The Pitcher Inn in Warren has always been unique, authentic and quirky in the Vermont vernacular. Along with the (“almost famous”) Warren Store, it has anchored Warren Village since the Civil War era when it was a lodging property, then later in the 1980s and ’90s when it was a ramshackle property best known for its breakfasts and the pets who freely roamed the dining room until it burned to the ground in 1993. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1998 as a prestigious Relais & Chateaux property with nine rooms and two suites, each curated and crafted by Vermont artisans using Vermont products, plus fine fare in the dining room, the Brook Room and Tracks.
“After Win and Maggie Smith purchased the property in 1994, David Sellers was hired as the lead architect and he gathered some of his most brilliant friends to collaborate on not just rebuilding an inn but on creating something that showcased the best of Vermont craftsmanship and materials. It really stands out in The Valley and has a lot of the authenticity of our region,” said Lorien Wroten, general manager of the inn.
Wroten, who brings two decades of experience in the hospitality business including 10 years in The Valley, is excited to be working with her staff to change perceptions about the accessibility of the inn. She and her partner, Adam Longworth, were the manager and chef of the former Common Man restaurant in Warren. There and now here at the Pitcher Inn, Wroten is working to offer a polished, professional and high-end experience that appeals to all.
Helping Wroten with this effort is head chef Jacob Ennis whose restaurant career started when he was 14, working at a friend’s mother’s restaurant. During high school he spent half his time in a culinary vocational program and then earned a degree in culinary arts.
After college he moved to Las Vegas and spent a year working in several restaurants, learning to manage a kitchen producing 700 to 800 meals a night. The Pitcher Inn is the seventh Relais & Chateaux property for him.
“From the time I was 14, I loved working in this field. I loved the heat and the speed and the food. I still do,” Ennis said.
He and his wife, Caitlin – also a chef who works part time at the Pitcher Inn – live in Warren Village with their 2-year-old son, Colin, who often comes over in his PJs to say good night.
Inn manager Courtney Madore, a native of Canaan, Vermont, received a business management degree from Franklin Pierce College and a subsequent master’s in the same subject. She’s been with the Pitcher Inn since 2016 and last September was promoted to inn manager.
Like many college students, she worked in the hospitality industry during her summers and other time off.
“I loved the guests and the human interactions. I loved seeing people love their experiences. My favorite part of this job is showing people to their rooms and seeing their reactions,” Madore said.