On the writing end...
I had been dabbling in writing for a while...
But then, in 2007, Edible Cape Cod magazine approached me about writing a feature article for their magazine. So I wrote an article, and they liked it enough to ask me to write a second one. Sure! Why not? The first assignment's content came easily, and I had fun doing it.
The second article was about a local candy store owner making wine in a back alley. It was called “The Vines That Bind,” Unbeknownst to me, it was submitted for a national writing award at an industry writer's and publisher's symposium in Santa Barbara, CA. It won “Best Feature Article” that year.
It tied with a writer from Brooklyn, NY, but my “spicy mustard” approach to writing had been so well received that a new category was created: “Best Feature Article - Humorous.” So, we both left happy.
But here's the thing, I don't directly set out to make the reader laugh; I want them to stay engaged enough to keep reading! Over the years, I've further honed my writing skills in various avenues of training, eventually becoming Senior Contributing Editor of Edible Cape Cod. I have been the recipient of five national writing awards for Excellence in Publication, have provided content for Chambers of Commerce websites, and I am currently the Senior Copywriter with Brand Accomplished marketing agency, where I write copy for company websites and blogs and provide content for social media and marketing campaigns, e-newsletters, digital ads, and white papers. Examples of my style can be read on the Hospitality Industry links page or the "Alternate Universe" links page for non-hospitality-related businesses.
And on the hospitality side of things...
My partner Ali and I have enjoyed many hotel and restaurant-related endeavors. Most notably, we owned and operated a AAA 4-Diamond rated property in New York's Hudson Valley. The property was inducted into the prestigious Relais & Chateaux organization and had a restaurant that featured a Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence and a menu highlighting the names of local growers--a brand new concept at the time.
The New York property was featured in many trade publications (including a Bon Appetit magazine cover) and several national TV shows. We even hosted a dinner at the James Beard House in New York City. Countless notables have enjoyed our hospitality, including Mick Jagger, Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, Barbra Streisand and Paul Newman.
Over the years, I've assisted restaurateurs "hands-on" in getting their new projects up and running, consulted for others, trained restaurant staff, helped run several other inns, and worked behind bars than I'd care to admit!
In December 2020, we finished a successful 21-year run of owning and operating an inn on Cape Cod. We received much praise over the years from CNN, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America, and Travel & Leisure to name a few. We maintained TripAdvisor's "Hall of Fame" status, and in the summer and fall of 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had one of our highest grossing seasons, thanks to some serious reconnoitering, fingers crossing, and successful "spicy" marketing ;)
"We love the story written by one of our all-time favorite writers, Tommy Dott.
While we love ALL of Tom's writing, his humor pieces are really very funny and
are a bright spot in our day each time we get to read one of them!"
~ Edible Communities founders and James Beard award recipients for "best publication", Tracey Ryder & Carole Topalian, during a book tour promoting
Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods