The view from inside Moss' new Cedar Rapids store, which opened today in the Czech Village. CREDIT MOSS
A houseplant and lifestyle shop that first opened in NewBo City Market in 2012 and expanded to Iowa City three years ago, has opened its newest location in Cedar Rapids' Czech Village.

Anne Armitage and Alan Peterka of Moss opened their new location today at 74 16th Ave. SW. The store offers  houseplants, succulents, cacti and airplants, as well as a curated selection of decor for home and office, and gift items. 

"I feel a connection to the history of this space," said Ms. Armitage of the new store. "I especially love that it started out as a hardware store as my great-grandfather was a hardware store owner in South Dakota."

The property, built in 1913,  was originally the Crofter & Pavlis furniture and hardware store. 

The building has housed many other small businesses over the last 100 years, including  several meat markets, Czech Feather & Down (now located in Mount Vernon), and an antique store. 

Moss has renovated the 1,755 square-foot building significantly over the past six months. The Historic Preservation Commission of Cedar Rapids approved the proposed storefront redesign, which includes custom glass windows to allow maximum natural light for houseplants. The newly renovated space also features fresh flooring, lighting and modern design. 

The owners said shoppers and browsers can expect stylish planters and home decor, a large moss wall, artisan stationery and gift options in addition to a large array of greenery. Moss will also host programs and workshops for all levels of plant enthusiasts with details to come soon at  
Para2Joe's Place gets logo rug back after humorous online campaign

Joe's Place owner Brian Flynn pleads for the return of the bar's stolen rug in a nod to Carson King's College GameDay sign. 
rug stolen from popular Iowa City bar Joe's Place has been returned one day after it posted surveillance video of the theft.

Stacey Houseman, director of operations at Joe's Place, told CBJ news partner CBS2/FOX28 News the rug was returned Wednesday with an apology.

Video posted to their Facebook page showed a woman looking in the door, and then taking the rug, which has the bar's logo on it.

Ms. Houseman said it's the second time the rug has been stolen this year. A similar theft happened back in March. She said the Facebook post, which had nearly 200 shares, helped get the person to return the rug.

A second post showed owner Brian Flynn holding up a sign pleading for it back. The sign pokes fun at  Carson King's College GameDay sign, which ended up raising  $2.9 million for the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital.

The sign read: "Need a new Joe's Place logo rug. (Ours was stolen again!!). I don't have -Venmo - come buy a beer!"

The bar decided not to press charges saying "we would rather give people the opportunity to make up for their mistakes and lapse of good judgment."
Para3 Hiawatha quilting manufacturer says hello to new owner

A Hiawatha quilting manufacturing company is under new ownership, the company announced this week.

Nolting Manufacturing, Inc, t he "original longarm quilting machine manufacturer, " has turned over the leadership reins to Melissa McAfee, a financial professional with more than two decades experience in manufacturing, engineering and service areas.

"When I looked at buying Nolting, I was excited and thrilled to see that all of the manufacturing work was done right here in Hiawatha," said Ms. McAfee in a release, adding she plans to "build on the strong foundation this company already has." 

Nolting Manufacturing has been building and restoring quilting machines since the 1970s when Fred Nolting built the first prototype of a hand-guided longarm machine. 

"My goal is to continue to perfect the machine for the future and bring modernization to the industry to meet the customer needs and desires to satisfy their creativity," said Ms. McAfee. "We want to continue to be a leader in the national quilting market."

Nolting Quilting Machines is the originator of the longarm quilting machine used by professional quilters and hobbyists. The company saws, bends, mills, welds, drills and completes lathe work of every machine and frame. The machines are all tested in-house by a master quilter, calibrated and assembled prior to shipping. 
In addition, Nolting offers used machines/trade ins, patterns, accessories, parts, threads, batting, needles and classes.

"Nolting is known for its exceptional customer service where the people who actually built the machines are the same ones answering your technical questions," Ms. McAfee said. "Our customers can still count on that same service going forward."
pitchCR's Bourbon Creek Smokehouse closes abruptly

A downtown Cedar Rapids barbecue restaurant closed suddenly Monday, about a year after opening its doors to some fanfare.

In a Facebook post, Bourbon Creek Smokehouse stated, "We want to thank everyone for the support and business over the last year. We regret to inform you that as of today, Bourbon Creek Smokehouse is officially closed."

Owners did not give a reason for the closing and could not be reached by the CBJ.

Reaction to the news was mixed on social media, with some expressing disappointment at the loss of "the best BBQ in town" and others saying they found the news unsurprising. Bourbon Creek had mostly favorable reviews online, including four out of five stars on

Bourbon Creek had occupied the former Bistro on the River restaurant at 411 First St. SE, which it remodeled extensively for the new venture.

One of the eatery's owners, Matt Blake also owned Dublin City Pub, located next door. Dublin City closed in March.
Para5Consulting: Six ways to foster resourcefulness at work
In this week's consulting spotlight, Greg Dardis of Dardis Communications discusses how Iowans can build on one of their natural talents in the workplace - resourcefulness. 

The highest praise you can give entrepreneurs is to call them resourceful.

Sure, it's good to be industrious, intuitive, bold.

But resourcefulness is that rare quality where it all comes together - someone smart and scrappy and inventive enough to stare at something sideways until she spots the flicker of a solution. A resourceful person can take the status quo and reimagine or rejig it.

Iowans are naturally resourceful. Growing up on a farm cultivates it. You make the most of what you've got. You find a way to fix whatever's broken. You tinker and tweak.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos credits his grandfather for modeling resourcefulness. Bezos spent his childhood summers at Pop's ranch in "the middle of nowhere," where he solved any problem that came his way. Not only would his grandpa fix broken machinery, but he also did his own veterinary work. He made needles by hand to suture his cattle. He'd heat up a piece of wire with a blowtorch, pound it flat, sharpen it and then drill a hole into it.

"He would take on major projects that he didn't know how to do and then figure out how to do them," Bezos recalled.

The value of that kind of experimental problem solving influenced Bezos' approach to parenting. He let his children play with knives at age 4 and power tools at 7. Better to have a kid with nine fingers, he quipped, than a resource-less kid.

The work we do at Dardis Communications, at its essence, is training in resourcefulness. We teach businesspeople to make the most of what they've got by how they dress themselves, present themselves and express themselves. We teach them to think on their feet, to make the best impression by leveraging their smarts and experience.

Here are six ways to foster resourcefulness at work:
  1. Be open minded. Consider a wide range of possibilities, thinking outside the box.  
Read the full column in the Sept. 23 edition of the CBJ.
aroundtheweb From around the web: 
  • Yahoo Finance reports on a new study from the JPMorgan Chase Institute indicating small businesses in black and Hispanic communities are less profitable and have less liquidity than comparable establishments in white neighborhoods. 
  • Small business hiring fell back in September, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, citing the latest report from payroll company ADP.  The report is a sign that business owners are growing more cautious in light of a weakening economy and the Trump administration's escalating trade war, the paper said. 
  • Job hunting site Comparably recently ranked the 50 U.S. small and mid-size businesses with the happiest employees. See who they are and what they're doing differently.
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Short-Term Event Planner      

Oct. 4
Corridor Manufacturing Conference, by Corridor Business Journal, 7:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m., The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. Industry leaders are invited to network, learn about best practices in the region and build a stronger pipeline to engage the next generation. Cost: $95, or $950 for a table of 10. To register, contact Ashley Moore at or call (319) 665-6397, ext. 311.

First Friday Coffee Connections, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, 7:30-8:30 a.m., Rock Valley Physical Therapy, 555 Cameron Way, Unit 1, Suite A, North Liberty. Start your day with networking. Free. For information, visit

Oct. 8
Hiawatha Business Summit, by Hiawatha Economic Development Corp., the city of Hiawatha and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 8-9 a.m., Mercy Medical Park, Third Floor, 1195 Boyson Road, Hiawatha. Enjoy networking with the Hiawatha business community and a short program. Free. For information, visit

TechBrew AM, by Technology Association of Iowa and Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 8-9 a.m., Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids. TAI President Brian Waller conducts casual interviews with CIOs, who discuss their career path and share what's most important for Iowa's tech community. Free. To register, visit

Growing an Endowment for Your Nonprofit, by Association of Fundraising Professionals, Eastern Iowa Chapter, 11:30-1 p.m., Hills Bank, 3905 Blairs Ferry Road, Cedar Rapids. Learn why endowments are important in your fundraising strategy and how to engage donors, professional advisors and your board. Cost: Members, free; nonmembers, $25. To register, visit

Marketing Forum, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids. Driven by group discussion, participants will receive advice and tips, learn from others and grow their professional network. This month's topic is sales versus marketing. Free. For more information, visit

Marion Airport Runway Expansion Groundbreaking, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, noon, Marion Airport, 1690 Marion Airport Road. The project includes upgrades to the existing runway, expanding it from 23-feet wide to 60-feet wide. Free. For information, visit

Small Business Lunch Roundtable, by SCORE of East Central Iowa, noon-1 p.m., Granite City Food & Brewery, 4755 First Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. This is an informal, small group networking opportunity for those in business or thinking of starting a business. Free. To register, visit
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28 
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28
Funding for Johnson County's new mental health access center is now officially approved.  In September, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to award a $6.4 million contract to Merit Construction Co. of Cedar Rapids. According to Supervisor Rod Sullivan, that contract was signed today. County leaders say the Johnson County Access Center will be the first of its kind in Iowa, housing mental health and substance abuse services under one roof.

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday said she still hasn't seen an ethanol deal in writing from the Trump administration to fix damage sparked by issuing ethanol waivers, but said she is optimistic that movement could happen this week.  "I'm optimistic that we'll hopefully get something this week, but we're still waiting to see the final details on it," Ms. Reynolds said. "I'm going to still take the President at his word. I know he's worked really hard to make our farmers and ethanol industry whole so I look forward to seeing the agreement that we verbally came to."  Two weeks ago, the governor told reporters President Trump "verbally agreed" to a plan during a September meeting in Washington with her and Sens. Ernst and Grassley. The discussion focused on ways to replace the demand for gallons of biofuels lost because of 31 oil refinery waivers from the EPA that exempt those oil companies from biofuel blending requirements. That decision has ignited fury from farmers, state officials and industry leaders.
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2  Weather First Forecast

High pressure will build in and that will lead to a strong northwest breeze through the day. Clouds will start to break up in the afternoon and temperatures will be held in the upper 50s to low 60s.  It will be sunny and dry Friday with temperatures near 60 degrees. Our next cold front will arrive Friday night and clouds will begin to build along with showers developing. Light to moderate rain will continue through much of the day Saturday. Rainfall totals will likely be under an inch with this system. Clouds and rain will hold temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s once again. The front will move out Saturday night and it will be partly cloudy and dry Sunday.