About 30 miles south of Fayette County is the tiny town of Molena, Georgia. Five years ago it was almost dead, its one caution light blinking like an SOS signal.
Enter Jenny and Teddy Meeks, a Griffin couple searching for a farm, they found more than they bargained for. Falling in love with the area, they bought 60 acres about a mile outside Molena to realize their dream of farming flowers. But looking for an apartment to rent until they built a home, the couple was drawn to the town’s short strip of turn-of-the-century buildings. After touring a 1908 building, once a general store, Jenny knew it would make a great bed and breakfast.
Working with the building owner, they began a six-month renovation, adding a staircase and turning the large upstairs room into four guest rooms. During that time, they lived downstairs behind drop-cloth curtains. “Everybody thought we were crazy,” Jenny said, adding that locals couldn’t understand who would want to stay in the dying town.
Today, Wild Daisy Farm Bed and Breakfast and Café, named for one of the couple’s favorite flowers, offers the only lodging in Pike County. With its exposed brick walls, worn wood floors and eclectic antiques, it exudes a by-gone era. A map that marks visitors from all over the country doesn’t include the many international visitors from as far away as Australia and Japan.
While Jenny runs the bed and breakfast, Teddy manages the farm, which initially supplied sunflowers to Whole Foods. Now, it’s open during the growing season for the public to pay-to-pick flowers including lavender, also sold at the bed and breakfast and by the couple’s son, Hudson, at area farmer’s markets. The Meeks recently expanded, selling their farm and purchasing another nearby historic farm, which doubled the size of their flower fields.
Bed and breakfast guests enjoy the farm experience. “They want to pick up eggs, cut flowers, stay at the hotel and eat the food that they’ve seen growing at the farm—that whole get-to-the-country experience,” Jenny said, adding that people liken their visits to stepping back in time or visiting grandma’s house. “People are wanting to get back to their roots and they are wanting comfort,” she said. They think of grandma’s house as comfort, and they want comfort food.” But this innkeeper, always in her signature wide-brimmed hat, warns, “I want you to feel like you’ve come to grandma’s house, but don’t look at me like I’m grandma.”
Guests awaken to breakfast favorites such as fresh eggs, quiche, hashbrown casserole and honey biscuits. The café is open for lunch and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays only. Reservations are recommended. With locally sourced ingredients, menu favorites include slow-smoked pork steak, parmesan chicken, and chicken and rice soup, and desserts, made from Jenny’s grandmother’s recipes. “We have people who drive over an hour just to eat our dessert,” she said.
After dinner, guests can visit the Tipsy Daisy next door. Run by the Meeks daughter, Morgan, it features live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
For more information about Wild Daisy Farm Bed and Breakast and Café visit www.wilddaisybnb.com.