about it and why visitors keep coming back for more.

1. Michael Braid

Sam Matthews House, Owner

“I love meeting people from all over the world who come and stay ... [Stuart] is out of the hustle of Palm Beach and Broward counties. We’re kind of an ideal spot.”

2. Gail McCandless

Bella’s B&B, a Tropical Treasure, Owner

“The area is quaint with a pace slower than the counties to our south. ... All the good qualities of our home can be epitomized in Bella, my sweet Labradoodle: friendly, loving, protective ... and happy to see you when you come home.”

3. Donna Flewelling

Seminole Inn,Innkeeper

“My parents bought the inn almost 20 years ago when the building was scheduled to be torn down. The inn is part of Indiantown’s history and is so dear to us that we couldn’t let it happen. We try to make everyone feel at home here.”

4. Melynda Wakeman

River Palm Cottages & Fish Camp, Owner

“We love fishing and wanted to bring back a little piece of Old Florida to our area. ... The pineapple is a sign of welcome and hospitality, and Jensen Beach used to be the pineapple capital of the world.”

5. Chris Block

Mellon Patch Inn, Co-Owner and Business Manager

“We love the area and the property’s location to both the beach ... and the Indian River. I love meeting people, and providing personal hospitality and good food.”

6. Elizabeth Nugent

Jensen Beach Inn, Co-Owner

“We wanted to offer a luxury stay for an affordable price, allowing visitors to explore our friendly historic downtown. Our guests are truly an extension of our family and friends.”

7. Steven G. Vitale

Old Colorado Inn, Owner

“I wanted to restore two, 100-year-old historic hotel buildings in downtown Stuart. People should visit to experience Old Florida charm in beautiful, revitalized downtown areas.”

8. Dorothy Engels-Gulden

The Harbor Inn & Marina, Owner

“Stuart represents why all of us left the big city. You can have it all, but on a smaller, more personal scale. ... The ship’s wheel [shows] that the property is on the St. Lucie River.”

9. Marilyn Miller

Inn Shepard’s Park Bed & Breakfast, Owner

“I enjoy that I’m able to share my little piece of paradise with people from near and far. Chatting with my guests during breakfast is one of my favorite parts of my job.”

10. the Wacha family (shown: frank Wacha)

The Inn at Tilton Place

“It has always been my dream to open a [B&B] and I couldn’t think of a better place to do so than in my family’s ancestral home. My guests are looking for a relaxing, quiet, fun place to get away from their day-to-day lives.” – Katie Wacha, innkeeper

Photography by Kristen Browning