The Gathering Place, a historic Columbia bed and breakfast, will celebrate its 10,000th breakfast served since becoming a student hospitality management laboratory. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. on June 5.
The Columbia Chamber of Commerce will conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony. Tours and refreshments will be offered afterward.
For four years the B and B has been used by the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri to help students gain experience through work-study opportunities, internships and capstone educational projects.
By operating the B and B, students get first-hand experience in management, financial planning, menu development, client relations, and marketing planning and analysis. The experience gives them a valuable point on their resume that helps them land a better job after graduation.
Approximately 410 students are enrolled in the hospitality management program. Graduates of the program have food, beverage and hotel careers all over the world, from chef positions in trendy Paris restaurants to customer service representatives at Disneyland.
Built in 1905, the Gathering Place was operated for several years by the Duff family. It was a favorite spot to give potential faculty and VIPs an elegant place to stay while visiting the university and city.
The College of Agriculture Foundation, a private corporation, purchased the historic facility on the east side of the MU campus in 2008. The foundation, which has supported agricultural education at MU for more than 80 years, leases the property to CAFNR.
The Gathering Place features four queen suites and one king room, each with modern private baths. Most rooms are filled with antique walnut, cherry and tiger maple furniture. Original artwork hangs throughout the house. The exterior of the house is graced with a large veranda.
The bed and breakfast is furnished in the same classic style as when operated by the Duff family. The facility is designed to be a unique and homelike setting — small, comfortable, upscale and welcoming.