Brittany Katz, owner of Terra Running Company and Cleveland Coffee & Market, was named the Mel Bedwell Small Businessperson of the Year by the Cleveland / Bradley Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee. Ms. Katz became the 29th recipient of the award at Wednesday’s small business luncheon, held annually by the Chamber.
The Mel Bedwell Small Businessperson of the Year award is given in memoriam of Mel Bedwell, remembered for his energy, determination, ingenuity, honesty, enthusiasm and loyalty.
Upon moving to Cleveland, Ms. Katz founded Terra Running Company, originally located on Georgetown Road, in 2016 with her former business partner. Ms. Katz soon went solo in her venture and made bold changes that paid off.
Becoming the second owner of the historic Fillauer building at the corner of Ocoee and First Streets, built in 1892, Ms. Katz rehabbed the tired building. She created a new space within for Terra Running Company, Cleveland Coffee & Market, and an upstairs residence , earning the MainStreet Cleveland Annual Award in 2018 for the renovation and property’s preservation.
“Brittany Katz is a downtown dynamo,” said City of Cleveland Mayor Kevin Brooks. “She’s a successful entrepreneur. And she is a powerful force to be reckoned with. Cleveland is better because she is here.”
Terra Running Company specializes in fitting customers in the correct athletic and orthotic footwear for them. The running store also hosts many large running events, such as the Cleveland Half Marathon, and offers race timing and management.
In addition to coffee and pastries, Cleveland Coffee & Market features items unique to Cleveland, such as books, mugs, T-shirts and more.
Reporting a net sales increase of 182 percent and 33 percent, respectively, and a 300 percent increase in the number of employees, Terra Running Company and Cleveland Coffee & Market are showing continued growth.
Despite the obstacles of the pandemic, Ms. Katz continues to give back to the community through Small Biz Give, a partnership with Carroll Printing Company, which has given over ten thousand dollars to local charities. She also proposed the idea that became the Chamber’s Momentum Small Business Recovery Grant Program during the pandemic and serves on the boards of the Chamber, Mainstreet Cleveland and Noonday Rotary.
“Brittany Katz has been a catalyst for small businesses in the downtown area,” said Dr. Bill Estes, Cleveland City councilman. “Brittany is constantly partnering with and cross-promoting other downtown businesses. Her leadership on both the Mainstreet and Chamber Boards has given her a platform to raise all of Cleveland’s business interests. Her impact, in such a short time span in this community, is readily seen and felt by much of Cleveland. “
To be considered for this award, nominees should be leaders of small business displaying growth in number of employees, increase in sales or volume, innovativeness of the product or service offered, thoughtful response to adversity, evidence of contributions by the nominee to aid community- oriented projects and must have been in business at least three years.
Ms. Katz joins an impressive list of previous Small Businessperson of the Year winners: Brad Benton, Benton Enterprises; Steve Hartline, WCLE-Mix 104.1; Bob McIntire, McIntire & Associates Insurance, Inc .; Jeff Cocks, Corporate Networking Solutions; Greg Hicks , Impressions Catering; Roger Pickett, MurMaid Mattress Inc .; Debbie Melton, Don Ledford Automotive Center; Shannon Ritzhaupt, Café Roma; Ed Jacobs, Ed Jacobs & Associates Inc., and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network; , Bender Realty LLC; Don Geren, Cleveland / Bradley Business Incubator; Steve Robinson, Cleveland Plywood; Lynn Jones, Lynn Jones Enterprises; Ross Tarver, Tarver Distributing Co. Inc .; Loye Hamilton, Coldwell Banker, Hamilton & Associates; Kenneth Higgins, Santek Environmental Inc .; Kay Jenkins Cowan, Jenkins Restaurant & Deli; Dan Cooke, Cooke’s Food Store and Panera Bread; Catherine Boettner, Cleveland Tubing; Jim Duggan, Robinson Building Center; Reba Garrison, State Farm Ins urance; Ron Braam, Manufacturers Chemicals LLC; Susan Shelton, Bradley News Weekly; Larry McDaniel, Town Squire; Mel Bedwell, Cleveland Business Machines; Pam Nelson, Ocoee Insurance Services; and Jeff Wolfenden, Wolfenden Family Pharmacies.
The Small Business Committee of the Cleveland / Bradley Chamber of Commerce sponsors business development programs and initiatives as part of the Chamber’s commitment to the business development of its members, the economic growth of the region, and the highest quality of life in the community.
For more information, contact Tasha Sullivan at Tsullivan@clevelandchamber.com or 472-6587.