About LHC » Our History
On Easter Sunday, 1955, Roland 'Aime' and Rita Lafrance took the biggest risk of their lives when they opened a family restaurant in Westport, MA, named it White's, hired customer service driven employees and embarked on a family enterprise. Aime assumed responsibility for the kitchen and Rita oversaw the 'front of the house' - the service delivery side. Through constant attention to each customer and each detail, the business grew. White's developed a reputation for fine family dining, later becoming the location of choice for wedding receptions, and other banquets and functions.
Their only child, Richard, joined the business and learned every aspect of running a highly successful restaurant/banquet facility. Over time, he took a more pivotal role and developed ideas for the growth and expansion of the business plan. For example, having to disappoint people looking to hold large parties at White's led to the addition of the Grand Salon in 1985, an addition which added 9,800 square feet, and greater flexibility to the business.
Lafrance Hospitality Company took a step in a new direction in 1989, with the opening of it's first limited service Hampton Inn hotel, adjacent to White's of Westport. This Hampton Inn was joined by two more in 1995 and 2000, respectively, with the Fairhaven/New Bedford Hampton Inn and the Franklin, MA Hampton Inn. With the sale of the Fairhaven and Franklin Hampton Inn properties in 2007 to the Claremont Company, Lafrance launched it's the first non-owned Hotel Service Contracts.
The restaurant/banquet side of the business expanded, also, with the purchase of what was to become Bittersweet Farm Restaurant and Tavern in Westport, in 1998 and Rachel's Lakeside, a banquet/function facility in Dartmouth, MA in 2002. Richard and Muriel's children worked in the business; and several, Christian, Sean, Eric and their son-in law, Charlie have made it their careers. Lafrance Hospitality has developed an extended 'family' also, with many long-term employees, who have grown along with the business. The Lafrance family is quite proud of the many happy marriages that have had their beginnings at White's.
Lafrance Hospitality Company has been very busy over the past seven years. Adding to the Westport hotel, Lafrance Hospitality took the exciting step of opening a new hotel, under a new flag, a Comfort Inn and Suites, in Dover, New Hampshire. The Seacoast area of New Hampshire bears many similarities to the Southcoast Region of Massachusetts and is a good fit for the overall direction of the company. In 2007, Lafrance Hospitality developed a 122 room Hampton Inn & Suites in Plymouth, MA - America's Home Town. Next, was a second Comfort Inn & Suites nestled in the beautiful western lakes and mountains region of Wilton, Maine. A second and third Dover property, the Hampton Inn and the Homewood Suites, are a joint venture with the Bowden Group. Our latest hotel project was the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott & Waypoint Event Center, which opened in 2010 in Historic Downtown New Bedford, MA. So far, 2012 has been a busy year, with the acquisition of a Holiday Inn Express in Milford, Massachusetts and the opening of our latest restaurant concept, Ten Cousins Brick Oven, on Main Road in Westport, Ma.