Meet the Innkeepers
Our story is unusual, we are sure of it. We met on eHarmony, an online dating site, in 2004. Within 6 months, we were engaged, and have been happily married for close to a decade now. We took a “chance” in the dating world, just as we took a “chance” in the Bed & Breakfast ownership world…and we haven’t looked back on this marvelous journey!
When we began dating, it became very clear that we both shared a love for entertaining, cooking, making new recipes, and hosting weekend guests. Long after the guests had left, we continued to relive the visit and talk about the memories that were created over food, drink, and companionship.
I (Tammy) attended Radford University, where I earned both my bachelors and masters degrees. I worked in higher education for several years before becoming a formal event planner for the American Chamber of Commerce, and I discovered that planning details made me giddy with creative excitement! I (Jim), a Virginia Military Institute graduate and Webster University Masters graduate, was a career man with the Air Force; however, you could often find me teaming up with others on the base, organizing and catering events. This should come as no surprise to those who know me–I grew up with a pot in one hand and a spoon in the other–as my mother’s job was to manage the Roanoke County School’s food service program.
We always thought that we would own a Bed & Breakfast in our retirement years, but as fate would have it, the plan materialized much earlier. When Jim’s mother, Polly, passed, we decided that life was too short to continue putting off our dreams. The following months were a flurry of activity. We would spend hours asking “what-if” questions: What if we did own a B&B now? What if it was located in a destination location? What if the house we found was already converted to a B&B? What if we could find ALL of this AND have it located at the beach?
Once the dreams started becoming a reality, we got to work searching for the perfect house to transform into a B&B. After Tammy had spent some time looking online for properties, another sign appeared and showed us we were on the right path. The property that we now own, located at 403 Tazewell Avenue, shared something in common with Jim’s late mother: Miss Polly was born and raised in Tazewell County, Virginia. We were certain that “Miss Polly” was sending her blessings to us!
It took 1.5 years to clear the “jungle” and give the ol’ gal a facelift. Our determination was not diminished by the overwhelming amount of overgrowth. Tammy, a Virginia Master Gardener, and Jim, a life-long Eagle Scout, approached the project of transforming the property into a peaceful oasis of beautiful gardens for Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles guests to enjoy with vigor. We enlisted the help of Tammy’s mom “Miss Sarah,” an avid gardener, to help tackle the overwhelming project.
As innkeepers, we are passionate about creating an experience for our guests when they come to visit. Our goal is to provide the space — a haven, an escape from the outside world. For some guests, that means long, leisurely hours on the porch, napping, sipping tea, and reading. For others, it means walks on the beach, long bike rides, a kayaking adventure, or peacefully enjoying a sunset over the Chesapeake Bay. As we like to say, we invite you to “relax, rejuvenate, and restore at your haven on the shore.”
Jim & Tammy Holloway