February 20, 2017

Naperville’s Bed and Breakfast

“Okay, I’ll see you tonight,” said a guest at the Harrison House Bed and Breakfast to Innkeeper Debbie Browning.

A greeting from guest to innkeeper, and between friends.

“Each guest brings such joy and such a new experience to me that I’m never reliving the same day again and again,” said Browning.

Days that start bright and early for Debbie Browning the owner and Innkeeper of the Harrison House Bed and Breakfast, as she hand makes breakfast for all guests.

“To me the motto is ‘if they eat well, and eat organic, they will live long, healthy lives and come back often,’” said Browning as she cooks in the kitchen.

A positive outlook Debbie has had for the past two years, ever since purchasing the bed and breakfast from previous owners, the Harrisons.

“They ran it for almost 30 years, before they ended up putting it on the market,” explained Browning. “My husband and I, we came through an open house and from the moment we walked up the front steps, we felt like this was home. It was just beautiful, beautiful, warm, inviting home, and it happened to have guests.”

And while neither had experience running a bed and breakfast, Debbie was looking for a job to do in her retirement, after a career in the energy industry that included a lot of travel and many stays in B and B’s.

“We debated seriously, did we want to keep it as a private home, or did we want to keep it as a B and B, and we had guests that actually helped make the decision,” said Browning. “They were here in the house when we had closed on it, and they begged for us to keep it as a B and B because they loved staying here. Since then I love being the innkeeper because I get to meet and take care of those guests.”

Beyond making breakfast, taking care of guests also includes cleaning, washing and running the business side of things.

But those tasks are worth it when each new guest comes to stay.

“You think you’ve met the nicest person in the world until the next one walks in. So I think that’s the biggest thing that keeps me going and jumping out of bed every morning. Being able to get to know and to serve that next guest,” said Browning.

Thirty percent of Harrison House guests live or work within a 20-mile radius of the bed and breakfast.

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.

 

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