Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns is the most successful B&B business on the East Coast, and Monique Greenwood remains the hands-on force behind it. She runs her four inns the only way she knows how — as the heart and soul, the everything planner and the innkeeper. Ever-helpful, Greenwood even finds herself offering advice to her guests when they confide in her.
“Checked Inn,” Greenwood’s new docu-series on OWN, highlights the couples who come to relax and reconnect at Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns as well as women enjoying girlfriend getaways. The series airs at 10 p.m. Saturdays ET on Oprah Winfrey’s cable network.
“I never dreamed of having a television show, but I am very excited that viewers get to see a functional Black family running a successful business,” Greenwood said. “My goal is to encourage the next generation of innovators and business game changers.”
Greenwood, who is also the John H. Johnson Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at Howard University, pursued a newfound love for hospitality by opening her first B&B in Brooklyn in 1995, while also working as a magazine editor. After five years, Greenwood landed a dream job at Essence magazine, the leading publication for African American women. She quickly rose to become editor-in-chief – even as she continued to run the B&B.
Much to everyone’s shock but in keeping with the title of her book Having What Matters, Greenwood eventually decided to walk away from her high-profile job at Essence. After juggling two professions for years, she wanted to focus on building the B&B business with her husband, Glenn, with the goal of creating a legacy they could pass on to their daughter, Glynn, who is the focus of the season finale on Saturday, Dec. 30. The episode also features the Rev. John Gray and his wife, Aventer, who run Lakewood Church in Houston and star in “The Book of John Gray.” (Click here to see sneak preview.)
The show is set at Akwaaba’s Mansion at Noble Lane in the Poconos at the former Woolworth estate. Couples go there to push back the world, re-ignite passion and celebrate life’s most exciting events. Things may not always go smoothly, but Greenwood, along with her hard-working family and staff, make sure their guests have an experience they’ll never forget. In addition, to Gray, celebrity guests include two-time Grammy® Award-winning singer/songwriter Peabo Bryson and black hair and skin-care entrepreneur Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter who came with her husband to renew their vows.
Fans of Greenwood’s series having been hosting “Checked Inn” viewing parties and live-tweeting #RenewCheckedInn. The series is executive produced by Dave Caplan (“Monica the Medium,” “Holy Foley”) from Trooper Entertainment in association with Lionsgate Television.