An outdoors wedding pergola provides a natural setting for couples to exchange their vows.
Marriages and more at Nugget Hill
A thousand ideas might cross an entrepreneur’s mind in a day. The key is the right one with its optimum potential for success.
That’s the way Wayland residents Lorraine and Brad Brown have viewed their careers. First they established themselves in the corporate world in Raleigh, N.C.
Brad was in pharmaceutical research and has four start-up companies under his belt. He maintains a presence in a fifth company today. Lorraine, on the other hand, was in property development and contract management on the finance side of business.
When the couple moved back to Brad’s hometown in 2004, it was with a desire to start a family.
“We left the corporate world and all that goes with it—long hours,” said Lorraine, herself having grown up in North Carolina. Brad is from a large family and he admits that he felt the tug to return home to Wayland. They now have two children, six- and four-years-old.
What the couple didn’t know at the time was the direction they would follow. Both had the management skills. The opportunities for combining their personalities and strengths could be limitless depending upon the route they chose.
It has led to the development of Nugget Hill-Event and Catering Center, Second Avenue Extension, Wayland. Last year Nugget Hill hosted 63 events ranging from weddings, receptions, class reunions to corporate meetings.
“We feel we offer a good product — a middle-priced service with a quality location, ample parking and well-prepared food,” said Brad.
A large handcrafted stone fireplace compliments the spacious naturally-lit interior that can host up to 155 guests inside. Lorraine manages the modern full-service kitchen. There is unlimited seating outside on a landscaped terrace area overlooking a rural vista.
A comfortable working relationship between Lorraine and Brad grew at Nugget Hill. Parenting is a high priority, and both can maneuver around an event schedule to take care of their children’s requirements.
In a sense, Lorraine considers herself a wedding planner in that she talks the two fiancés through the essentials using a document she created as a guide. She enjoys making events stress free. Her choice is staying behind the scenes such as in the culinary area. Nugget Hill has a preferred list of vendors to help with floral arrangements, photography and music. It offers a guide giving tips for an outdoor wedding.
Brad’s personality lends him to be to the upfront hospitality partner from greeting guests at the door to taking care of individual needs.
“You will succeed if you have a quality product and people need it,” said Brad. Capitalizing on his entrepreneurial skills and energized by complex challenges, Brad analyzed what he perceived was a need in the wider region to fill a vacuum. What he determined was a center for events.
Originally the red structure was built on farmland in 2008 as a multiuse facility, and it began to evolve from there. Brad had bought a lot of antiques and he required a place to house them. He did some selling on eBay, and began having about 25 events in 2010.
It started becoming clearer that the building should become a full-service establishment with all the amenities. The Browns tracked where people were coming from. About half the attendees at any one gathering were not from Wayland.
“No one brings more outside people to Wayland,” said Brad. Over 6,000 guests have attended Nugget Hill functions.
The Browns have housed a couple fundraisers each year, including a 3,000 book sale to benefit the Vincent House, the hospice facility. They cook a pulled pork meal along with the sale that draws the public.
“We are changing perception all the time. New things are happening,” said Brad referring to his latest plan to have a wine club for about 100 members with themed events. Already there is a list of people who have joined.
“If you do well word of mouth will be your best advertising,” said Brad in regard to their limited publicity.
Lorraine tells of a young lady that came to the very first wedding held at Nugget Hill in 2009. She decided that she wanted to get married there herself. Her special day will be coming in the fall.
“With my background as a chemist,” said Brad looking out the spacious window, “the land has good drainage and it would be perfect for a small vineyard with the right person to oversee.” New possibilities were being cultivated in Brad’s mind at that very moment.
Lorraine and Brad Brown created a nugget of an idea that they have nurtured into a sparkling gem of a facility in the Genesee Valley. Their website nuggethill.com says that any occasion that calls for a celebration can be at Nugget Hill- Event Center in Wayland.