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Sunday, June 26, 2022

For Elizabeth Morrissey Brown, hospitality is everything.

It’s been a tumultuous six years for Morrissey Hospitality.

When company founder Bill Morrissey died of leukemia in 2016, it was unclear what the future held for the firm that runs restaurants, hotels and event centers.

Elizabeth Morrissey Brown (Courtesy of Morrissey Hospitality)

Ownership passed to Morrissey’s three children – Arthur, Chris and Elizabeth – but their father left behind some huge shoes.

Elizabeth Morrissey Brown, 33, now the company’s vice president of business development and marketing, didn’t even start working at Morrissey Hospitality until 2018. We recently reached out to her as the company continues to grow despite the protracted pandemic and many industry changes.

Morrissey Brown began her hospitality career outside of her father’s company. She was a wine and spirits distributor for Johnson Bros. This was after college in Colorado.

“As an adult, I didn’t know these cities, let alone be a business professional,” said Morrissey Brown. “I credit my time in the liquor distribution industry with helping me to become familiar with the hospitality industry. It was a wonderful learning experience that provided me with tremendous professional growth.”

She is still in this stage of her education, working under President Richard Dobransky, a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry.

The two of them oversaw the company’s recent rapid growth, which signed on to five new restaurants shortly before the pandemic hit. Throughout 2020, they kept their heads down and did their best to get out.

“We are lucky that our company, most of us survived,” said Morrissey Brown.

When local businesses “started to stick their heads out,” Morrissey Brown said, the company was in a unique position to help struggling restaurants and hotels rebound – better.

“As we talked and shared best practices with people, we discovered a great opportunity to help other hospitality businesses,” she said. “Many restaurants and hotels are too stretched out. We started looking for ways to complement each other’s businesses.”

This meant creating a suite of a la carte services, from human resource management to accounting and financial services.

“One store has a lot to offer,” said Morrissey Brown.

The strategy paid off with a large number of new customers. In fact, the company’s portfolio has tripled in the last three years.

Since the pandemic, the company has added Admiral D’s Waterfront Tavern in White Bear Lake, Freight House in Stillwater, New Bohemia stores in St. Paul and Plymouth, Truck Park on Seventh Street in St. Paul, and the newly opened Momento in St. Paul.

And just last month, Morrissey announced that he would acquire the Water Street Inn in Stillwater.

In total, the company manages 19 brands, including The St. Paul Hotel and St. Paul Gril, Tria in North Oaks and St. Paul River Center.

Morrissey said recent growth has been rapid and the company is not necessarily looking for new customers at the moment.

“This year we want to slow down the turnaround. However, we always love to sell and create guest experiences for people,” Morrissey said.

She said she was proud of what the company was able to achieve despite the upheaval.

“My father was my mentor… and it’s about continuing his mission, vision and the culture he created. What sets Morrissey apart from other companies is that we are proud to be the stewards of the hospitality industry, we are known for our service, and we are also proud of the longevity of our customers,” said Morrissey. “We want to be exceptional every time. This is our mission and our standard.”

World Nation News Desk
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