Nancy Renner and her husband Dallas Renner, both University of Delaware alumni, are the proud innkeepers of the Chocolate Turtle, an award-winning Bed and Breakfast in Corrales, New Mexico.

Nancy graduated from the University of Delaware in 1968 with a degree in Home Economics and a minor in Landscape Horticulture.

“As part of my Horticulture minor, my summer experiences at Longwood Gardens were my most memorable experiences. The first summer I worked in the gardens, rotating throughout the grounds, learned from very experienced gardeners, attended a lecture every Wednesday afternoon taught by a horticulture specialist from Longwood, received college credit and got paid.”

After graduating from the University of Delaware, Nancy had many various careers before purchasing the Chocolate Turtle.

In 2004, the Chocolate Turtle was an underperforming Bed and Breakfast, but Nancy and Dallas saw its potential and decided to become entrepreneurs. Nancy says, “Combining the skills I had gained at the University of Delaware with our finance and marketing skills, and lots of hard work, we have transformed a depressed B&B into a thriving, successful small business.”

The couple has transformed the plain white exterior of the home to a colorful, vibrant Bed and Breakfast that is certainly memorable. There are four unique and colorful guestrooms, a porch and patio surrounded by luscious gardens, and a fantastic view of the Sandia Mountains.

Regarding owning their own Bed and Breakfast, Nancy comments, “We have enjoyed meeting so many terrific people from all over the world and introducing them to the wonders of New Mexico. As we greet our guests, it has been exciting to have them say ‘Wow – this is even more beautiful than your website!!’”

These guests are not alone in their high opinion of the Chocolate Turtle. In 2009, the Turtle was recognized by the Tourism Association of New Mexico, and received the Tourism Industry Association Recognition Award for the best tourism website in New Mexico. Since then, Trip Advisor has ranked the Chocolate Turtle and the Number 1 Bed and Breakfast in New Mexico. In addition, awarded the Chocolate Turtle the “Best of the Southwest” for 2009.

Although Nancy may never have seen herself as an innkeeper, she firmly believes that the University of Delaware prepared her for every job she has had. She says, “I felt Delaware prepared me very well for all my careers – as an Extension Agent for the University of Maryland and Texas A&M Cooperative Extension Service – as a Nutritionist at a health clinic – as a small business owner of the Flower Bugs, as a Floral Buyer and Merchandiser – as a mom – and now as a Bed & Breakfast owner.”

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