Mark and Pat Culp said the happiest day of their lives was in 2000, when they threw away their cell phones, laptops and beepers and came to the Ocean View area to get away from it all.
Five years later, their bed-and-breakfast business is keeping them happy in the “Quiet Resorts” area.
Cedar Breeze Bed and Breakfast celebrated its five-year anniversary on July 1. The five-bedroom house located on Cedar Neck Road has been a haven for the couple who spent 20 years in the Washington, D.C., area, living the metropolitan life.
“We love the area,” Mark Culp said. “It was the best decision we have ever made.”
Both of the Culps were in the defense industry and wanted to do something different. Mark Culp had an itching to have a restaurant, but he didn’t have any background in it. The two then decided that a bed-and-breakfast would be the best, and Mark would still be able to satisfy his cooking needs.
Pat Culp was from upstate New York and Mark went to school in southwest Virginia. They considered both of those areas for a bed-and-breakfast. They also looked at the Virginia Beach area. But none of those three locations were very accessible for a weekend trip from D.C.
Then some friends of Mark Culp invited the Culps to stay a weekend in Bethany Beach. They fell in love with the area and spent the next three years looking for land to build a house on or a house to turn in to a B&B.
They bought the house they are in 1996 and opened the doors to guests in 2000. Since 2000, the business has taken some different directions.
Each room contains an air conditioner and a queen-sized bed. At the time of the opening, some but not all of the rooms had their own bathrooms. Now, they all have private bathrooms.
Breakfasts started off being fancy, but the Culps soon came to realize that a regular breakfast was all people really wanted. An afternoon wine-and-cheese sampling is also provided for guests.
The Cedar Breeze has also expanded into catering. Catering can be provided for events such as weddings, rehearsal dinners and family reunions. In the shoulder season, Cedar Breeze does luncheons and dinners.
The industry marks six or seven years as the typical burnout period for B&B owners. But the Culps show no signs of getting tired of their business.
“We just hit the five year mark and we still love it,” Mark Culp said. “The people we meet are the best.”