Melita Barva is a good example that patience and planning can pay off.
After leaving the airline industry, Barva decided to take massage therapy classes — something she’d wanted to do since high school — at Carlson College of Massage Therapy.
“I never intended for this to be my career,” Barva said.
It took a business class assignment where Barva had to create a business plan to help her realize she could make her new interest work.
Barva opened Table for One in 2003 in what she lovingly refers to as “the basement dungeon” of an office building on the southeast side of Cedar Rapids.
This August she moved her business to a new space — renovated and remodeled with help from her friend Amy McCall of Monarch Interiors — just down the road from the location Table for One had called home.
“When I started the business, I had my business plan and a 10-year business plan,” she recalled. “I started planning this remodel and expansion at the eight-and-a-half year mark, and now we are getting ready to celebrate 10 years.
“It shows me that writing something down gives it power.”
Barva kept design ideas she found in magazine in a binder for planning.
“But it’s not here because of me. It’s here because every therapist here has stuck with me while we were in our old space,” she said.
Today, 12 massage therapists work at Table for One with Barva.
The new location gives them much needed space and natural light. It includes 10 private massage therapy rooms — including one dedicated to couples massage — a cedar sauna, and fireplace nooks for couples.
The space features modern design and each room incorporates rocks in some way. The building, one of three in the Vernon Design Center on Mount Vernon Road, was gutted and remodeled in the last nine months while paying attention to the original architectural detail of the building done by Cedar Rapids architect Leo Peiffer.
Name: Melita Barva
Title: Owner and massage therapist
Company: Table for One
Address: 2857 Mount Vernon Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids
Phone: (319) 365-9411
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