Corporate Exec Jettisons Day Job to Fulfill Dream Role as Innkeeper in Harbor Country

It’s the dream scenario. Ditching the day job in the whirlwind of corporate America and hitting the path to a kinder, gentler approach to life as an innkeeper in Michigan’s Harbor Country, and for Hillary Stifler, it’s the dream come true.

Fueled by a pre-pandemic dream, Hillary, a Michigan native, seized the opportunity to acquire the historic Garden Grove Inn located in Union Pier, leaving Chicago and her previous corporate life behind to fulfill a lifelong goal. Garden Grove Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast, has been host to guests from all over the world since its 1992 transformation from fruit farm to quaint beach town inn, and Stifler is the first female entrepreneur to solely own and operate that property.

Stifler, formerly a Vice President of Market Research in Chicago, armed with a business degree, decided to make the jump joining the thousands who have reassessed priorities during these uncertain times, saying, “I have thought about running my own Bed & Breakfast since I first stayed at a family friend’s inn in Sedona, Arizona as a kid.” She goes on to tell us, “After traveling the world over, staying in the loveliest of places, taking notes, and storing ideas, I decided now was time to take the leap.”

After a few months of property searching, Stifler stumbled upon the Garden Grove Inn in the heart of Harbor Country, and admits, “I was immediately drawn in by the woods, the water and the tranquility of the property. It exuded so much love and hospitality, I knew this must be the place.”

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Stifler is eager to get to work utilizing her business and marketing background to help grow the local economy, attracting new visitors to the Inn and local businesses in the area. She adds, “I’m excited to be a local ambassador in Harbor Country, sharing all the best things to do in this beautiful corner of the world.”

Since purchasing the property, she’s been busy readying the 7-room, 100-year-old farmhouse and carriage house that comprise the Inn for the summer season now getting underway.

Garden Grove offers king and queen accommodations with en suites, cable television, wifi and complimentary breakfast. Other room amenities available include double jacuzzi tub, kitchenette, gas fireplace and private balconies.

Located just an hour northeast of Chicago in southwest Michigan, the Inn is just blocks away from the beaches of Lake Michigan, nature walks, bike trails, restaurants, hand-crafted beverages, entertainment and shopping. For more information you can visit online at: