Creating a Cafe & Building a Community
Breakaway Cafe just celebrated its first birthday, and as any parents of new babies would tell you – I’m exhausted. But as those same parents would tell you – I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I believe that this industry chose me, not the other way around. After years of trying to reconcile my free spirit with my drive to achieve, I finally found a way to satisfy both. I can put my business chops to good use, while everyday working to nurture an establishment that I’m proud of. It’s more than just a cafe, it’s a community.
When my husband, Craig, and I decided to take the leap and open Breakaway Cafe, it was in pursuit of creating a haven around local food, community and cycling. We believe in supporting other local businesses, showcasing the bounty Northern Michigan farms and producers have to offer, and creating a non-intimidating hub where people can incorporate healthful habits into their day-to-day.
Cherry Capital Foods is our supplier for our local food products, and we are so lucky to have this resource. What did people do before Cherry Capital Foods?! Arguably our most important product we source locally (we made 10,383 breakfast burritos with them in our first year) is Pristine Acres Farms‘ pastured, non-GMO hen eggs. Other important local products include: Sleeping Bear Farms and Champion Hill Farms Honey, Cultured Kombucha, Grossnickle Farms strawberries, Guernsey Farms half and half and heavy whipping cream, Mooville Creamery milk, Light of Day teas, Great Lakes Potato Chips, and Choice Energy Matcha Tea Drinks (coming back soon). We are so lucky to have such quality farmers and producers right here in Northern Michigan, and we believe the care they take has a direct effect on the taste of the products we serve to our customers.
We also love working with local firms for our business needs, such as Everpresent Marketing and Current Consulting – two keen start-up businesses themselves, with the most genuine people at the top. Additionally, we think it’s important to support organizations that promote an active lifestyle, including the Bayshore Marathon, Norte! Youth Cycling, Farmland 5k, Break a Wave Open Water Swim, Iceman Cometh, as well as several schools in the area. We love being a part of cultivating the cycling scene in Traverse City by helping fuel Kolo T.C., Hagerty Cyclists and Einstein Cyclists with a discount at the cafe. With their help, we host group rides as well as major professional cycling race viewings. It’s completely rewarding to be able to support something we are passionate about, and I consider this a privilege.
We are committed to providing a safe space for all to come in and enjoy a laid back vibe, with exceptional coffee and food with a local focus. We want this to be where you come to “break away.” Although not without challenges, this first year has been worth every sleepless night. Because at the end of the day, we are seeing our vision come to life, we are contributing to this community in a meaningful way, and we are supported each and every day by the best people on earth.
Breanne Fortuna is the co-owner of Breakaway Cafe with her husband Craig. Contact her at [email protected]