Meet the Innkeepers
Joel and Becca Graham are some of the youngest innkeepers in America. They have a passion for what they do and a philosophy to support it.
“After moving to Harrisonburg in October of 2018, we immediately fell in love with the Valley’s Friendly City. It wasn’t long before we saw that the beautiful, historic B&B up the road from our apartment was for sale and we started dreaming.”
Joel and Becca purchased the charming, circa 1885 inn in August of 2019, and in May of 2021 welcomed Kyle Mijares to join them hosting guests. Having very little experience in the hospitality industry, they were thankful to receive immense wisdom and guidance from the previous owner of the Inn, Wayne Engel.
Joel grew up in northern Michigan, relocated to western Pennsylvania in high school and has a degree in entrepreneurship from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Joel is also a singer/songwriter who plays guitar and piano. Joel spends most of his time behind the scenes on the business side of things, but enjoys chatting with guests and helping with breakfast in the mornings.
Becca was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She completed an undergraduate degree through Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a graduate internship through Penn State University before becoming a registered dietitian. Becca’s career as a dietitian is what initially brought them to Harrisonburg, as she accepted a job at Sentara RMH as an outpatient and cardiovascular/pulmonary rehab dietitian. Becca left her job as a dietitian in August of 2019 to take on the full-time role of an innkeeper. Becca loves taking care of the details of the B&B. She handles reservations and guest check-ins, plans and prepares breakfast, and spends a LOT of time cleaning. She enjoys serving guests in any way they may need and making them feel at home.
The couple love spending time outdoors and being active. Joel is an avid fly fisherman and enjoys morel mushroom hunting. Becca loves hiking, gardening, and cooking. Their most unique hobby is playing competitive roundnet (Spikeball), which has led them to travel extensively all over the U.S. (and beyond). They have even had a debut on ESPN!
Kyle came to the Shenandoah Valley to attend Bridgewater College, just 10 miles south of Harrisonburg and immediately fell for the Valley’s infectious charm. After graduating in 2015 with degrees in Spanish and Global Studies, he spent a few years traveling the world on a cruise ship out of Australia and substitute teaching in his home town of Santa Clarita, California. During that time, Kyle made many visits back to Virginia as he always considered it home in many ways.
Kyle is truly the host with the most – he loves meeting new people, and making guests feel cared for and at home. He is a knowledgable concierge and will always have the perfect dining or entertainment recommendation. His careful eye for elegance and style play a major role in bringing out the beauty of the Inn while maintaining the old world elegance.
“We truly believe that serving others is one of the most important aspects of life. We have been privileged to be able to travel often ourselves and want to play a part in helping others make positive memories and experience new places, people, and adventures.“
Supporting Local Businesses and Community
“We make every effort to incorporate fresh and local products into the breakfast menu, including meats sourced from local farms and produce grown here in the Shenandoah Valley. We also enjoy referring our guests to all the other wonderful Harrisonburg small businesses that have so much to offer visitors in the Valley.”
Reducing Environmental Impact
“We highly value the beauty of the earth around us and believe it is important to do what we can to preserve that. We are continually looking for ways to limit our negative impact on the environment, such as recycling, using refillable-containers for toiletries and cleaning products and converting to energy efficient light bulbs.”
“Our vision for The Friendly City Inn B&B is to create a space where our guests experience both the comforts of home and the highest-quality service. Regardless of the physical location, we believe that hospitality, kindness and a warm smile can make any trip unforgettable – and that is our mission!
Whatever you are traveling for, we would love to be the ones to welcome you to the Friendly City!”