About the Hosts and The Country Garden Retreat
The Country Garden Retreat isone of the newest hospitality
venues in Hinckley, Minnesota. But owners Steve and Sue Johnson
are not newcomers to guest hospitality.
"We have loved the B&B business since we purchased The Dakota Lodge in 2001. So in 2006 we decided to buy another facility for retreats
and workshops of all kinds!"
The idea to start the Country Garden Retreat came to Sue and Steve after they heard that the Retreat business is doing well in many areas of the U.S. and that specific types of Retreat Programs are very popular.
The idea spawned a search for a new property and amazingly enough there was a perfect spot just down the road from the Dakota Lodge. The Country Garden Retreat is one of Hinckley's Historical homes. Owned and built by Tobies owners in the 70's. It still has the character and personality of the original home. This home is close to town but isolated enough that you do not feel like you are in the thick of things. Great golf and casino are right next door. Hinckley and neighboring towns offer shopping, museums and restaurants. It could not be in a better area of Minnesota or proximity to the Twin Cities.
Steve and Sue were married in the Abacos Islands, a string of
Bahamian islands located about 175 miles east of Palm Beach,
Florida, in February 2005, their 9th year as a couple.
They enjoy golfing and dancing and going to the fair. It is
their dream to buy a three masted schooner and sail around the
Steve is a certified diver and would love to add hours
to his log in search of sunken treasure.
Sue and Steve enjoy being out in the country and taking time
to enjoy the abundance of nature around them. They have thoroughly
enjoyed running Dakota Lodge.
Sue - As a former Food Service Director on a college campus. Sue
teaches a nationally recognized certification course for food
safety to restaurants, day cares, nursing homes, hospitals and
other food service operations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Steve - Now a "retired" instructor of machining at
St. Paul Technical College. Before Steve met
Sue, his many interests included scubadiving,music, kung fu, inventing,
and reading; then Sue introduced him to golf. These days, you'll
find Steve on the many golf couses, putting
in the living room, reading golf books, and talking golf. Extreme
golfers, Steve and Sue are members at Sandstone Golf Course and the Grand National Golf Course. Steve sits on the board for the Hinckley Fire Museum and American Legion.