Claudette Lefebvre has felt a connection to the Berkshire area since spending childhood summers at her parents’ cottage near Lanesborough, Massachusetts. When she retired in 2001, Claudette found Pease Farm in Stephentown, New York. The farm was in significant disrepair, but Claudette decided to bring it back to life. After several years of hard work, Pease Farms once again operates as a working produce farm and CSA. Claudette sells the produce seasonally at her farm store along with homemade artisan baked goods. Chickens, donkeys, goats, and even a blind horse also live on the farm. Many of Claudette’s farm animals were rescues.
Claudette’s background in Recreational Therapy (she has a doctoral degree and taught the subject for 38 years at NYU) led to her goal of opening a retreat and learning center in her retirement. As a result, she built The Retreat at Pease Farm, a working Bed and Breakfast with three bedrooms in the property’s 18th century farmhouse. The Retreat also has three additional units in a separate building. In Claudette’s opinion, a successful Bed and Breakfast is one that makes its guests feel comfortable. “People need to feel that they’re really at home while they’re away from home,” she explains. Where some people feel hesitant about allowing strangers to stay in their homes, Claudette’s enjoys meeting new people from all parts of the world, and says it is one of her favorite things about running a B&B.