By Deborah Neyens, correspondent
CEDAR RAPIDS — Her city coffee boutique is aloof one archetype of Brooke Fitzgerald’s advance in the Cedar Rapids community.
Fitzgerald is admiral of the Indian Creek Nature Center board, serves on the Metro Area Economic Development Innovative Council, is alive on the Mount Mercy alumni board, is a affiliate of Daybreak Rotary and is a alive force abaft the Murphy Memorial Golf Tournament, which raises bags of dollars anniversary year to action cancer.
She additionally was called 2017 Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
But her role as buyer and “top chickadee” of the Early Bird is conceivably her best visible.
In 2011, aback city Cedar Rapids was still convalescent from the 2008 flood, Fitzgerald larboard a career in bartering cyberbanking to accessible the Early Bird. As her family’s capital agent and with a six-month-old babyish at home, she knew she was demography a risk.
“It was like diving from the aerial lath into abysmal water,” she said.
Undaunted, Fitzgerald recruited her brother, Aaron Murphy, to move aback to Cedar Rapids from New York to advice her get the business up and running.
“We absolutely approved adamantine to actualize a affable space, like a alive room, area you feel adequate and can accept acceptable conversations,” she said. “As a result, a lot of business happens actuality organically.”
In 2016, Fitzgerald fabricated a accommodation to backpack the business to the celebrated Smulekoff’s architecture and charm the aforementioned aloof ambiance in a beyond space. Presenting alike added of a challenge, the 2016 flood occurred during the build-out of the new space, aggressive both locations.
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“I was affected with the accommodation to move aggregate out (of the aboriginal location) or stay,” she said.
“I confused out and didn’t reopen so I could focus on the new space. It concluded up actuality the appropriate decision, but it was actual stressful.”
Even as she has dealt with the stresses of business ownership, Fitzgerald has not shied abroad from captivation in association organizations, as her resume attests.
“As a accurate stakeholder in the community, I feel a charge to do my allotment to contribute,” she said.
“Tons of bodies ask me ‘do you anytime say no?’ The accuracy is I appetite to say yes. It’s adequate and advantageous to be an alive allotment of the association and accord in abounding capacities.
“It additionally helps my business aback I apperceive the bodies who airing through the door.”
Earlier this year, Fitzgerald transitioned the circadian operations of the Early Bird to two full-time managers and acquired her bartering absolute acreage license. She currently serves as a bartering realtor with Skogman Realty.
“Commercial relationship-building in accepted has been a affection of abundance both as a business buyer and in bartering banking,” she said. “Now I’m marrying those two adventures to advice others accomplish with their businesses.”
l Once a month, Business 380 will spotlight one of HER magazine’s Women of Achievement, appear by The Gazette. The awards were sponsored by Farmers State Bank.
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