Tim and Kim Gratzer became owners of the Fat Duck Inn in late December of 2018 with great excitement and enthusiasm for the wonderful property. After lengthy careers in Western Washington, the time was right to try something new and with the support of family and a host of friends the idea of residing in Walla Walla and owning / managing a bed and breakfast has evolved from dream to reality.
Growing up together in the same home town, Kent Washington, it is still clear in their minds remembering their first date, September 19th, 1980, while juniors at Kent Meridian High School. From that day forward the two have been inseparable!
After high school graduation, Kim also completed her cosmetology license and began working as a hair stylist. Eventually, Kim opened her own hair salon, which she had sold in 2019, Kim was in business for 30 years! Her experience in the services industry has armed her with knowledge and ability to provide outstanding customer service to her clients. She strongly advocates these experiences will be demonstrated in the Fat Duck Inn operations.
Tim, once he learned he would not become a professional soccer player, settled into the corporate environment and recently completed a 32 year career at Boeing. A self-proclaimed entrepreneurial dreamer, Tim believes the greatest value of this undertaking is establishing lasting relationships while providing a quality bed and breakfast experience for customers as they witness the grandeur of Walla Walla.
Through their time together they have raised two wonderful children (Eastern Washington and Washington State University graduates, respectively), managed a business, weathered the cyclical nature of the aircraft industry, and for Kim, fought and won a battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2012.
Their love for the local area can be summed as Tim tells the story:
“Roughly 15 years ago we were travelling back and forth to visit the kids at
school on the east side of the state. A friend mentioned Walla Walla as a
stop to check out the great wines being produced in Washington.
Having recently purchased and consumed a 2000 Dunham Cellars
Cabernet Sauvignon we were at the precipice of truly exploring our love
for wine. Our first ever winery visit was at the Fort Walla Walla Winery
tasting room in downtown. From that day both Kim and I knew
we would eventually reside in this beautiful little town in the southeast
corner of the state.Unfortunately for our children, nearly all our trips across the state from that day forward
included a stop in Walla Walla and in some cases we made them drive from their schools
to meet us there!” Throughout the years and visits and somewhere along the journey,
the idea of tasting at every winery in Walla Walla came to fruition. Though it is difficult to
measure if this was truly accomplished as wineries come and go, Tim and Kim have now visited over 150 wineries in the area thus making them uniquely qualified to provide guidance to guests for their daily wine journeys.