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Rindge

Woodbound changing hands

Florida couple plans to make inn’s restaurant a 7-day a week operation

  • Rudy and Laura Rosalez moved to Rindge in August from Florida to become the new owners of the Woodbound Inn.
  • Rudy and Laura Rosalez moved to Rindge in August from Florida to become the new owners of the Woodbound Inn.
  • Rudy and Laura Rosalez moved to Rindge in August from Florida to become the new owners of the Woodbound Inn.

Rindge’s Woodbound Inn will officially be under new ownership at the end of this month. And the new owners have big plans for what will be their new home and business.

Rudy and Laura Rosalez were living high-paced lives only a few months ago, while living in their former Florida home. Rudy was working with PF Changs, saving struggling franchises and helping to set up new ones, while Laura worked for a divorce attorney from home, raising the Rosalezes’ 7-month-old, Fionn. It was a hectic time, with Rudy routinely working more than 40 hours a week, and sometimes as much as 70 hours, driving a 45-minute commute to work, and Laura juggling work and child-rearing.

“I felt guilty over not being able to help Laura out as much, and thinking about the future and thinking about how much of Fionn growing up I would miss,” said Rudy. “I didn’t want that.”

If he wanted to be there to see his son grow up, something had to change, he said in an interview at the Woodbound Inn in Rindge on Thursday. It wasn’t until Laura’s parents were visiting that an idea struck them. Her parents were staying at a small hotel run by a couple. Their pace of life seemed much more peaceful, and Rudy and Laura started to ask questions about what it was like to run an inn. The couple pointed them to an online resource, www.workingcouples.com, which has businesses seeking couples to take them over, such as hotels, restaurants and other businesses that benefit from a family run reputation.

That’s where Rudy and Laura found the Woodbound Inn. The inn, located in Rindge, was a big step away from their current lives, both in distance and lifestyle, but the two decided it was a challenge they were willing to tackle. Laura has a connection to the state, having been born and raised in Dover. The Rosalezes made the move in August, and have begun the process of taking over management of the inn, and as of Oct. 1 will officially purchase the business from its current owner, the Partnership Group based in New York .

Rudy, with his long experience in restaurants and country clubs, took over the dining and banquet halls, while Laura runs the inn. The very first thing the couple plans to do is to take the current restaurant, which is open to the public as well as guests, from being open four days a week to seven days a week, with a revamped menu for all three meals, said Rudy.

“We have an inn,” said Rudy. “Why ask your guests to go somewhere else to find food, if we can provide for them right here? Also, restaurants around here are few and far between, so it’s a need we can fill.”

They also plan to renovate and update the Edgewood building rooms, at a rate of one a month, to bring that portion of the inn up to date with the main house, which was renovated less than 10 years ago.

Having never run an inn before, Laura said the hardest part was getting up-to-date on all of the back-room work that goes into building a business, down to monitoring online reviews and updating the inn’s information on travel sites. But most of the work in running an inn is just interacting with people, and that’s never been a problem for Laura, she noted. The couple has taken on the inn’s current staff of 28 employees, which made the transition easier.

They’re also trying to bring the community back to the inn, said Laura. In the past couple of years, there’s been a disconnect between the townspeople and the inn, that Laura and Rudy would like to repair, they said. Expanding the restaurant’s hours is part of that. And so is simply returning it to a family run business. The couple plans to live on the property, and has been staying in one of their own guest cabins while adjustments are made to a permanent living space.

“We’ve been hearing all these stories about memories people have here, whether they were married here, or had their prom held here. That’s a relationship we’d like to bring back to today’s Jaffrey-Rindge area.”

“I think that what the Woodbound has been missing for the last few years is a family to run the business,” agreed Rudy. “We’re going to be here every day. We’re committed to being part of the community, and we plan on being here for the rest of our lives. We’re here to stay.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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