Meet the Innkeepers
Patty and Jeff
Technology buff, chief maker and designer of things
Patty grew up not far from Northern Comfort, in neighboring Tower-Soudan. The move to Northern Comfort was a return home for Patty, who moved away after high school and spent the last 25 years living in Minneapolis, Dallas and Nashville. Patty works from her home office at the farm, helping indie business owners and authors with marketing needs. While Jeff focuses on making sure the guests have an amazing stay at the inn, Patty is responsible for the design, decor, website and keeping track of reservations. She’s also the book-keeper (much to her daily chagrin) and the bread and granola maker.
Before Northern Comfort, Patty spent most of her career working in marketing, first for the Pohlad Family (of the Minnesota Twins), then manufacturing before working directly with private clients. She also is a huge supporter of the indie business and makers movement, serving as a board member for the Staunton Downtown Development Association and winning a $10,000 new business grant to launch a line of clothing (still in the works!)
In her spare time Patty loves to read (mostly mysteries) and is working on writing her first novel. She’s an experienced seamstress and stitches up funky fashions to wear and for sale. If you are interested in sewing, knitting, cooking and other fun home decor hacks, check out her blog on her website.
Chief Cook and B&B Minder
Jeff is the half of the couple that interacts with the guests most of the time. He’s the head chef, sauna minder and keeps the grounds and buildings looking lovely. He came to Northern Comfort after a career spent working primarily in conservation and environmental work. A forester by training, he worked for the Virginia Department of Forestry for 15 years before he and a business partner started a business focused on riparian and water quality planting in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. He and Patty owned an antique shop in historic Staunton, Virginia, where they lived prior to moving to Northern Comfort.
Jeff is a life-long lover of fishing. He was born in Utica, New York, and his family moved to Florida when he was 10. He grew up in Daytona Beach, spending most of his spare time in various fishing boats with his friends and picking up longer trips as summer employment in high school.
Jeff and Patty are both huge music fans, although Jeff is more of a 70’s rock guy while Patty loves 60’s soul. He’s seen every great rock band live, except for Queen. He reads a lot in what spare time he can find — mostly American history and biographies.
The Furry Ones
Peppermint, Biscuit and Mama Kitty
Northern Comfort also has a few furry residents. Peppermint the basset hound and Biscuit the stripey orange house kitty live in the innkeepers’ quarters with Patty and Jeff — so no worries if you are allergic or dislike felines. For the dog lovers, just ask to meet Peppermint, she’s super friendly and goofy. Biscuit is a bit more contained and prefers to hang out on his perch on top of grandma’s hutch in our bedroom or watching squirrels from Patty’s office window that overlooks the bird feeders.
Guests may also see our resident barn dweller, Mama Kitty, slinking around the grounds during your visit. She’s a fluffy orange cat and tends to be fairly standoffish with strangers. She lives in a super deluxe cat apartment — the chicken coop attached to the dairy barn. Watch for her at dusk on summer evenings when she likes to sit in the dry sink under the window and sing the songs of her people until her human slave (Jeff) replenishes her kitty chow and water. And for those wondering about how barn cats fare in our 40 below winters, never fear. She has a custom built straw igloo, electric heated sleeping mat and water bowl that is also electric to ensure her water doesn’t freeze. In fact, the one time the previous innkeepers tried to nicely ‘put her in the barn’ during a cold snap, Mama broke a window to get back to her chicken coop!