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,” and unbeknownst to me, it was submitted for a national writing award at a publisher's symposium in Santa Barbara, CA. It won “Best Feature Article” that year.
But here's the thing: I didn't set out to win any awards; I want the reader to stay engaged enough to keep reading. After many years of honing my writing skills, I eventually became Edible Cape Cod's senior contributing editor and received five national writing awards for "Excellence in Publication." I've since provided website and marketing content for Chambers of Commerce websites and was senior copywriter for a marketing agency, where I wrote copy for company websites and blogs and provided 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.
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 four-diamond-rated property in New York's Hudson Valley called Old Drovers Inn. The property was inducted into the prestigious Relais & Chateaux organization and featured a restaurant with a Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence and a menu highlighting the names of local growers (a new concept at the time).
Initially opened in 1750, the inn gained fame when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton booked it exclusively for a week after filming the movie Cleopatra. In more recent years, we were highlighted on national TV shows, featured on a New York Magazine cover, hosted a dinner at the James Beard House in Manhattan, and fed or housed countless notables from Barbra Streisand, Mick Jagger, and Meryl Streep, to Kevin Bacon and Paul Newman.
I've assisted restaurateurs in getting their new projects up and running, from consulting and menu building to dining room staff training. I've helped run several other inns and restaurants (including The Ship's Inn on Nantucket) and worked behind more bars than I'd care to admit!
In December 2020, we finished a successful 21-year run of owning and operating our inn on Cape Cod, where we received accolades from CNN, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America, and Travel & Leisure, among others. We maintained a TripAdvisor "Hall of Fame" status, and in the summer and fall of 2020, during the height of the 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 informative 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.