Why Noojee for Di Johnston? I am often asked, Why Noojee? And there are 3 intertwined reasons – Family – House – Location!
So family…. Long story short I was adopted at birth by a fabulous couple & spent my early years growing up on a farming property in Northern NSW. In my early 30’s it was time to find out where I came from & who I looked like! This is where Victoria comes in. My birth mother (Annie) had met and married Bill (deputy Dad as he is now known and the maker of all the yummy jams on offer at Rosemont House) & was living in Melbourne. With my parents both passed away (the people who bought me up in Northern NSW), my children finished school & me in my early 50’s living in Armidale (NSW) I thought it might be time to move closer to the family that, while I had met & saw a couple of times a year, didn’t really know very well.
So now to the house and the location…. I worked out pretty quickly that I wanted to be on the eastern side of Melbourne as the family all lived in the peninsula area and I really wanted to be no more than an hour away from them. My sister had recently purchased a house in Drouin as well so somewhere in Gippsland was going to work.
I firstly looked around Loch and was very keen on that area but I really needed somewhere where I could fulfill this dream of owning & running a bed and breakfast business. The town had to be right & the house had to be right. I had been researching the house aspect of a B&B for a couple of years & I knew, for it to work for me, the property had to have a shed building I could convert into a B&B or a house where the rooms could easily be cut off from my part of the house with their own entracnces & bathrooms. I had a fair idea of what floor plans would work & those that wouldn’t and I knew the house would need to be pretty or at least be an ugly duckling that could be turned into a swan. Not so much right?
In the end the house found me! My mother (Annie) actually found Rosemont House (then called Langholm Cottage) in this place called Noojee! She had been helping with the house hunting & was sending me quite a few different options. “You’ll LOVE Noojee”, she said, and you know what I did! But probably not for the reasons Annie thought.
Everything about the house & Noojee ticked the right boxes for me personally & for the B&B business.
- The house was SO cute!
- The area is so naturally beautiful.
- The layout really was going to make turning the building into a B&B easy – just a few walls & a bathroom.
- The town was small (very small – population of 160!) but it was a tourist destination, so for me it was the best of both worlds – quiet during the week but touristy enough for an accommodation business to do well.
- The town had 2 places for people to eat out at night – guests would have a choice and I wouldn’t have to offer dinners.
- There was also a cafe so there were 3 choices during the day for guests to eat out.
- There are 3 wedding venues in town – people coming to weddings need accommodation.
- It is at the bottom of Mt Baw Baw so during winter there was a steady stream of people chasing the snow.
- Noojee is only 1.5hrs drive from Melbourne.
So on Christmas Eve 2019 I saw the house for the first time & made an offer on the drive back to Melbourne… And the rest, as they say is history!