Chew on this: Bakery fights to stay open, coffee shop set to close

The Gazette

Sykora Bakery, which reopened after the Floods of 2008, is struggling to survive.
The Gazette Sykora Bakery, which reopened after the Floods of 2008, is struggling to survive.

Sykora Bakery

This Czech Village business is fighting to survive — and asking for the public’s help. The Cedar Rapids bakery, which specializes in traditional Czech treats like kolaches, has been open since 1903. John and Sue Rocarek bought the business, at 73 16th Ave. SW, in 2001. During the Floods of 2008, 8.5 feet of water filled the building and hundreds of volunteers chipped in to restore the building so it could reopen.

Now, flooding is threatening again — in the form of rising insurance premiums. A Go Fund Me campaign to support the business states that flood insurance premiums are slated to rise 25 percent annually for the next four years, jumping from $4,723 for the bakery in 2019 to $9,400 in 2022.

The campaign aims to raise $20,000 to help the owners revamp their business plan and convert the upstairs into an Airbnb. According to the Go Fund Me page, updates to plumbing, wiring, HVAC and more are needed for the historic building to host an Airbnb. Other potential solutions to the cash shortfall listed on the page include becoming a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization, conducting Czech bakery lessons and expanding the schedule of K-12 student tours.

Corridor Coffee Co.

A North Liberty coffee shop will close on Aug. 17, according to a Facebook announcement. Corridor Coffee Co., 555 Highway 956 S, posted that its landlord opted not to extend the lease and owner Jayson Nelson decided not to relocate.

“I would like to thank all of our customers for their loyalty and patronage the last 15 years in this great community. Many of you have been with us for the duration, you will be missed,” the post reads. “Please continue to support us over the few weeks we have left, we can use it now more than ever. Stop in and say hello! Once again thank you for the memories.”

The Makers Loft

An Iowa City business, meanwhile, has expanded into the coffee world. The Makers Loft, 125 S. Dubuque St., added a walk-up coffee window to its street-level shop front.

The store, started by Simeon Talley and Veronica Tessler last year, moved to the Ped Mall in May from a second story location on Washington Street. Makers Loft focuses on handmade products by Iowa artisans, and the new mini-coffee shop is no exception, with locally roasted coffee and homemade treats.

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