Ask Lance and Joanne Murphy (above) what helped to sustain them during several years of renovating the property that became Port Austin Bed and Breakfast, and they’ll give lots of credit to their MBBA Aspiring Innkeeper membership.

After their opening weekend in May 2021, Joanne posted in MBBA’s private member forum, which is open to Aspiring members: “Our opening weekend, although small, went very well. Our guests enjoyed their rooms and their meals. We received lots of compliments on our attention to little details. Many of those details were inspired by you all and your willingness to share your ideas and challenges. We thank you all. Joining MBBA is the single most important thing we did to ensure our success. Again, THANK YOU!”

Starting your own bed and breakfast can be a daunting task, but with the help of our members and their resources, the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association can assist you in making your dream a reality!

Scroll down for shadowing opportunities, to apply for membership as an aspiring innkeeper, and for great print and online educational resources.

Meet Aspiring Innkeeper members


Anna and Michael Hunter

5125 Stansbury Drive
Solon, OH 44139
(216) 410-2778

We are interested in purchasing a B&B in Michigan and are gathering information for our business plan. If the process doesn’t work out for the specific location, we are open to considering others in the state.

Laura Huth-Rhoades and Tom Rhoades
2133 119th Ave
Allegan MI 49010
[email protected]
We are aspiring innkeepers, and I am the daughter and great-granddaughter of current and past innkeepers in Michigan and Wisconsin. Tom and I are proud to carry this legacy by transforming a guest suite in our rural barn home into a welcoming nature-surrounded B&B retreat called Oriole’s Nest. We also plan to create and open another small outbuilding as our second lodging option for additional guests. We hope to open in mid-2022. We are looking to learn and grow into our new role with the help of other Michigan innkeepers!

Sharon Miller
4967 S. Birch Lane
Cadillac, MI 49601
[email protected]

Lost my spouse about eight months ago. Have owned my own business for 50 years and would like to explore the possibility of owning and operating a BnB.

Andrea Bergman
424 E Ayer Street
Ironwood, MI 49938

[email protected]

I own a 1907 historic foursquare in Ironwood, Mi, and planning to convert it into a Bed and Breakfast.

Bernadette Steele
1215 W. Granville Unite G
Chicago, Il  60660

[email protected]

I am starting my research to determine whether being an innkeeper is for me.

Cynthia & Eric Deitemeyer
2409 Thandlewane Path
Shoreham, Mi  49085
269 769 6802 cell – 813 523 9659

[email protected]

We are seeking a position as innkeepers.


Benefits of Aspiring Innkeeper Membership:

    • Listing on the Aspiring Innkeeper webpage
    • Notices of and invitations to meetings, webinars and conferences
    • Subscriptions to eNewsletters and other special mailings/alerts
    • “Shadow” veteran innkeepers for on-the-job training (See “Become a Shadower,” below)
    • Participate in educational webinars as scheduled
    • Access to the private online member Facebook forum 24/7
    • Waive the $50 non-member guest fee for the annual MBBA innkeeping conference

Annual Dues:  • $99
For a membership application, click here or call or email the office.

Note: If you open your inn and join as a full inn member before your aspiring membership year is over, we will pro-rate your $99 membership fee against your $150 start-up fee. Full inn membership is REQUIRED within 30 days after you open your doors to your first guests. If you choose not to become a full inn member within the 30-day grace period, your aspiring innkeeper membership status will be revoked.

Note: Aspiring Innkeeper Membership is as an associate member and is non-voting.


Find B&B Purchase Opportunities Here.

Become a Shadower – Learn the B&B Ropes

There’s no better way to decide whether innkeeping is right for you than by trying it on for size. And there’s no better way to learn what to do and how to do it best than by doing it — under the guidance of an innkeeper who lives it every day.

MBBA is the only Michigan organization that offers aspiring innkeepers the chance to shadow a professional innkeeper at a working inn. A list of those participating in the program is below. NOTE that each innkeeper and each B&B is different. Each has its own shadowing protocols. To the extent possible, each will tailor those protocols to suit your situation and availability. Some may charge you a fee (but only for an overnight stay), especially during their busy times. Others may offer only a mid-week and/or a daytime-only experience. Some have lots of time and space while others are more limited. But ALL will welcome you with open arms. Don’t be shy: if you are an MBBA-member aspiring innkeeper, call or email to set up your personal shadowing experience.

Ellsworth:  The House on the Hill B&B  l  Marci Palajac  l  231-588-6304  l  email

Grand Haven:  Looking Glass Beachfront Inn  l  Brian King  l  231-588-6304  l  email

Ludington:  Lamplighter B&B  l Jen Hinderer  l  231-843-9792  l  email

Ludington:  Ludington House  l  Ellen Alderink  l 231-845-7769  l  email 

St. Johns:  Nordic Pineapple B&B  l  Kjersten Offenbecker  l  989-292-4178  l  email

Whitehall:  The Lewis House B&B  l  Debi Hillebrand  l  844 -854-6424  l  email


Great Print and Online Learning Resources

Setting Up and Running a Successful B&B
How tough is it? Can you cut it? Find out from Karen Thorne, innkeeper and founder, Bed & Breakfast Academy

Articles for Aspiring Innkeepers.
A guide to financing B&Bs, inns and boutique hotels. Authored by Richard Newman, 

Running a Bed & Breakfast for Dummies
Learn to * Choose a location and make it your own * Create a profitable business plan * Decorate and renovate your property * Market your property for maximum occupancy. Authored by Mary White, former president of