The Origins of The Whittaker
Dear Friends and Future Friends,
This story begins back in the late 1990’s, while Andrew and I were students at Purdue University. We were both enrolled in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (back then it was called RHIT). In 1999, my senior year, I decided to take a graduate accounting class and that’s where I met Andrew. Even though our backgrounds are quite different - Andrew hails from a small town outside of Canterbury, England, and I grew up in Northwest Indiana, just outside of Chicago - we quickly discovered a shared interest in hospitality and in serving others.
While Andrew’s passion lies in the “back of the house” culinary arts, my passion lies in the “front of the house” guest service experience - there is nothing quite like making someone feel special. Together, our skill sets complement each other, both personally and professionally. I bring the adventure to our relationship by pushing Andrew out of his comfort zone to do things like white water rafting and parasailing, and Andrew tries to expand my palate beyond my favorite food groups of pizza and hamburgers.
Post-graduation Andrew and I each found opportunities on the east coast and for the last 20 years, pursued our careers in hospitality. Andrew’s career path was in food & beverage/finance in NYC properties beginning with The Waldorf Astoria; while I began in front office management, then transitioned into revenue management for several different hotels/chains, including 5 years in Times Square properties.
Fast forward to 2012. While staying at a B&B in upper Connecticut for our anniversary, Andrew and I realized that even though both of us have had successful careers in the hospitality industry, albeit in revenue and finance, we had moved away from the service side of the industry - where our true passions lie.
This started the discussion of trying to find a way to get back to the service side of the industry, a project we could work on together. The Whittaker Inn became our dream!
One of the first questions was “where are we going to put this Inn?” We knew that we wanted to go back to where we got our start, both professionally and relationship-wise. We wanted to go back to a community that had given us so much, so it had to be Greater Lafayette and Purdue University!
Andrew and I wanted to create something distinctive, to be enjoyed not only by visitors, but by the whole Greater Lafayette community. With over 40-plus combined years of hospitality industry knowledge and experience, we felt that The Whittaker Inn was something we could successfully build, own and operate - together! After almost a year of searching, we found 25 beautiful wooded acres on which to build The Whittaker Inn from the ground up.
And in an ideal location, just off State Road 43. As Andrew put it at the groundbreaking ceremony, “What’s not to love about this site? The Whittaker is just so secluded from everything, yet so close to Purdue University and Downtown Lafayette.”
After years of research and countless hours of careful planning, (plus the incredible love and support from family and friends that God has blessed us with during our journey), our dream has become a reality! We broke ground on The Whittaker Inn in April 2018, and opened the doors to the public on May 2nd, 2019.
Andrew and I are delighted to invite all to The Whittaker Inn - the first and only modern Inn of its kind in the Greater Lafayette Area. A distinctive stay that offers a warm and welcoming design, fine dining, and a customized guest experience.
The Whittaker Inn was designed to be more than simply a hotel, but rather a midwestern oasis; where every guest is warmly welcomed as a friend. We hope that you’ll join us very soon and add your chapter to our story.