Bay b&b wins coveted award
By Geoff Belcher
Jul 1, 2014, 20:22
Jane Alford, owner of Carroll House Bed & Breakfast located at 304 Carrol Ave. in Bay St. Louis, displays the Certificate of Excellence which TripAdvisor recently awarded to the facility based on customer reviews.
It's been a banner year for Bay St. Louis entrepreneur Jane Alford.
First, she was elected president of the Old Town Merchants Assoc.; then, she opened a second location of her Bay-Tique beach shop; then she was named one of the Top Ten Citizens of the Year in Hancock County; and, most recently, TripAdvisor awarded her Carroll House Bed & Breakfast with a coveted Certificate of Excellence.
"I couldn't be happier," Alford said last week after getting the award. "It's based on Five-Star customer reviews, so that means everything.
"Our main goal is to make people feel as comfortable here as they feel at home. We''re kind of a laid-back bed & breakfast, more like a family place."
She shares the credit for the accolades with her fiance and business partner, Kevin Kulpeksa; and Carroll House's housekeeper Rebecca Gourley.
"It couldn't be done without them," she said.
Located at 304 Carroll Ave., Carroll House was built in 1894 and heavily renovated and restored after Hurricane Katrina.
A native of Baton Rouge, Alford moved to Bay St. Louis in 1997, drawn to the relaxed, picturesque atmosphere of the seaside arts community. She purchased the property after more than 25 years working in the healthcare industry specifically to turn it into a b&b.
"It's been kind of a lifelong dream of mine to open a bed & breakfast ...," she said. "It's everything I love, old houses, antiques, gardening, cooking, and I love people – it just kind of all goes together."
"What a wonderful Place to stay in Bay St. Louis," one reviewer said on TripAdvisor last week. "My daughter and I stayed for two nights and it was perfect. Jane and Kevin really know how to treat their guests, from the wonderful breakfast to advising you on what to do in the area. We loved it so much we are going to reserve the whole house and cottage for a family Thanksgiving."
Now Alford is gearing up to celebrate the first anniversary of Bay-Tique this weekend, at both stores – the original location at 203 B North Second Street (in the same building as The Ugly Pirate) and the new shop, 125 Main Street, the former home of Charlotte's Hair Salon & Gifts.
"It keeps me busy," Alford said, "but I love it."