On the move

Brodie’s Cream and Bean moves to former Silverhill Market location

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 10/18/18

SILVERHILL, Alabama — Lisa Brodie has always felt like she’s had the hand of God on her shoulder when it comes to her family’s charity, Maji: Hope.

Born out of a dream she had of going to …

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On the move

Brodie’s Cream and Bean moves to former Silverhill Market location

Posted

SILVERHILL, Alabama — Lisa Brodie has always felt like she’s had the hand of God on her shoulder when it comes to her family’s charity, Maji: Hope.

Born out of a dream she had of going to Africa when she was a little girl, that dream became a reality in 2007 when she got the opportunity to participate in a medical mission trip.

Maji: Hope (maji means water in Swahili) was born out of a conversation she had with doctors on the trip, who told her than lack of clean drinking water was the biggest problem of the people there.

She and her husband Curtis, who are both former educators, began the charity with penny drives with fellow teachers and students, later selling T-shirts, hats, mugs and other items to raise money.

Then, a group of mothers from the Endevesi village calling themselves the Imani Group (imani means faith in Swahili) approached the organization about doing something to help raise money for the water project in their village, Brodie said. They offered hand-made items that could be used as jewelry, Christmas ornaments, things like that, she said. The items were collected and sold for $10 each.

When the Brodies built their home in Silverhill they knew it would be the perfect place to establish office space for their charity.

They began looking for a place they could call home in order to sell the items and after an exhaustive search, found a place on the corner of Highway 104 and Ninth Avenue, across from The Station in Silverhill. In 2017 they added a coffee shop and ice cream parlor, which they named “Brodie’s Cream & Bean.”

When Lisa Brodie recently came home from a mission trip to Africa and her husband announced that he thought they needed a larger space, it should come as no surprise that one perfect for their needs should present itself, seemingly by divine intervention.

“Shortly afterward, I was passing by the old Silverhill Market (also located on Alabama 104, about a mile from the previous location),” she said. “I knew that the previous owners had sold the property and began to wonder what was going to happen to it.”

She pulled in, but there was no one there so she left. Later, she stopped by again, still no one there. She then talked to her husband, who agreed that the property would be perfect for their needs.

“I could tell that it wasn’t being used,” she said, “but we had no idea who owned it or what they planned to do with the property.”

Through social media, she found the owner and sent him a message asking if they planned to do anything with the property. Almost immediately, she received a message back.

“He said, ‘My wife and I just decided yesterday to lease the property,’” she said. And just like that, the Brodies were able to move into their new property, which includes a larger space for the ice cream and coffee shop, along with goods for sale, all going to benefit the charity.

Well, almost.

“Our plan was to close one location one weekend and open in the new location the following weekend,” Lisa Brodie said. “It didn’t quite work out that way.”

After working what seemed to be 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, the Brodies were able to move into the new property, hosting a grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 6, two weeks after closing on the property.

“We’re hoping to be able to do so much more with this property,” she said, “hosting parties and other events. We just want to get the word out to everyone that we are here. Once people know about us, we’ve been so blessed to have received so much support.”

They have also partnered with Fairhope Roasting Co. for their coffee and plan to expand the menu to add more specialty drinks in the coming weeks.

All of this comes on the heels of Lisa Brodie’s 50th birthday, in which she invited people to donate $50 for a special project they are working on in the village of Oltinga in Kenya.

“We were able to raise $9,050 for the project,” she said. “On Saturday, they started digging and at 150 meters, got to water, but it wasn’t enough to supply the village’s needs.”

They called Brodie, desperate to know how to proceed. It was a longshot, but Brodie said she felt like if they kept going to 200 feet, they would hit water. They called back a short time later saying they had hit water at 196 feet, more than enough to supply the needs of the village.

“It’s just amazing how all of this came together at the same time,” she said.

The business is open from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, offering a range of ice cream, including cones and cups, waffle cones, sundaes and a banana split, along with a wide range of brews from the Fairhope Brewing Co.

You can learn more at majihope.org.