OUR PEOPLE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
The Falcon Hotel – family owned and run for nearly 200 years. A quick guide to our long-serving Managers who deliver the Warmest Welcome in The West.
Debbie ‘Officer ‘ Hatch, our Events Manager, joined the Falcon in 1996 expecting to stay for only 3 months. Driven, dynamic and dedicated, Debbie is full of extrovert energy as illustrated by her favourite saying: “Crack on!” Debbie took hotel management at college and was then selected as a Trust House Forte management trainee. She met her future husband, Colin, when he too worked at the Falcon. “He understands my total commitment to the Falcon, and knows what it takes, and gives me 100% support,” Debbie says. Debbie’s greatest joy and reward are the many testimonial messages she receives from satisfied guests thanking her and her Function Team for making their special day exceed their wildest dreams. When at home her passions are family, friends and her flower garden. When Debbie was a little girl, she wanted to be a policewoman, a goal she realized when she spent 5 years as a uniformed special constable with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, while continuing to work in the hospitality industry. Falcon staffers know that, so they don’t mess around with the straight-from-the-shoulder-tell-it-like-it-is-plain-speaking ‘Officer Hatch’
It is hard to think of Mel as the ‘shy and retiring’ type, which she says she was when she worked full time with horses: Eventing, Dressage and Carriage Driving. Easier to see her as the tall, cool in high heels.
But eventually Mel overcame her shyness and started at the bottom of the ladder in hospitality. She thinks her learning from horses, has helped her in hospitality. “You have to form a relationship with staff and guests, and then like horses, they will start to trust you”, says Mel. She has learned the art of patience by working and managing pubs, nightclubs and hotels, and has a great head for numbers – we call her the “spreadsheet-Queen” because she will create a new graph for every department in the hotel. Her proudest business achievement was having her pub included in the Good Beer Guide.
Others say that Mel is a cheerful, hard=working team player, who is ready to share her knowledge and expertise. Mel’s primary reward is seeing happy guests enjoying their stay at the Falcon. Mel still rides but less often than she would like.
Alan ‘I love to serve’ Giles has been senior waiter at the Falcon Hotel for 26 years. Alan has refused promotions many times, because it would take him away from his passion which is to serve and interact with guests. “This is our stage and we are the performers” Alan says… and what a performer! Alan remembers an astounding number of names of the regulars in his ‘audience’, and most of the football teams they support as well! Building personal relationships is the true mark of someone destined for the hospitality industry, which Alan loved since his time at St Austell College. In fact, his brother and sisters have also been in the hotel business. “I love working as part of the Falcon team, which is the Number 1 hotel in Bude”. Alan adds “I love the comradeship, the teasing and the verbal jokes we play on one another, and sometime with the guests too”. To much applause, Alan appeared as Manuel on the ‘Falcon Towers’ float which won a prize at the 2016 Bude Carnival; he threw to the crowds lining the streets, Falcon chocolates and a very realistic rubber rat on an elastic string! When Alan is not looking after his son Alex (aged 11) he, like his father, collects stamps and enjoys sailing on the Tamar Lakes. Alan supports Everton F.C. in the Premier League, and the local team, Plymouth Argyle F.C.
Katy ‘Dynamite’ Morris, our Head of Housekeeping for ten years, is affectionately called “Mini” by her staff and colleagues, but her diminutive size disguises her fireball personality. “I maybe short,” she says, “but so is a stick of dynamite!” Hospitality is in Katy’s DNA: she’s one of five children who pursued careers in this field or married hoteliers, restauranteurs or innkeepers. Ten years of working in every department at various hotels in Cornwall prepared Katy for her role of ensuring guests enjoy a spotlessly clean bedroom. They also revel in her ‘towel art’. She started by creating kissing swans, which honeymooners loved to find on their beds. Far from throwing in the towel at this, she developed new designs and both children and adults now enjoy the variety of peacocks, crabs, dogs and elephants they find when they arrive. Also known as the ‘Happy Housekeeper’, Katy loves to sing while she works alongside her team. As a long-distance runner, Katy has lots of stamina, so hard work comes more to her. Her team have learned that there is a special place for everything, and things have to be in that place. Her passions include music in general and Bob Marley in particular. And, of course, her teenage daughter Kaya
Amanda has worked at the Falcon Hotel for a total of ten years. A dairy farmer’s daughter who later ran her own catering business, which at its peak did five buffets a week, she is no stranger to hard work. Happy, cheerful and caring, Amanda loves weddings and she is dedicated to ensuring that the happy couple’s special day is the best it can be. “My passion is making guests smile,”, says Amanda. She exemplifies what the staff call the “Falcon Family” as she and Debbie, who recruited Amanda, have known one another since primary school in Holsworthy. Proud of the Falcon’s training and its high standards of guest service, Amanda encouraged her two girls to work part-time at the hotel and absorb its work ethic. She likes to walk around Bude and Holsworthy, where she found all the fine china dishes we use in the Falcon Afternoon Teas. She also loves to travel. Amanda loves to show guests the Falcon and it’s history which is why we call her the Ambassador.
Rupert ‘Blogger’ Brendon is the Chairman and his whole working life has been wrapped up in the Falcon Hotel and the Brendon Arms. His other successful business career was in marketing, often defined as “understanding and fulfilling consumer needs” – and with a hotel that means meeting and exceeding guests’ expectations. His brother, Piers, is a much published author, whose many books of history and biography, are on display in reception. Rupert wrote these Falcon staff mini-biographies, and also blogs on marketing – see https://rupertbrendonsblog.wordpress.com/ Rupert is passionate about food, wine and travel; the Falcon cellars and wine list selections reflect his knowledge and expertise. He also collects Victorian and Edwardian paintings, some of which hang in the Carriage Room. Rupert is the controlling Shareholder of the Brendon family’s business at both the Falcon Hotel and the Brendon Arms. You can ask him to open a bottle of wine, but please don’t ask him to pull a proper pint. Real ales are his daughter, Sophia’s area of expertise.
Sophia ‘I’ll have a pint’ Brendon, is MD in charge of Operations, at both the Falcon and the Brendon Arms. After completing a PGCE at St Luke’s College, Exeter in the 1990s, Sophia spent five years running the on-site day-to-day management of the Brendon Arms. She took a different path from the previous and famous landlord, Des Gregory, who for a record 35 years, was known as “the rudest landlord in Cornwall”! Sophia worked very long hours, while maintaining high-quality food and beverages, with exemplary service; that all translates to great value for money for the guest. Sophia has a teenage daughter, Sydney, (7th generation Brendon) who works as a hostess in the summer and loves Bude! Sophia can be seen pulling a proper pint as in this photo except when a major tennis tournament is being televised.
Since 2016 Christine ‘I’ll have a Chardonnay’ Brendon has worked tirelessly with the brilliant management team to take care of all day-to-day operations at the Falcon. (Ideally her tipple should be full, buttery-tasting with a hint of oak).
Chris is described as generous, kind, caring ‘people person’ with an excellent memory, important with a staff of 60-70 individuals.
This is a vital skill as a hotel is only as good as its staff, and Falcon guests rate them as excellent.
The employees deliver on the Falcon promise of providing the “Warmest Welcome in the West”.
Chris has brought her considerable decorating skills to the many refurbishments that the hotel has undergone under her watch.
She spent her adult life in Canada: Montreal, then Vancouver before settling in Toronto where she met Rupert.
Chris took business and accounting in college but her career focused on sales and marketing.
She spent 18 years at Hershey (Chocolates and Confectionary) ending up on the Management Committee as V.P. Marketing.
Never shy of hard work Chris pitched in at their farm to help load and unload up to 4,000 square bales of hay annually.
Chris and Rupert share a love of travel and wine. Their trips include visits to wineries in South Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand.
North America wine trips include Ontario, British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington State.
She owns a Penthouse Condominium in mid-town Toronto.
Chris keeps in touch with girlfriends in Canada and US with weekly Zoom calls.