Originally posted on Philly.com
Just as innkeeper Janet Reitano bid her last Spruce Hill Manor guest adieu last week, Monique Greenwood, the CEO — or chief enjoyment officer — of Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns arrived on the West Philly premises.
She immediately started plotting.
The sparkling chandeliers would definitely stay. But the vintage photographs that depicted only turn-of-the-century white people, well they had to go. The old-school floral print china was stacked and ready to be boxed and replaced with geometric-patterned place settings.
“The thing about a bed-and-breakfast, it should be a reflection of the owner, her tastes, her sensibilities,” Greenwood, 59, shared with me one recent morning as the early summer sun streamed into the dining room of this very grand Baring Street home. “But at the same time, it shouldn’t feel like my house. It should feel like your house. It shouldn’t be museum-like, or pretentious and stuffy. Everything is to be enjoyed.”
Over the last 23 years, Greenwood, and her husband, Glenn Pogue, have amassed quite the collection of bed-and-breakfasts popular in tony travel circles that speak directly to the sensibilities of African Americans without excluding folks of other cultures.