Mike and Vicki Loner

Mike and Vicki Loner with their daughter Alex at their new inn in Hinesburg.

Don’t let the last name fool you. Mike Loner really enjoys company.

So much so that Loner and his family have spent the last two years building a new home from scratch on Mechanicsville Road with the intent of keeping a portion of the house as a little inn, with four bedrooms and a maximum occupancy of eight.

Loner, and his wife Vicki, moved to Vermont in the 1990s “but even way back then were, like, ‘We should open a small bed and breakfast or little inn.’ We’ve always kind of kept an eye out for that,” he said.

Now, they’re living the New England dream — almost. They’re not quite a bed and breakfast, just an inn, since they don’t have food available. But it’s unlikely guests will be disappointed.

The couple moved to Hinesburg in 2007, but in 2014 “started looking seriously” for property where they could build an inn and home for themselves.

Mike has been on the Hinesburg Selectboard since 2020. Vicki is the chief executive officer at OneCare Vermont

They bought the property on Mechanicsville Road, formerly part of the Quinn Farm, just south of the Champlain Valley Union High School.

“It just kind of never really happened until a few years ago,” he said. “This lot became available. I was, like, I think we can do it.

They started the house in summer of 2020, and it’s been a long and winding road since.

“There were a ton of delays,” he said. It was finally finished in April, and the couple got their state certificate of occupancy and a state license to run as an inn.

Named the Birch and Berry Inn, it features four rooms and has a maximum occupancy of eight.

“It’s been going really well,” Loner said.

They’ve been booked since they opened in May and have had more than 20 guests. “So far it’s all word of mouth and Airbnb.”

They’ve had three of the four rooms listed on Airbnb, but they “haven’t listed the fourth room yet, because we’re also getting a lot of local calls — mostly friends or people I’ve known for a while, who are like, ‘Hey, I heard you’re up and running, my mom’s coming in for a week, do you happen to have a room?’ So, we’re trying to make it so we when we get those phone calls, we’re sure we have a room,” he said.

It’s been a bit of an adjustment, but there seems a sense of relief that a dream in the works for more than 20 years is finally materializing.

“It’s been surreal,” Vicki said. “I remember talking about this when we first moved to Vermont. Now we’re here.”

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