Mary Celeste Beall is the Proprietor of the acclaimed resort hotels Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. For more than a decade, Beall has lived and worked on the family-owned properties. She first joined her late husband Sam in transforming Blackberry Farm into a renowned food, wine and wellness destination. As Proprietor, Mary Celeste led the Blackberry team in the creation and opening of Blackberry Mountain, evolving an incredible track of land into a haven for preservation and personal exploration in relaxation, wellness and adventure. She helped guide the expansion of the Blackberry brand, continuing a longstanding reputation for renowned hospitality and celebrated wine and food. Prior to moving to Blackberry Farm, Mary Celeste earned degrees in business and accounting, and worked as an associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco. She shares her time at Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain with her five children.
Over the years, the Blackberry brand has garnered industry praise, including Blackberry Farm’s three James Beard Awards for Best Chef—Southeast, Outstanding Wine Program and Outstanding Service, and was named Bon Appetit’s No. 1 Hotel for Food Lovers.
In 1976, Sandy Beall, a young entrepreneur bought Blackberry Farm alongside his wife Kreis and moved his young family to live full time at the nine-bedroom inn. Sandy had founded the restaurant Ruby Tuesday just four years prior while still a student at the University of Tennessee, eventually growing the casual-dining corporation to include nearly 850 restaurants in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, as well as 14 foreign countries. His current investments and advisory roles span a large range of restaurant, education, non profits, and foodservice companies. Sandy’s diverse set of business skills and knowledge helped to grow Blackberry Farm from the happy nine-bedroom inn into one of America’s most celebrated luxury hotels. As an investor and advisor, Sandy continues to offer his business expertise back to the family owned and operated business at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Kreis Beall was 23 years old and had one child and another on the way in 1976 when she and her husband Sandy purchased Blackberry Farm as their family home. Inspired by her grandmother’s work ethic and love for food and her mother’s sense of beauty and style, Kreis fell in love with the art of entertaining and wanted Blackberry to be an extension of her own home. Her life has always represented the same sense of southern hospitality. Kreis transformed the original nine-bedroom farmhouse into a Relais & Chateaux estate and restaurant. She has also minted Blackberry Farm's acclaimed high country style and created a design studio whose work has been featured in Southern Accents, Southern Living, Bon Appetit, Town & Country and Travel & Leisure, and on HGTV and PBS.
After retiring from the inn in 1999, she opened a photography studio and currently serves as the Director of Design at Blackberry Farm where she incorporates her lifelong love of style and design to continue her dream of building and creating.