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Two decades, 3,000 breakfasts and 18,000 guests later, Thimbleberry Bed and Breakfast owners retire reports Inn Your Home


(EMAILWIRE.COM, October 27, 2012 ) San Francisco, CA- After serving more than 3,000 breakfasts to roughly 18,000 guests over two decades, the owners of the Thimbleberry Inn Bed and Breakfast have decided to close their doors.

Sharon and Craig Locey are leaving the B&B business while ranked No. 1 among Bayfields 17 bed and breakfasts on

They hope to sell their property, a 2,800-square-foot building located on 4.5 acres of lakefront property at 38085 Pageant Road, but plan to remain in the area. We are staying right here until the property sells and enjoying it ourselves just like the guests have enjoyed the peace and quiet and, of course, that beautiful lake located right in our front yard, Sharon said. The couple intends to move to a townhouse at Waterford On the Bay, less than two miles south of Bayfield, once their property sells, she added.

We love Bayfield. We love the Apostle Islands. We love Lake Superior and how pure the water is and we couldnt think of a better place to retire. Thats why were not going anywhere.

Sharon might be retiring from the bed and breakfast trade, but she will continue to stay busy selling real estate through her other business, Sharon K. Realty.

She also has her sights set on becoming a clown, having attended Clown School 101 in Cable a few years ago. Trying new things and keeping occupied are nothing new to Sharon, who used to pen a weekly column for The Daily Press and who appears regularly on WDSE-TVs cooking show. She authored the cookbook, Cooking at Thimbleberry Inn Bed and Breakfast.

Craig plans to do some sailing. Im going to miss the view and the location, Craig said. Im not going to miss the work that it takes to keep it all going. And were just looking to simplify our lives. Fewer items to stay on top of.

Craig, who designed the Inn, is the behind-the-scenes man, Sharon said. He does all the maintenance. He keeps the place up. Im the inside gal. But Craig just turned 70 and Im turning 65 on Friday, so we just decided it was time to kind of scale down and take it a little bit easier. This Sunday we will have our last guests.

Sharon and Craig, who hails from Buffalo, N.Y., met in Princeton, Ill., her hometown. Prior to opening the Thimbleberry Inn, she sold real estate and he worked as a forester.

You really need two people to run a bed and breakfast, Sharon said. One to do the cooking and you need the other person just to keep things up, looking nice. People cant get over that this building is 20 years old, but weve worked hard to keep it looking nice.

According to Sharon it has been rare that the Thimbleberry Inn has had a vacancy since opening 20 years ago.In 20 years we met a lot of nice people, Sharon said. Weve made a lot of lifelong friends. They came as guests and left as friends.

She expects to miss the Inn once it sells. Right now, Im OK, but it will probably hit me on the last day when everybody leaves, she said. After 20 years, its going to be very different. Its really, really tough to leave, but its time to pass it on to somebody else to enjoy.

Sharon said the Thimbleberry Inn, which has been featured in several magazines over the years, is for sale as either a bed and breakfast or as a private family home. Craig designed the building as a bed and breakfast but also as a private family home, she said. The bed and breakfast license does go with it. And it is transferrable, so we could transfer it to the new owner.

The property features 365 feet of Lake Superior shoreline and overlooks eight of the 22 Apostle Islands. It includes three large guest rooms with private entrances and private baths, reading chairs, wood-burning fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows facing the lake, air conditioning, wireless internet and a dock on the lake. Thimbleberry is listed with Sharon K. Realty at (715) 779-5757.

About ( features Charlie Yzaguirre and Tim McCormick co-authored Inn Your Home, a book about using Airbnb to locate paying guests who want to stay in other peoples spare bedrooms for a few nights to a few months. Airbnb is a San Francisco based website with a quarter of a million listings worldwide, and it has been growing at an impressive rate. Yzaguirre and McCormick live in San Diego, Calif.

Dustin Morris Hesler


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