In celebration of National Small Business Month, we’ll be shining a spotlight on some of our local small business clients. What do they do, what challenges do they face, what gets them most excited and what are the risks they’ve taken? Today, we caught up Phil and Silvia Baxter, brand new owners of the Sesuit Harbor House in East Dennis. Here’s what we learned about their plans for the historic property.
What is your business?
We recently purchased the Sesuit Harbor House on Route 6A in East Dennis. It is a hidden gem on the North side with 21 rooms in four buildings surrounding a large pool. The main building was built in 1735. It has a B&B feel as far the connection with guests, but at the same time it is a great place for families. We want it to be “your parent’s Cape Cod plus”. Something that appeals to the regular guests and to millennial families experiencing the Cape for the first time. We look forward to connecting locally on coffee, produce, etc. to bring some farm to table wellness to the place.
When was your business formed?
We purchased the Sesuit Harbor House on April 11, 2019.
How did you get started?
I grew up in Cummaquid in a family-owned hospitality business. My wife and I have both spent our careers in hospitality and we wanted to go out on our own and make money for us for a change rather than making money for other people and collecting a paycheck. We looked all over New England for a good first purchase and settled on the Sesuit Harbor House. There was definitely a comfort level buying a property on the Cape.
What’s the most challenging part of running your business?
You should ask me after the season. Right now the challenging part is pushing 15 projects up hill at the same time while dealing with the day to day issues of running this mini-resort.
What’s the most rewarding part?
Exercising our own creativity and making the Sesuit Harbor House a destination with a big diverse following. The fun part is doing this with the help of all the great people we’ve met on the Cape. Everyone is so nice here.
What’s the biggest risk you took in your business?
I’m not sure we’ve taken it yet. We have a vision for the property. The risk is in over-spending getting to our vision. The leap of faith is where we think we can get to in terms of rate and occupancy with an improved product.
Are there any community partnerships or initiatives you’d like people to know about?
Definitely moving forward. The first one is serving Snowy Owl Coffee. This is a local roaster in Brewster. The other one I’m excited about is putting in some beehives. There probably aren’t too many better ways to give back to the environment. Finally, we can provide some professional hospitality training to interested local kids looking for a summer job.
Want to learn more about the Sesuit Harbor House? Follow them at these links:
Website – https://www.sesuitharborhouse.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sesuitharborhouse/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sesuitharborhouse/