How many of you have a dilapidated building in your town? That eyesore with trash out front or broken windows and spray painted walls?
Beattyville’s eyesore was the Tincher Motel.
This motor lodge was opened in the 1960s. Eventually, it was shut down. No longer of use, the building was allowed to croad and the condition of the property decimated over the years. But, what everyone else saw as an old run down building, Dustin Cornett saw as an opportunity.
Actually, a sweet opportunity.
A Sweet Start
In 2014, Dustin and his wife, Mai, were selling their homemade candies in Beattyville. Dustin was inspired by his grandmother’s candy recipe.
“I remember back in the day she would make these candies for Christmas and hand them out to everybody. So, I wanted to bring my own touch to it,” explained Dustin, who was a panelist during SOAR’s Mini Summit in Ashland in March. “I taught myself how to make chocolate and we use our chocolate for the candy.”
Dustin named his candy company Purple Lady Confections to honor his mother, who was affectionately known around the county as the ‘Purple Lady.’ To honor his grandmother and her recipe, he used a rose to represent her in their logo.
Time to Expand
In 2015, Dustin and Mai decided that it was time to expand their business. Luckily, the Tincher Motel was on the market. Despite all the repairs needed, Dustin and Mai decided to take a chance on the old rundown building.
“The motel needed a lot of love,” Dustin said.
Neither Dustin or Mai were keen on the idea of running a hotel. Instead, they decided to turn the motor lodge into a bed and breakfast. They condensed the fifteen unit motel into eight units and a cafe, which is open Thursday through Saturday.
After two and a half years of toil, the inn was finally ready to open.
Dustin’s unique idea for each of his rooms made the Chocolat Inn and Cafe stand out from its competitors. Each room is modeled after a place that Dustin had visited. The rooms include Paris, London, East and West Berlin, New York City, Rome, and Osaka, Mai’s hometown.
Rome was the last room to be completed because “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Dustin laughed.
Now, instead of a rundown old building, the Tincher Motel is now the beautiful Chocolat Inn and Cafe.
Seize Your Opportunity
“There are so many opportunities, but you have to create them and creating them is a hard thing to do,” he said. “You will get a lot of naysayers, but it’s possible. You just have to focus on what you want to do, be strong about it, and not give up, and it will happen. You just have to fight for it.”
Instead of seeing the usual eyesore that everyone else saw, Dustin saw what the old motel could be. He took a part of Beattyville’s past and restored it, creating the Chocolat Inn.
If you’re looking to start your own business, SOAR’s Complete Guide to Entrepreneurship in Eastern Kentucky and Business Plan are great places to get started. We also have a team who works with entrepreneurs daily to help them start their business and find resources throughout the region. Check out this page to see which champion serves your county.