The Greater Good Retreat located deep in the Ozark Mountains is perfect for an overnight getaway to escape your everyday worries and to take some time to get back to nature. Located on Jenkins Road in Botkinburg, this retreat might be minutes from Clinton and less than an hour from Conway, but one will quickly experience the tranquility of this special little corner of Van Buren County.
Sean and Jackie Sikes, owners of the Greater Good Retreat, have taken two different paths to end up together exactly where they want to be and doing something they love. Sean, originally from Arkansas, has lived in Van Buren County for the past 20 plus years and Jackie was a city girl who had always dreamed of living in the mountains. Sean had made a life in hotel management and happily provided for their family until gardening invaded his life. Through a series of life events, Jackie’s dreams had been coming true step by step. She had finally moved to the country in 2004 and while running for justice of the peace in in Dennard, she had learned of the need to help local farmers. She took this need and turned it into the Greater Good Café. There were many steps leading up to the opening of the café, but it was this opening, and the offering of a locally grown lunch that soon took Sean from a career in hospitality, to farming. Sean soon fell in love with gardening and is a real nature lover and herbalist at heart. His transition to this way of life was more of a dream come true for both of them.
The Sikes would run the Greater Good Café until November of 2016. They had run the café on the premises that you eat what you need, pay what you can. This was one of their ways of giving back and fighting hunger in Van Buren County. The Sikes have kept with this mission of giving back and currently run the Daily Bread program, providing seniors with a loaf of homemade bread twice a month and other value-added products, and their Seed to Senior program which provides seniors with fresh locally grown produce from farmers in our community.
It was also November of 2016 that the Sikes were gifted 140 acres to expand, or you could say transform, their efforts. They would transition from a storefront restaurant, to full-time farmers. This move allowed for bigger and better gardens, providing more fresh produce for our community and more time to work on their nonprofit programs. This move was also the beginning of the Greater Good Retreat. This magical retreat has everything a nature lover could imagine from a running creek, mountains, fertile farmable land to an amazing waterfall. With overnight accommodations, a stay at the Greater Good Café is sure to be one filled with great memories and will most likely prompt a return visit. Anyone wanting to learn more about their senior programs or to book a stay at the retreat and see the process firsthand, can contact Jackie at (501) 253-4716.