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Debbie Meritsky

Episode 21: Creating Experiential Opportunities, by Debbie Meritsky

In this episode, you will learn about the importance of creating opportunities for both guests and other small businesses from Debbie Meritsky.

Debbie is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute and has worked in the food industry for over 30 years with an emphasis on local, organic, and seasonal ingredients. Debbie is co-owner of the Black Sheep Inn & Spa located in Hammondsport in the Finger Lakes region of NYS. As the Inn chef, she is an avid proponent of sourcing local organic foods and the clean food movement in the Finger Lakes region. Debbie prepares delicious farm-to-table breakfasts for her guests, sourced from within 50 miles of the Black Sheep Inn & Spa. She also enjoys sharing with her guests those techniques on how to create this lifestyle at home, wherever they may live. Debbie’s other passion is art, and, specifically, creating art from recycled and repurposed “ingredients”. Debbie and her husband Marc created the Arts in Bloom Art Trail to showcase the fantastic art being created in their area. In its 5th year Arts in Bloom is a family-friendly, free community event that features live demonstrations at artist studios and galleries on the trail.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Debbie’s background
  • Why Debbie loves doing farm-to-table & how that helped form her business
  • How Debbie likes to give her guests experiential opportunities when staying with them at the Inn
  • Debbie’s philosophy of, if you’re not having fun doing something then your guests aren’t going to have fun
  • Why you should source what is available now to bring the best to your guests
  • Why it’s not about money – it’s about opportunity
  • Why forming partnerships with other small businesses is one of the biggest but most important challenges you will face
  • The story behind the family-friendly, free community event, Arts in Bloom & the F.L.A.V.O.R. Studio at the Inn
  • The many opportunities for partnerships with the over 100 distinct breweries, cider houses & distilleries in the Finger Lakes region
  • How knowing how to cross-sell can help you create more opportunities
  • The importance of finding local small businesses that understand and want to excel at forming partnerships
  • Why, as tourism partners, you need to build your story to tell the outside world

Ways to contact Debbie:

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