Meet the Team: Sarah Blais, Director of Development

As a nonprofit business incubator and event space, NewBo City Market relies on its dedicated staff members to continue its mission.

Get to know Sarah Blais, Director of Development:


When did you start working at the Market?

June 28th 2021

Tell us about your experiences at the Market before you started working here.


I first visited the Market in its infancy as a college student on a class trip from Grinnell College. We were studying the rejuvenation efforts in Cedar Rapids after the 2008 flood. I was blown away by the concept and that something like this was going to exist in Iowa. Once I started working in Czech Village at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, it became a staple lunch and coffee meeting location for me.

What is your favorite part about working at the Market?


I love the energy of the space. The bustling crowds shopping, chatting, and eating brings me to life and makes me so excited to be a part of this community. Being reminded constantly of the direct impact we have in people's lives fuels me in a way I've never experienced before. (A built-in coffee shop does a pretty good job of fueling me too.) What is your go-to lunch spot at the Market?


I grew up with filipino family so lumpia and pancit will always have a special nostalgia for me. Pinoy Cafe tastes like childhood New Years Eve parties and I can't get enough of it. Which retail shop do you frequent the most at the Market?


Big Boy Meats! I love getting oxtail to make Korean Oxtail stew. My best friend's father in California makes the best oxtail and recently he shared his recipe with me. Now I can't stop making it. What is your favorite event that happens at the Market?


Juneteenth this year was really special. I got to watch some of my favorite students from Metro High School perform at a massive public event for the first time with their student band, Metamorphix. I love that we get to amplify voices and talents in our community. I can't wait for Juneteenth next year. What do you like to do outside of work?

Metro High School is one of my favorite places to volunteer. Class with the teachers and students at Metro is so much cooler than I ever remember high school being. I'm a huge art nerd and I have a Master's in Contemporary Art History so you can usually catch me at First Thursday's checking out the latest CSPS gallery shows.


Come visit Sarah, and all of our amazing Shopkeepers, at the NewBo City Market.


If you'd like to be even more involved with everything the Market does, consider donating and becoming a Friend of the Market today!