#PeopleOfStaffords: Featuring Ann Schaefer

people of staffords logo
#PeopleOfStaffords is a new blog series featuring employees from our 7 Landmark Locations. We will feature one individual, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the people leading our day-to-day operations.
  • Tell us, Ann, how did you end up in northern Michigan? I grew up in Petoskey and graduated from Petoskey High school. After living in Florida for ten years, my husband and I decided Northern Michigan was the place we wanted to be, so we moved back in September of 2014.
  • What do you do for Stafford’s Hospitality? Payroll / Human Resources
  • What do you love about your job? The fact that I work for (and with) people who genuinely care…about the business, about the people, about the patrons, and about the community. In this day and age, so much of the world is ‘corporatized’ and both as an employee and a customer; it’s too common to feel like a number. It’s incredibly refreshing to share the mindset the each person matters and has a story.
  • In your “free time” what do you do? When I am not spending quality time with my family, I am bicycling or tending my orchids; these are my passions!
  • How would you describe northern Michigan to our guests? Northern Michigan is the perfect affordable escape from ‘keeping up with the Jones,’ the ‘rat race,’ or ‘every day life.’ Whatever is going on in your life, you can come to Northern Michigan and truly experience the meaning of a ‘getaway.’ The environment is clean and pure, the people are warm and family/community oriented, and there is absolutely no limit to the activities and fun one can experience. 
  • Favorite memory of working for Stafford’s? Oh gosh, there are numerous! I worked for Stafford’s in the late 90s, at the Perry Hotel, and one of my favorite memories from that time was when the maintenance worker who was on the night shift with me, showed me some of the nonpublic areas of the hotel, like the boiler room in the basement and the elevator shaft. I thought that was fascinating to see those hidden areas of such a historic hotel. Since my return in September, my favorite memory has been the Christmas luncheon potluck that we shared with each other in the Corporate Office; lots of delicious food, great company, and plenty of laughter!!

Ann Schaefer Blog

A Local Treasure Hunt – Searching for Petoskey Stones!

Petoskey Stones with text
Did you know? The Petoskey Stone is actually fossilized coral that lived 350 million years ago!

When To Find Petoskey Stones
Petoskey Stones – our state stone – may be found anytime of year. We have learned it’s best to look after a storm. However, a search in the early days of spring is most likely to yield the best results! Don’t forget a basket for your collection. Remember: while a dry Petoskey stone may blend in with the crowd, a wet Petoskey stone will be distinct.

Where To Find Petoskey Stones
Here in northern Michigan, we are lucky to be surrounded by beautiful beaches all along the shores of Lake Michigan! Pick your favorite one, and let the hunt begin. One of our favorites is Petoskey State Park. But be sure to check Magnus Park, and Michigan Beach in Charlevoix. If you find yourself searching in the summer months, be sure to pack a picnic and maybe a bathing suit. Make a whole day out of it!

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And remember, if this isn’t your year, you can always pick one up from several local downtown shops or one of our Gift Shops at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge and Stafford’s Perry Hotel.

Things To Do This April

Spring GraphicWelcome to April, where every warm day brings us closer to another incomparable summer on the bay!

Easter Bunny Luncheon
Saturday, April 4, 2 to 2:30 pm
Enjoy the Easter Bunny Luncheon at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant – the little ones may have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny, compliments of Picture This of Charlevoix. After lunch, head to the park for an Easter egg hunt, by age group!Ostern

Easter Egg Hunt At Northern Lights Gymnastics
Saturday, April 4, 4 to 5 pm
For just $4 per child, kids can enjoy an egg hunt, craft projects and cookie decorating! Egg hunts are by age group from 4 to 5 pm. Northern Lights Gymnastics is located on Moeller Drive in Harbor Springs.

EasterEaster Sunday Brunch at Stafford’s
Sunday, April 5
Join us for decadent Easter Sunday Brunch at Stafford’s. $23.95 per adult, $13.95 per child (4 to 12 years old). Reservations recommended. View hours and details here.

Dress Up & Attend The Fancy Nancy Tea Party
Saturday, April 11, 12:30 pm
Dress in your finest, raise a pinky and toast with Little Traverse Youth Choir all things fancy at The Fancy Nancy Tea Party! Enjoy delightful tea sandwiches, desserts, drinks, song, storytime, a fancy photo and priceless memories at Stafford’s Bay View Inn! Tickets are available at McLean & Eakin, $10 per child, $15 per adult.

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Relive The Mystery And Intrigue During The Annual Titanic Dinner
Saturday, April 11, 6 pm
All aboard! The Annual Titanic Dinner at Stafford’s Perry Hotel features a five course dinner, historic presentation on the ship by local historian David Kaplan and a display of models, original newspapers and table settings representing the first, second and third class.$65 per guest inclusive. Period costumes are not required but are encouraged! Reserve your tickets by calling Stafford’s Perry Hotel front desk, 231-347-4000. Make a weekend of it and take the elevator home with our lodging package.
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2 Lads Wine Dinner At Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant
Saturday, April 11, 6 pm
Celebrate Michigan Wine Month with wine maker Cornel Olivier from 2 Lads Winery on Old Mission Peninsula with a wine dinner at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant. View our menu. $55 per guest, reservations required – 231-547-4311.

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Celebrate Michigan Wine Month With A Tuesday Wine Tasting
Tuesday, April 14, 5:30 to 7 pm
Join us at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant for our Tuesday Wine Tasting! Chef Britt will create complimentary appetizers for tasters to enjoy. In honor of Michigan Wine Month, we’ll be featuring Harbor Springs Vineyard & Winery in April! $10 per guest.

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5th Annual Instant Wine Cellar
Friday, April 17, 7 to 10 pm
This fundraiser for the Char-Em United Way is fun at Stafford’s Perry Hotel. Admission is a bottle of wine or a 6 pack of craft beer. The evening will have live music, food by Stafford’s, select wine and beer available, a silent auction and a raffle. Raffle winners take home an “Instant Wine Cellar!”

Make Reservations For Twomey & Silver Oak Wine Dinner
Monday, April 20, 6:30 pm
Join us at The Drawbridge Bistro for a wine dinner featuring Twomey & Silver Oak wines, with guest Michael Solway of Silver Oak.
April Wine Dinner - Bistro

Celebrate Earth Day
Wednesday, April 22, all day
It’s simple. Reduce, reuse and recycle! recycle -2

Enjoy Some Fine Wine and Food at the April Swirl Event
Thursday, April 23, 5:30 to 7 pm
Visit Crooked Tree Arts Center to enjoy art, local musicians, fine wines and food from wonderful restaurants during the April Swirl Event!

(14) Crooked Tree Arts Center

Spring Bridge Tournament at Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Saturday – Sunday, April 25 – 26
This annual tournament is for all bridge card fanatics! A lodging package is available for the weekend, or bridge play is available, too. Visit our website for details, and please call Stafford’s Bay View Inn for your reservation.

Enjoy Live Musical Entertainment at The Noggin Room Pub
Fridays & Saturdays, 8 to 11 pm
Join us for some food, foam and fun with friends- live entertainment every weekend!
april entertainment

Enjoy Some Music & Entertainment at Red Sky Stage
Bliss Fest Jam SessionSundays, 1 to 4 pm
Jazz Jam SessionSundays, 5 to 7 pm
Comedic North Showcase SeriesThursday, April 2, 8:30 pm

Challenge Your Brain with PubStumpers Trivia League
Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8 pm
Round up your team and join us in the Noggin Room Pub for PubStumpers Trivia League. Grab some dinner while you’re there!
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Be Amazed With A Studio & Pottery Demonstration
Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm
Enjoy an open studio day at Sturgeon River Pottery! Watch the artists conduct live demonstrations on pottery and tile making techniques!

Hunt For Petoskey Stones
Spring is the best time to hunt for these treasures. As the snow and ice melts off the bay, try your luck at finding this Michigan treasure. Learn more about Petoskey Stones.

Stones 3What is your favorite spring activity?

All Aboard – Annual Titanic Dinner

Untitled-1Join us at Stafford’s Perry Hotel on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 6 pm to relive the mystery and intrigue. Our annual Titanic Dinner features a five course dinner, historic presentation on the ship by local historian David Kaplan and a display of models, original newspapers and table settings representing the first, second and third class.

Titanic 2013 dinner -9Complimentary photos will also be provided by Paul Retherford Photography. Our menu for the evening features:

Butlered Hors d’ Oeuvres
Roasted Red Pepper Beef Tenderloin Crostini
Grilled Eggplant Roulade
Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp

Soup Course
Petite Marmite – Veal Consomme

Intermezzo
Lemon Sorbet

Removes
Roast Sirloin a la Forestiere
Slow roasted center cut sirloin with wild mushroom sauce, asparagus, lemon butter, parmentier potato

White Star Salad
Romaine leaves, fresh beets, toasted walnuts, chiffonade of fresh mint and white balsamic and grape vinaigrette

Sweet Course
Apple Tart Tartine
Caramelized sliced apples, puff pasty and vanilla ice cream 

Titanic 2013 dinner -159Tickets are $65 per guest inclusive. Period costumes are not required but are encouraged! Reserve your tickets by calling Stafford’s Perry Hotel front desk, 231-347-4000. Make a weekend of it and take the elevator home with our lodging package.140412_083

Cheers To St. Patrick’s Day!

StLindsey, our mixologist from Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, shares her favorite “St. Patty’s Day Drinks.” Stop in and enjoy one of her favorites, or make in the comfort of your own home!

Green Dublin Apple

  • 2 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz. Sour Apple Schnapps
  • 2 oz. White Cranberry Juice
  • Add all three ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Irish Coffee

  • 4 oz. strong, rich hot coffee
  • 1 oz. Irish Whiskey
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Whipped cream
  • Pour the sugar followed by the coffee into a warm Irish coffee glass, mug, or other heat-proof stemmed glass. Stir until dissolved. Add the Irish whiskey and stir again. Top with whipped cream and for extra color, drizzle green crème de menthe on the whipped cream.

Irish Eyes

  • 1 oz. Irish whiskey
  • ¼ oz. green Crème de Menthe
  • 2 oz. cream
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish
  • Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with the maraschino cherry.

What’s your favorite St. Patrick’s Day Drink? Cheers!

Beds by Design – The Making of a Stafford’s Pineapple Bed

BBD LogoDuring the month of December, we gave our Facebook family a chance to win one of two custom Stafford’s Pineapple Bed. Our lucky winners, Kendra and Misty (along with her husband Brian), visited Beds By Design in Harbor Springs to make their signature hand-crafted pineapple beds. Join us as we show you how “Dreams Come True!”

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Collin, Brian, Misty, Zach, Kendra and Rory

Rory Karpathian, owner of Beds By Design in Harbor Springs, has been in the business for over 30 years and Beds By Design has been handcrafting beds for over 10 years. Their process is all in the details.

The first step, picking the firmness of the mattress. They tested a few beds to determine thier preference. Stafford’s Pineapple Beds, found in our hotel rooms, are designed to suit your sleeping preference – firm on one side and plush on the other.

After selecting the firmness, the “Dream Team” (with the help of Kendra, Misty and Brian), began cutting and sewing the fabric that is needed to start the process of making the mattress.DSC_0323

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p2Up next, it’s time to build the mattress! There are many layers of natural fibers that go into a Beds By Design handcrafted mattress for a lifetime guarantee of comfort. First, we assemble their custom box spring. Each coil is inserted into place on a grid by hand and then nailed down to a wood frame. On a queen size box spring there are 80 coils.

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The components of the mattress are then added to the spring unit and then the panels are hog-ringed to the spring unit and ready for the tufting machine.

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After adding the layers to the spring unit, the mattress is then placed into a tufting machine. Beds By Design is one of the few mattress manufacturers who still use hand tufting in their process, which is critical for longevity and ultimate support in a mattress.

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Rory, Kendra and Stafford’s signed a business card to create a time capsule for the Pineapple Beds!

The mattress is manually compressed. This compresses the components in the mattress evenly to proceed with hand tufting. Once this step is done, the tufting machine is vertically flipped.

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After the mattress is compressed, we begin preparing our rosettes and tufts to be tufted into the mattress. The rosettes are made out of wool yarn.

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Smile Misty & Kendra!

Now we begin the tufting process with a long tufting needle, that injects the tufts into the mattress.  It’s harder then it looks!

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The tufting process has now been completed. The mattress is now ready for the final stages.

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First, the mattress needs to be prepped for the tape edge machine. This is done by hand stuffing cotton into the corners of the mattress. DSC_0692

Next,  the mattress is slid into the tape edge machine – this uses a binding tape to binds the sides to the edge of the mattress.

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The final step to complete the mattress is a very important detail – adding the Beds By Design and Stafford’s Hospitality labels. On Stafford’s Pineapple Beds found in our guest rooms, there is a label on each side. One label is firm, the other plush.

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Now that these steps have been completed, the Stafford’s crew, Misty, Brian and Kendra “graduated” from mattress school during their visit!

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“This is like sleeping on a cloud!” -Kendra    

“After a week of sleeping on our new bed, I absolutely love it.” – Misty

Thank you Rory and the Dream Team at Beds By Design for allowing our guests to win a Stafford’s Pineapple Bed!

Beds By Design Show Room – Harbor Springs
8643  M-119
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Phone: (231) 347-0696
Follow Beds By Design on Facebook BBD6

#PeopleOfStaffords: Featuring Debbie Norris

people of staffords logo

#PeopleOfStaffords is a new blog series featuring employees from our 7 Landmark Locations. We will feature one individual, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the people leading our day-to-day operations.
  • Tell us, Debbie, how did you end up in northern Michigan? I was born and raised in Harbor Springs. I was married in 1972 to Carl and we moved to Norfolk, Virginia where Carl was stationed in the Navy. We lived there for 2 1/2 years and moved back to Harbor Springs where we started our family and my husband purchased a business. We have three children and one granddaughter and a grandson on the way! I went to work for Stafford’s in 1993. I was the Rose Room daytime Dining Room Manager for about five years and then moved to the Sales Office where I worked until 1999. In 1999, we sold our house and my husband sold his business and we moved to the Dominican Republic where we served short term missionaries for a year. It was a fantastic opportunity. We came back to the Harbor Springs area in 2000 and started over. I was blessed to have Stafford’s hire me back in the fall of 2000 and have been here since then!
  • What do you do for Stafford’s Hospitality? I’m the Sales Manager for Stafford’s Perry Hotel, Crooked River Lodge and Bay View Inn. I book and plan weddings, meetings and special events for our guests.
  • What do you love about your job? I love my job. I love the people I work with. The atmosphere is wonderful. I couldn’t have chosen a better path. I get to talk with people all day that are planning joyous events such as weddings, family reunions, special events, retreats and corporate events. It is so much fun to help people make their dreams come true!
  • In your “free time” what do you do? I love to travel when I can. My daughter Colista and grandchildren are in Dallas. My son Carl lives in Wisconsin and my daughter Annika lives in Ferndale. We also have an adopted son, Daniel, who lives in the Dominican Republic, so I plan at least two trips a year to see them. I go on short term mission trips when I can. I’m currently planning a short term mission trip to Haiti in 2016. I love to read, camp and ski. I’m very active in my church and community. My favorite hobby is cooking. I have a passion for health. I help run a plant based supper club once a month with an average attendance of 35 people each month. Essential oils are my latest hobby and I love sharing what I learn with my friends and family.
  • How would you describe northern Michigan to our guests? Northern Michigan is a hidden jewel. I have been blessed to travel all over and there is no place that can compare to Michigan. The beauty here is amazing. We have sandy beaches and water everywhere. There is something to do all year long from water sports to winter sports. We have no shortage of things to do in the summer and have the best skiing in the Midwest. There are activities to suit every age from 1 – 90. I love that I don’t have to travel in the summer months, because I have it all in the back yard and when winter hits, the ski hills are just down the road.
  • Favorite memory of working for Stafford’s? I can’t single out a favorite. I have had so many great experiences working for Stafford’s. My favorite thing is my Stafford’s family. When you go to work for Stafford’s you become part of The Stafford’s family.DEbbie

#PeopleOfStaffords: Featuring Shirley Timmons

people of staffords logo

#PeopleOfStaffords is a new blog series featuring employees from our 7 Landmark Locations. We will feature one individual, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the people leading our day-to-day operations.
  • Tell us, Shirley, how did you end up in northern Michigan? I was born and raised in Northern Michigan in the small village of Freesoil, which is 13 miles south of Manistee, MI.
  • What do you do for Stafford’s Hospitality? I have worked at the Crooked River Lodge for the past 9 months as a part-time front desk clerk and night audit.
  • What do you love about your job? What I love most about my job is the relaxed atmosphere the Crooked River Lodge brings, the great co-workers/team that we have and the wonderful beauty of the outdoors which is what Northern Michigan is all about!
  • In your “free time” what do you do? In the free time that I get, I love spending time with my husband and family as well as my four-legged furry daughter, Shantze. I also like to snowshoe, hike and camp.
  • How would you describe northern Michigan to our guests? God’s country! It is a place where you can relax, enjoy the great outdoors and take in the beauty that the city life is unable to offer.
  • Favorite memory of working for Stafford’s? Working part-time and only for 9 months, it is hard to come up with an actual “favorite” memory. I just enjoy coming to work at such a relaxing place with the other friendly staff members!shirley image

14 Things To Do This March

march blog
1. Crawl Along with the Mardi Patty Gras Party
Friday, March 6, 5:30 pm
Enjoy hors d’oeuvres through shops in downtown Petoskey. There are two choices for the restaurant crawl. Mardi Package: entrée at Palette Bistro and dessert at Whitecaps. Patty Package: entrée at Tap 30 and dessert at Stafford’s Perry Hotel. Tickets are $30 per person and available at 231-348-0388.
mardi paddy gras Northern Express Ad WEB

2. Stop by for a Tuesday Wine Tasting
Tuesday, March 10, 5:30 to 7 pm
Visit Stafford’s Pier Restaurant for a taste of select wines and complimentary appetizers by Chef Britt. This month we’ll be featuring Italian Wines with AHD Vintners. $10 per guest, no reservations required.
red_wine_fast pouring
3. Browse the Northern Michigan Home Show
Friday – Saturday, March 13 – 14
Everything you could need for your home building project, under one roof! Browse the booths and displays at North Central Michigan College.

4. Find Your Green and Have Fun at the Irish Hoolie
Saturday, March 14, 6 to 10 pm
Join us at Stafford’s Perry Hotel for some Irish fun! The Annual Irish Hoolie fund-raiser benefits the Robert Emmet Society Scholarship Fund to send a local student at North Central Michigan College to study each year in Ireland.A special Irish basket menu will be available as well as door prizes, silent auction, Irish drink specials and entertainment by The Hooligans, Northern Lights Irish Dancers and The O’Schraves. $10 per guest for admission.

Take the elevator home!
A special room rate of $79 is available the night of the event (breakfast not included). Advanced reservations must be booked by March 8 through Stafford’s Perry Hotel, 231-347-4000.
irish hoolie
5. Think Like a Detective for the Murder Mystery Dinner
Saturday, March 15, 6 pm
Local detectives and out-of-town sleuths are invited to join us at Stafford’s Bay View Inn for a four course interactive Murder Mystery Dinner by Murder Mysteries Ink with “Inspector Russell.” $39 per guest, inclusive. Please call our friendly front desk staff for reservations, 800-258-1886. A lodging package is available.
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6. Call Your Girlfriends, Have a Blast at Cork & Canvas – A Creative Evening
Thursday, March 19, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Local artist Katie Brines will provide step-by-step instructions allowing you to create a one of a kind masterpiece on canvas. No painting talent required! Our fee includes all supplies, wine tastings and light hors d’oeuvres. Each guest will take home a finished piece of artwork. Reservations for this event are required – we fill up fast! $50 per guest. Reserve your spot by calling, 231-347-0142.
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7. Learn How Our Chefs Create Our Classic Dishes During our Cooking Classics Weekend
Friday – Sunday, March 20 – 22
Head North to enjoy a weekend at Stafford’s Bay View Inn. Our guests will enjoy two nights lodging, welcome reception (Friday evening), Country Inn breakfast (each morning), hands-on cooking class (Saturday afternoon) and dinner reception presentation (Saturday evening). Package starts at $325, based on two guests per room (plus tax and gratuities). Please call 800-258-1886 for reservations.
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8. Enjoy Some Fine Wine and Food at the March Swirl Event
Thursday, March 26, 5:30 to 7 pm
Visit Crooked Tree Arts Center to enjoy art, local musicians, fine wines and food from wonderful restaurants!

9. Enjoy Some Music & Entertainment at Red Sky Stage
Bliss Fest Jam Session – Sundays, 1 to 4 pm
Jazz Jam Session – Sundays, 5 to 7 pm
Comedic North Showcase Series – Thursday, March 5, 8:30 pm

10. Challenge Your Brain with PubStumper’s Trivia League
Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8 pm
Round up your team and join us in the Noggin Room Pub for PubStumpers Trivia League. Grab some dinner while your there!
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11. Bring Your Sketch Book and Order a Drink For Drink & Draw Wednesdays
Wednesdays, 6 to 9 pm
Gather at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant for an opportunity to draw with friends an d live models!

12. Bundle Up for the Community Sledding Party
Saturday, March 7, 5 to 8 pm
Families and friends of all ages will enjoy St. Patrick’s Day themed games, prizes, and crafts!

13. Be Amazed with a Studio & Pottery Demonstration
Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm
Enjoy an open studio day and watch the artists conduct live demonstrations on pottery and tile making techniques!

14. Enjoy Northern Michigan Out-of-Doors
There is still plenty of time to gear up and enjoy some skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the tip of the mitt!
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#PeopleOfStaffords: Featuring Jody Ewbank

people of staffords logo#PeopleOfStaffords is a new blog series featuring employees from our 7 Landmark Locations. We will feature one individual, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the people leading our day-to-day operations.

  • Tell us, Jody, how did you end up in northern Michigan? Brian and I ended up in Northern Michigan, as he worked for Stafford catering in the 70’s. We would come North to visit two times a year, to bring Brian’s Grandmother to the cottage, and to bring her back home to Albion.
  • What do you love about your job? I LOVE my job. Every day is a different adventure, new people, new friends and new challenges. There’s nothing like the feeling of someone going out of their way to thank us for our smiles and hospitality.
  • In your “free time” what do you do? Some of my free time is devoted to the community. I am a Board Member for the Harbor Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and I am the Chairperson for the Business Committee. I enjoy spending time with Brian and our two German Shepherds, cooking, traveling, cruising and an occasional round of golf.
  • How would you describe northern Michigan to our guests? Northern Michigan, and its particular quaint small communities, are indeed beautiful and unique. The landscape, the blue water, cresting the hills and being in awe of the vista. Visits to the grocery store, restaurants, public events where I typically know 75% of those attending, and call them friends and colleagues is an incredible feeling for me. Small communities look out for their own, help in times of crisis, share in the joys of marriage and children and grieve as well when we lose a community member.
  • Favorite memory of working for Stafford’s? Christmas Eve 2000. Brian and I met a woman, who was sincerely unhappy with the vegetarian items offered on the buffet. Our wonderful kitchen staff created a few dishes for her daughter, and they were thrilled we HAD the time, took the time and were able to make it an enjoyable experience for all at the table. We weren’t completely sure she was thrilled with me, or us as new management at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant. She has become a good friend, who, graciously every Christmas, without fail, drops off a beautiful gift for our home. We strive to make each experience and gain mutual respect from all the guests that come through our doors. This, was and still is a particularly awesome story that still makes me smile when I think back fifteen years.jody
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