Former Fonda de Villel, Olivia and Chema’s save job to stay in town

Although they seem to have saved the job, in a way, they were saved. Olivia Rodero and Jose Maria Perez They are a married couple from the town and although he lived for a while in Valencia and he in Teruel, they have been living in their town for more than 20 years, in the place they have always dreamed of. And this is possible, because since then, in addition to marriage, coworkers. They decided to embark on a management adventure together. in the old fund villia rural house that is also a restaurant.

The building was built in 1914 by Saturnino Yagüe and Flora Mínguez. In the same year, it started to serve as an inn on the first and second floors. The ground floor was used as a shop, warehouse and barn for the cavalry. Later, the property was divided into two due to inheritance and one of the two brothers continued his work. All this time the establishment has undergone improvements and its current appearance shows an old house from the outside. The ground floor now houses a restaurant with private lounge and terrace, and the two upper floors house six renovated double rooms served by la Fona. They all have a private bathroom and a small living room.

Stories abound in the Villel inn, which was a hospital during the war and was even bombarded. A lot has happened since then, and the current pages are written by the marriages of born workers whose love of the town decided to take them this new path. Neither of them had worked on anything like this before. Chema had a construction company that had to shut down due to the crisis, and Olivia has always held administrative roles.. It has nothing to do with the public and working in the restaurant and tourism industry.

Despite the initial fear and a difficult first period, This couple from Teruel couldn’t be happier with their decision. “We saw this as an opportunity, even though things had gone badly for the previous owners,” says Chema. When they learned of the possibility of taking over the business, they were both looking for a change and, above all, impressed by the fact that their town would not be deprived of such service. In this activity for more than twenty years, they adapt to different situations and also They learn to separate jobs from their marriages. His main rule is not to comment on anything about the inn when they leave the house and go home.

The pandemic marked a before and after in his business. As a result of this, they are now only open for lunch (1pm to 3:30pm daily) and they also offer evening meals only on weekends or rooms in the winter. Guests can also have breakfast. Always responsible for the kitchen that loves to cook, Chema has been dedicated to conveying traditional homemade recipes to a wider audience since running this restaurant. “Now that we don’t open in the mornings, We signed up for hotel school to prepare ourselves just in case. I used to read a lot of books, but it’s not like before”, Although many people request home-cooked meals, more and more people observe that they want more avant-garde creations, explains the chef.

In every situation, porridge region-specific, prepared with a flour- and water-based dough and the corresponding accompaniment this most successful meal. “Even they purposely come from Zaragoza or Valencia to try them” assures Olivia. It is the person who takes care to attend the tables and has direct contact with the customer and their tastes. It is also responsible for preparing rooms between one guest and another or managing reservations for the country house. They’ve been doing everything in between since the pandemic. “We’ve had bad years and we can’t keep anyone as a backup anymore like we did before,” they complain. “It costs a lot to hire one person and it’s also very difficult for us to find people in the area”nuances Chema.

Due to its proximity to Teruel, the vast majority of people staying at La Antigua Fonda de Villel are tourists, especially couples. Families also come to visit the region by stopping by. Dinopolis. This couple, whose two daughters have been adolescents since June, did not stop working for a day. Before the summer rush begins, when the girls go on vacation, they get the opportunity to take a week off and go on a trip with them. They can take a vacation the rest of the year, but you know, when it’s one business, there are no clocks.

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