Number of Years in Business:
We've been operating the Bed & Breakfast for about 4 years but we've had the farm here in southern Fauquier for 25 years.
How did you come to own a B&B?
My husband Tony & I spent our honeymoon... 32 years ago... at a bed & breakfast in Cape May New Jersey. It was small. It was cozy. The Inn Keeper was friendly and caring - genuinely interested in our comfort and well being. A big, wonderful breakfast was the focal point of the day and we easily became fast friends with the other guests as we gathered around the dining room table. It was a big, happy party in a grand house.
We enjoyed our stay so much that we talked about " maybe someday" having our own B&B.
"Wouldn't it be nice?" we'd say. So here we are... 32 years later.
Our idea of a B&B just sort of evolved over the years. We hadn't done any long range planning or any planning at all, for that matter. We have always liked to entertain and always had a house full of family and friends as weekend guests so a B&B seemed the next logical step. We loved where we lived and thought others might, too. That's how it started.
What made you take the leap of faith to become a business owner?
The opportunity presented itself and the timing was right so, we thought, why not. Although we did have start-up expenses, we figured that if it didn't work out we'd be living here any way with the same basic bills. That was a pretty good safety net.
And, we'd had a pretty good dress rehearsal entertaining friends and relatives as weekend guests for years - only for free.
Proudest moment in business:
This is a tough question...... I guess my proudest moment(s) come every Sunday as the guests depart and say their goodbyes.
They arrived on Friday as strangers not knowing what to expect on a farm in tiny little, off the beaten path Sumerduck. By Sunday, they’re hugging, bemoaning leaving and planning their next visit. They return home refreshed, relaxed and energized... ready to face the outside world.
All it took was comfy accommodations, some newly made friends, and a little Cheesecake Farms magic.
Even though the weekends are a lot more work than you’d think, I really feel good (should I say proud?) that I am able to turn tensed-up urban folk into happy, relaxed smiling-faced guests. We all need a break – down time when someone else takes care of us even for only a short while. And that’s what happens here at Cheesecake Farms. Our guests really have, for a weekend, very little to concern them. They get comfortable accommodations, good food and meet friendly people. They can relax, reconnect and refresh. How wonderful is that?
Favorite places to go in Fauquier to have fun:
OMG…. There are so many!!
Although we have guests from all areas and walks of life, most of our guests are 30-something professionals from the metro D.C. area. They come to Fauquier because they love the naturalness of the area. They frequently comment about how the area is so “real” with “real” people… not like the contrived, built up urban areas they have escaped for the weekend. They marvel at how easy it is to get around and to park. They love that we have fresh air and a glorious night time star show. They love the color and pomp of hunt country and the refreshing relaxation of wine country. They shop till they drop at our farmers markets and farm stands always taking home fresh produce and country eggs. They feel safe and secure. They are amazed at how often strangers speak to them just to pass the time of day.
Visiting wineries is the number one reason for people to visit our area and stay at our B&B. Since we only serve breakfast, dinner out at one of our area restaurants always caps the day.
Hiking, walking and other outdoor activities is next on the list of what our guests love. Favorite places are Phelps Management Area in Sumerduck and Whitley Forest in Warrenton. Our own Cheesecake Farms Walking Trail gets lots of use, too! Sometimes our guests just want to stay right on the farm!
Our guests love the Gold Mining Museum at Monroe Park in Goldvein and are amazed when we tell them that this area is loaded with gold! Polo at the Great Meadow is another favorite.
4085 Sumerduck Rd
Sumerduck, VA 22742
Phone: (540) 439-2188