Melissa McGuire and Nicole Craig purchased the Oval Door Bed and Breakfast July 1998 and began their journey of creating a warm and inviting environment where they could serve their guests and pursue their dream of establishing their own business. Their mission was to provide comfortable and welcoming accommodations where guests could relax and feel at home while away from home.
Melissa, a native of the San Francisco Bay area, graduated from the California Culinary Academy, where she specialized in Pastry Creations. After completing her training, she worked for several years under the guidance of Chef Bradley Ogden at The Larkcreek Inn in Larkspur, California. An opportunity to assist in the opening of the Grand Hyatt Wailea Resort and Spa took her to Maui, Hawaii, where she worked for six years, honing her skills in the pastry shop of this elegant AAA resort, rated 5 diamonds.
Nicole, a native Californian, graduated from the University of California San Diego with a degree in Psychology. After working in that field for a year, she found her interests were pulling her in other directions. She moved to Hawaii and took a course in Culinary Arts at the University of Hawaii. She was offered an internship at the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa in Maui, where she eventually landed a position in the Italian restaurant. Since she had been cooking since she was 11 years old, this was a natural transition and where she found her calling.
The gals met and became friends while working at the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa. Over a pitcher of margaritas, they shared their vision of being self-employed and following their dreams of working in the food and hotel industry. From this brain storming emerged the concept of venturing into a bed and breakfast business.
They immediately went into action by studying the industry, taking business seminars, and formulating a business plan. Then began the search for an appropriate property. Their research quickly proved that Hawaii was not right for their goals. They wanted to focus on the West Coast and began looking at the various options. They were drawn to Oregon with its beauty, its temperate climate, and its reputation as a friendly and nurturing place to build a business.
It took over four months, a lot of legwork, and a lot of working odd jobs before finding the Oval Door. Melissa had been searching the internet and found a bed and breakfast for sale in Eugene. That one turned out to be too small for their needs, but the owner suggested they talk to the proprietor of the Oval Door, who “just might be interested in selling to the right buyers.”
They did, she was, and the fun began!
A lot of hard work, positive energy, creative ideas, and loving commitment went into making the Oval Door a place where guests could feel pampered and special. Since the majority of guests are repeat customers, the formula has proven successful.
The business flourished and so did their personal lives. Nicole fell in love with John “the boy next door,” and they were married in September 2004. Nicole became a step-mom to Gus and then a mom to Abby, born in 2005. Abby is in training to be the next innkeeper and can often be found handing out stuffed animals to the guests.
Melissa met her true love while on vacation and married her musician husband, Scoop, in 2005. Scoop is in charge of quality assurance for the cookies provided at the Inn.