Christina Springman is the owner of Cedar Rapids-based The Map Room, known for its amazing burgers, fries and inventive cocktails. (Get FabIA’s take on the restaurant here.) Learn about Christina Springman…
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
First job: If you don’t count babysitting at 11, at 14 I started bussing tables and folding endless piles of pizza boxes at Happy Joes.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in Iowa: Playing, eating, dancing and being silly with my family and friends. I love experiencing the highlights of each season: playing outside and swimming in the summer; long walks and pumpkin patches in the fall; cuddling, hibernating and eating a lot in the winter; reawakening, literal frolicking and playing in the dirt in the spring.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Raising a toddler and running a business with my husband while staying relatively sane during a pandemic, election year and derecho.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: My own lethargy and self doubt. It’s easy to be apathetic, but it takes guts to be enthusiastic. It’s taken me a while to find my stride and to be proud and confident in my decisions. The food service industry isn’t always considered a worthwhile career choice and I let others’ opinions of how I should be doing things muddle up by path. I overcame my self doubt (well, a lot of it anyway) by discovering what I’m passionate about and focusing on it, establishing my values and staying true to them, and surrounding myself with people who build me up.
Someone who inspires you and why: I’m inspired by the folks in my city, who have once again rallied together to recover from a natural disaster this past August. People just found the problems and worked to fix them. Roads need to be cleared? Let’s get out our chainsaw and clear them. Folks need food? Let’s feed them. Who needs ice or batteries? Let’s find them some. They didn’t wait for direction; they just took action. Many of these people showed up to help others, with determination and a smile under their mask, even when their own home was damaged. It was truly a force for good and it charged my soul. I was so inspired by this community in the weeks following the derecho. Cedar Rapids really is full of the best kind of people. Sorry! I can’t pick just one of them!
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Be humble. Ask questions. Seek advice. Keep learning. Understand that this industry is continuously changing and that you have to evolve with it to be successful. Also, your fellow restaurant folks are not your competition. They are your peers and a wonderful source of inspiration. Talk to them.
Favorite quote: The one I’ve said a lot lately: “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” –John Lewis The one I’ve repeated to myself since I was 15: “Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I can’t tell the difference between Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg.
What makes someone fabulous: Empathy and enthusiasm.