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From "The Love Boat" to Scotland to Maine
Annette, Terry and Jade's Blue Harbor House Bed & Breakfast

(Camden, Maine)

Five-year-old Jade Hazzard furrows her brow below her blonde curls and declares, "I've learned cookie and candy." She's only recently switched from "biscuit and sweet" - the British equivalents for these words - since moving from Edinburgh, Scotland to Camden with her parents, who have purchased the Blue Harbor House on Elm Street from longtime innkeepers Dennis Hayden and Jody Schmoll.

Experienced members of the hospitality industry, Annette and Terry Hazzard met while working aboard the cruise ship Pacific Princess (which played the part of the "Love Boat" in the TV series). Ever since the ship's itinerary brought them to the Maine coast some fifteen years ago, they've known they would like to return some day.

First, however, they went home to Scotland, married, and Terry became bar manager at the famous Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. Of the hotel, he says "It's got five stars and it's where the stars stay. I met Mel Gibson while he was there to film Braveheart, and Liam Neeson when he was there for the making of Rob Roy."

The Hazzards subsequently purchased a six-room B&B in Edinburgh and, two years later, bought a small hotel, which they ran for five years. They do not plan to make major changes at the Blue Harbor House, instead simply adding a Scottish accent to the warm Down East hospitality for which the inn has always been known.

The Hazzards will keep the inn open year round, whereas Dennis Hayden and Jody Schmoll had closed in recent years during the off season.

"We'll still be making many of Dennis's delicious breakfast specialties," says Terry, noting that they do plan to add a traditional Scottish breakfast, complete with porridge, sausages, bacon, and eggs. They will also continue to offer the inn's popular dinners to lodging guests, including a full lobster feast.

"We're very familiar with lobster and how to cook it," he adds, "as the same species is caught in the cold waters off Scotland."

Terry is also looking forward to introducing guests to Scotland's famous single-malt whiskies. He has a collection of about 150 miniature bottles, which he will put on display. "I plan to make the little room off the dining room into a whisky snug," he explains.

Before settling on the Blue Harbor House, the Hazzards did look, unsuccessfully, for an inn to buy in California, because Annette's sister lives there, and in Florida, "because that's where all the Brits seem to go," she explains. Then they remembered how much they'd liked Maine. They contacted Nick Wharton at Prudential Northeast Properties Lodging Division, whose office is in Camden. "Nick was super," says Annette, "as was Tim LaPlante, also with Prudential's Lodging Division, who was serving as Dennis and Jody's representative."

They considered inns in other coastal Maine towns, but when they came to Camden, Terry says "it was love at first sight."

Its vibrant year-round community made it an especially appealing place to raise their daughter. Jade will be starting kindergarten at Rockport Elementary School in the fall, and has already begun making friends with neighborhood children.

Jade is an old hand at innkeeping, having been in the business since she was an infant - the Hazzards opened their hotel when she was merely three weeks old.

She usually wears her official Blue Harbor House apron while doing her regular jobs: turning the Vacancy sign to No Vacancy, and folding the napkins for breakfast. She also loves chatting with guests.

The Hazzards passed papers on the inn in late June, jumping in just as the summer season got into full swing. They report that it's all going very well. "Dennis and Jody couldn't have been nicer in all our transactions," Annette says. "They handed us a truly first-class business, with lots of wonderful repeat guests. Plus we've had a fantastic welcome to Camden, especially from all the other innkeepers in the Camden B&B Association. The Chamber of Commerce has been so helpful, too. We're thrilled to be here."

 

Story and photos supplied by:

Annette Hazzard
Blue Harbor House
Camden, Maine

 

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