A country retreat was exactly what Tesha Buss needed after following her passion to the lights of Broadway.
After a decade of fulfilling her childhood dreams as a choreographer performing on and off-Broadway her heart began to dance to another tune that eventually became Good Commons (4771 Route 100A, Plymouth, Vermont 05056, 802-672-1859 or 802-776-8333), a historic general store in Vermont that has been converted into a small space to host retreats and events.
Good Commons is a 4,700 square foot country retreat where Buss hosts everyone from entrepreneurs to culinary and wine to yoga retreats to small weddings.
Solo travelers are welcome, too.
“It can be really affordable for an entire weekend,” says Buss, who opened Good Commons in the summer of 2008.
The year-round retreat space is open for private and public use accommodating a variety of community and small business needs. It sleeps up to 20 people in six rooms in a farmhouse style loft and comes with a private chef, transportation on the Good Bus from New York. The Good Bus also transports guests on day trips around Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and up into Canada.
“It’s a very easy, relaxed, peaceful [and] easy going atmosphere,” says Buss, about the retreat where everyone comes to breakfast in their PJ’s. “It’s very communal.”
Five years prior to embarking on the Good Commons venture, Buss was immersed in her life as a choreographer performing across the country and on Broadway in the last company of Cats.
One morning while working on a show in San Diego, California, Buss woke up to a voice in her head urging her to open a retreat. The thought never occurred to her before that moment, but it would take nearly five more years before she would follow the voice to realize Good Commons.
“I was immersed in theater, but that idea, well it had a charge,” says Buss, who brushed the idea away as she stayed focused on her childhood dream to perform in Cats on Broadway. But nearing her 10th year of her theatrical career and her childhood dream accomplished she was exhausted and realized that she wanted something different.
“It was a great ride. I really did fulfill [my childhood dream],” says Buss, but it was time for a new vision for her life. She dove into finding her new dream and reinventing herself. As she searched, the retreat returned and remained a constant presence.
“This was the only thing that kind of kept coming up, but I didn’t know how to do it. How do you afford to buy a huge place by yourself?” asks Buss.
Buss discovered Vermont in 2000 when she began working at the Weston Playhouse as a choreographer seasonally.
She fell in love with the country life Vermont offered during her six seasons at the playhouse. It reminded her of her childhood growing up on a dairy farm in Illinois.
“[I] just had to figure out a way to live here full-time,” says Buss.
“I love the country landscape, but Vermont had the best of both,” says Buss about being able to enjoy the country, but not be too far away from the sophistication of city life with Boston about a four hour drive away. “A lot of people who live here are more cultured than some folks from Illinois and you have access to cities.”
Good Commons came to her when she spied a 150-year-old general store that was in disrepair, but it took time and a lot of rejection by banks denying her loans until a local couple privately invested in her venture.
Buss is endeared to Plymouth’s small town atmosphere where everyone looks after each other and supports one another, she says. Good Commons wouldn’t have happened without that mentality.
“It’s kind of a miracle that it’s even here,” says Buss, who embraced the challenge. Her father and she moved into a small camper on the property after she bought it. Together they began a two year journey fixing up the old general store. “I’m kind of glad because this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
“I like the community the most,” says Buss. “I just feel a lot of support and I think that’s the biggest part I feel connected.”
In the summer of 2008, Good Commons opened its doors. Nearly six years later it’s thriving. Buss has moved off of the property to a farm down the road, which she eventually plans on expanding the retreat.
“I do love it,” says Buss. “I like meeting people.”
Especially those who come from Boston, Hartford, New York, and other urban centers where she garners her intellectual stimulation through cultural banter nearly every weekend when she come up on the Good Bus, Good Commons’ private shuttle from New York City.
“I get to keep my pulse on what’s going on, but live in the country,” says Buss.
The Good Bus also serves as a tour bus for group parties taking guests out on day trips exploring Vermont’s microbrew and emerging wineries, creameries and farms, autumn foliage, sleigh rides in winter and even day or overnight adventures to Montreal and Toronto and more.
Check out some of the upcoming retreats Good Commons is hosting:
April 24 – 27
Singer/Songwriters Angelique Mouyis, Niko Tsakalakos and Lindsay Brook Davis
Good Commons is hosting a dynamic group of singer/songwriters for a weekend of workshops, music making and yoga/exercise sessions with Angelique Mouyis, Niko Tsakalakos and Lindsay Brook Davis. Streach your creative limits and collaborate to grow as an artist. Poets, singers and musicians of all ability levels are all encouraged to attend.
Cost: $375 for the weekend.
June 5 – 8
A Sweet Escape 2014 with Alejandra Ramos
Always Order Dessert’s amazing Chef Alejandra Ramos present their third culinary getaway weekend at Good Commons. This all-inclusive weekend adventure will feature interactive cooking and cocktail demos, a four-course chef’s tasting dinner with wine pairings, DIY workshops, local culinary and shopping excursions, daily morning yoga classes and an in-house massage therapist*, hot tub, outdoor fire pit and more.
Cost: Starting at $585 for the 3-night all-inclusive weekend, including transportation from New York City.
June 26 – 29
Spring into Summer Yoga Retreat
Enjoy a fun and relaxing weekend of yoga and music with hostesses Karma Dawn Longtin and Rachel Barringer. Relax and stretch with daily Vinyasa and slow flow practices accompanied by Rachel on cello along with time to hike, explore shop or simply hang out during this long weekend getaway. Enjoy incredible gourmet meals presented by Chef Jessica Gorman.
July 3 – 6
July 4th Celebration and Yoga Retreat with YourWholeLife.net
Enjoy the holiday weekend with a yoga retreat hosted by Jocelyn Krasner of YourWholeLife.net. Jocelyn will lead daily yoga sessions, beautiful hikes on the Appalachain Trail, and a “Blankets, Brownies and Beaujolias Fireworks Celebration” at the historic Calvin Coolidge Estate that will make this weekend one to remember. Taste the farm-to-table delights prepared by Chef Melissa Gellert and a few blazing campfires. This weekend may make you want to never go home.
Cost: $225 to $292 per night and up depending on choice of accommodations. Transportation included.
July 10 – 13
Nature and Nurture Yoga Retreat with Pamela Godbois and Kelly Froio
Take a long weekend away from everything to de-stress with Pamela and Kelly of Banyan Tree Yoga. This 4 day / 3 night weekend of yoga, vegetarian meals, swimming, paddling, sunning and visits to local farms, historic sites, wine and cheese artisans and more.
Originally published by Girls That Roam.