Because Hamiltonians Welcome You Home: Jana Prudhomme ’19
She’s become adept at whipping up a delicious breakfast for 12, and she’s proud of that, but Jana Prudhomme ’19 is also gaining ground on her future. She’s the new manager of The Arbor Inn, a B&B in Clinton recently purchased by the College.
An Africana studies major at Hamilton, Prudhomme discovered her affinity for the hospitality industry during her first year in college when she took a front desk job at the Bristol Center. She realized that the work enabled her to have an immediate impact. “Just making one small difference in somebody's life helped me to ground myself and realize, okay, even as one person, I can make some sort of difference — a positive difference,” she said.
Prudhomme’s return to the Hill came when the pandemic eased in the U.S. She received an intriguing offer from her old Hamilton connections: Would she be interested in applying for the job of managing The Arbor Inn? Yes, she was. She was hired and began the position in early summer. The inn’s Griffin Road location, where Prudhomme lives, is practically on campus, and there’s a second, smaller lodging in the village.
Prudhomme views the experience she’s getting as a foundation for a possible future venture, and her childhood also comes into play in that aspiration. She spent part of her early years in an intentional living community on a vegetable farm, an experience she says showed her that a collective lifestyle can be realistic and practical. She’s considering the feasibility of someday developing a collectively owned small hotel or lodging that would be affordable for people with limited incomes.
“I think working-class people deserve luxury, they deserve relaxing times. While tourism and the hospitality industry definitely cater to people who have money ... it'd be really nice to find a way to work with institutions that are interested in providing that type of experience for hardworking people who maybe don't make enough money to blow a couple of hundred dollars on a weekend,” Prudhomme said.