Colleen Kaney Smith
Meeting Colleen (Co) Smith feels a lot like coming home. Her smile, positivity and demeanor are genuine through and through as reflected in every nook, cranny and nuance of Cohen’s Retreat.
A retired educator with a passion for creative endeavors, Co’s present-day job description is to promote peace, harmony and creative growth in the conceptual development of Cohen’s Retreat.
Who wouldn’t want that every day?
Co’s role at Cohen’s Retreat is a sentimental one, as she has fond memories as a child visiting the residents when the estate was known as “The Cohen’s Old Man’s Retreat”. She remembers the quirky characters and the intriguing life stories they told her under the oak trees on the orange benches, which continue to grace the campus today.
In 2012, when the estate became available for sale, Co and her husband, Sidney (affectionately known as her real-life Prince Charming) purchased it and today’s modernized version of Cohen’s Retreat was born. With a desire to continue the legacy of Percy Cohen, one of Savannah’s generous philanthropists, the main building still bears his name as a respectful tribute to the past. Moving into the future, Co’s vision for Cohen’s Retreat is the creation of an eclectic destination capturing the spirit of the South with fabulous food, unique shopping, charming cottages and memorable celebrations of each and every day.
Outside of Cohen’s, Co is a proud mama duck of three grown children, Bo, Kaney and Gracie; mama duck-in-law to Gabby; and grand-mama duck to Bonnie and Hazel.
Chances are, when you visit Cohen’s, you will undoubtedly bump into Co bustling about while you meander the halls, break bread with friends and browse the Brown Dog Market. But even if you don’t see her, you will feel the presence of the very heart and soul of this enchanting lady and her beloved Cohen’s Retreat.