Our story starts when Suzanne and Holly met in a Michigan grade school. Best friends throughout their school days they parted ways after graduation to pursue college and careers. Remaining close through the years, having daughters within a week of each other, who are like cousins, Suzanne and Holly ended up on opposite coasts. The four planned summertime trips together somewhere in the middle and as the two daughters grew up, the moms decided they wanted to be together once their girls went off to college. Suzanne, always having the dream of opening a Bed & Breakfast near the water, decided it would be economically easier to accomplish her dream in North Carolina where Holly lived rather than Oregon where she had spent the last 35 years.
Finding life partners in each other in 2010, Jeff and Suzanne soon realized their mutual passion for following their dreams and enjoying life’s adventures. That brought light to a common interest of entertaining and opening a Bed & Breakfast. Jeff wanted to get back near the water with a favorable climate and Suzanne wanted to entertain, cook, and be close to her friend. With the two daughters approaching college, Suzanne and Jeff decided to look for property in North Carolina during a 2016 visit to see Holly, who was living in Raleigh at the time. The first home they toured was the perfect fit. They fell in love with the small town of Southport and the grand residence overlooking the water.
The Inn opened its doors just weeks after Hurricane Florence in 2018, with contractors as the first guests. Besides running the Inn, Suzanne and Jeff became involved with their new community giving back through fundraising, celebrations and events.
Suzanne, a retired Realtor of over 25 years is a natural at welcoming others and entertaining, and has always had a passion for cooking. She even published a cookbook, Bountiful Blessings, and most recently published a cookbook for the Inn called, The Flavors of LaPolena. You can buy it on this site on the Purchase page, or ask Suzy for a copy.
You may not see her every day, but Holly is pivotal to LaPolena’s success. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work and has been helping people make positive changes in their lives for 25 years. Holly enjoys volunteering at the animal shelter, machine embroidering, reading, sewing (she made the window valances here at LaPolena), and visiting the beach. She too has moved to Southport and now calls it her home.
In April 2021 we said goodbye to Jeff after his courageous battle with cancer over a period of 18 months. Suzy continues to run the Inn, as it was her dream and Jeff wanted her to keep doing what she loves.
We look forward to hearing your story….
Here is a quick video featuring Suzanne being interviewed: