Roux: The Art of Staying

What’s the adult equivalent of running away to join the circus? Leaving the mind-numbing grind of corporate life for a slower-paced existence in paradise. While few grown-ups have the courage to uproot themselves and take a leap of faith, for those that do the rewards are plentiful. In this new Ptownie series, we get a chance to meet local owners who have successfully moved to town and started a business.

Take Allison Baldwin and Ilene Mitnick. The two met years ago in the course of their work and after developing a relationship started a marketing firm together. The high-powered professional life was unsatisfying on a fundamental level, though, and they began to dream of a better life, filled with joyful work and beautiful surroundings. 

Evaluating their extensive skill sets, the couple decided on an inn, and began searching for the ideal location on the east coast. After considering and dismissing several locations they settled on Provincetown, where they’d vacationed for many years. In order to gauge the market here, they visited six times in 2013, experiencing town life through all the seasons.  “We were so enamored by Provincetown,” said Mitnick, who described winter as a season apart. So very different from summer, yet so enjoyable and beautiful. 

A Roux Awakening

They found an ideal location on Bradford Street and began the daunting process of creating Roux, their dream inn. While they’d heard the requisite stories about difficult contractors and lack of support from the town, their experience was far different. Baldwin noted that, “what we found was the complete opposite. The town was extremely cooperative and helpful from the start. And the contractor we selected was with us for the full renovation, a rapid process that took just over four months from start to finish… We had a good contractor and a good vision.”

A jewel box of an inn

They also had exquisite taste and an ability to create a welcoming space.  Roux is a jewel box of an inn, filled with color and whimsy, featuring six enchanting, unique rooms. The luxury continues with daily full breakfasts and evening ‘happier hours’ featuring wine and small plates. They strive to create a special experience for all who visit.

As Baldwin and Mitnick have settled into Provincetown they’ve developed strong connections, focusing on community development efforts. They are active in Provincetown 365, a volunteer organization with many community-wide initiatives involving everything from biking and waterfront design to increasing affordable housing in town.

Self-reliance and satisfaction

“It can be daunting for someone to ponder leaving a career. It’s not easy to actually walk away from all the benefits, including the 401k and the biweekly paycheck. But it is doable. Having done it, all I can say is that you can make it happen,” said Baldwin.

Mitnick describes this journey to paradise as transformative, bringing joy and absolute peace. “We have created a wonderful business in a wonderful town. We feed off the incredible diversity, and we find the energy here amazing.  We embrace it.  We bought a dream.”

Be sure to stop by Roux to experience Allison and Ilene’s vision in person. 

Throughout the season Ptownie will continue to spotlight business owners thriving here in town. Stay tuned as we chronicle the challenges, triumphs, lessons, and experiences that come with starting a new professional life at Land’s End.

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