The Opera Winfrey Network is set to premiere it’s newest Reality TV series, “Checked Inn,” executively produced by Dave Caplan, Rahel Tennione, and co-executively produced by Becca Guillon.
The show is set in Akwaaba’s Mansion on Noble Lane in the Poconos, Pennsylvania. Viewers will follow the life of the entrepreneurial Monique Gleenwood, founder of Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns and former editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine, her loving husband, Glenn, and her strong-willed daughter, Glynn. A colorful, hardworking staff, who all share the same common philosophy, surrounds the family as well. At Akwaaba it is all about providing hospitality and solace to guests that are looking to get away, escape, or even reignite forgotten passions.
So, how did this all begin? Before Gleenwood rose to the top of Essence, she was working in NY as a magazine editor, and decided to open up her very first bed and breakfast in Brooklyn with her husband. To a lot of people that would seem like heavy load, but she says, “I’ve been an entrepreneur—always.” Growing up in a family where he father always believed in obtaining “multiple strains of income,” Monique always knew she wanted to be a self-sufficient business women. She explains, “It is in my nature to always ask, ‘What’s next?’”
Akwaaba B&B has now grown into one of the most successful hospitality chains on the East Coast thanks to the tenacity and work ethic of its founder. But the family admits that although they have come so far, they have had to make many sacrifices in the process—Monique’s daughter, Glynn, in particular.
The Brooklyn location is the family’s actual home; therefore young Glynn grew up without the typical sense of childhood normalcy. Now, Glynn is an aspiring writer and faces the pressure of her mother wanting to leave the Akwaaba legacy all to her—a mother-daughter dynamic that we will see throughout the series. However, she makes it clear that her parents give her the room to explore life, and that the inns are still a major factor in her life. Above all, Glynn understands the “magnitude of this legacy,” and is proud to be a part of something that allows people in the black community to “feel celebrated.” Glynn says, “When black people come to Akwaaba they feel at home.” The meaning of ‘Akwaaba’ is welcome after all.
In case you are wondering what makes Akwaaba so special, it is the connection that guests receive upon arrival—whether that is with Monique, the staff, their significant other, or their own selves. It is all about “high-touch” in a world of high-tech.
When we got to catch up with Monique Gleenwood herself at the Brooklyn establishment she said, “What matters to me is that I’m living my life to the enth degree.” When asked what she wants to be written about her when all is said and done, she put it very simply, “I made a mark and didn’t leave a stain.”
Be sure to check out the season premiere of “Checked Inn” on the OWN Network, November 21st, at 10/9c. The series will air regularly on Saturday’s 10/9c.