When you’ve spent a successful career working with big investment banks and carving out a niche for yourself in mortgage trading, the 2008 economic crash could be devastating — or serve as a unique opportunity to reinvent yourself. Matt Ruppel chose the latter route.
On a trip to Braselton, Georgia in 2013, the former Wall Street businessman found himself so charmed by the picturesque town he ended up purchasing 220 acres of it.
“I was looking for a place on the threshold of an exciting future, and Braselton’s unique commitment to its community fits perfectly,” he explains. “There’s a smart, comprehensive plan in place, there’s an exciting diversity of people moving here and we have a city government that’s organized and incredibly efficient. As an investor, I can’t think of a better place to be right now.”
Ruppel, who grew up bussing tables at his parents’ restaurant, The Broken Arrow Bar & Supper Club in Deer Lodge, Montana, is happy to have a great staff to handle the day-to-day restaurant operation while he is busy making plans to help build Braselton’s bright future, especially in the burgeoning historic downtown district. “The people of Braselton embrace the same core beliefs as I do,” he explains. “We value respect, dignity and a strong sense of community. There’s a lot of positive energy here. It’s incredibly exciting to go to work each day.”
Cindy Coker Green
While cooking is certainly a science, it wasn’t the kind Cindy Green studied. Cindy's career with DuPont spanned over thirty years, following a degree from Auburn University in Chemical Engineering in 1979. Cindy's roles at DuPont included business President (one of only three women business Presidents in DuPont’s history), and finally as Chief Marketing Officer.
In 2010, Cindy retired from DuPont and moved to Braselton. She became involved in the town as a volunteer for events and was appointed to serve on the Braselton Downtown Development Authority. Recognizing the need for restaurants in Downtown, Cindy joined Matt Ruppel as a partner to start Cotton Calf Kitchen. Cindy works tirelessly to help achieve the goals and objectives of her new hometown and can often be seen volunteering in a myriad of roles.
In addition to her work in Braselton, Cindy is active in three Auburn University Councils including Chemical Engineering Alumni, Engineering Alumni, and 100 Women Strong, where she serves as a charter member of the Executive Committee. Cindy is also a Cabinet member of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Foundation, in support of philanthropy for Northeast Georgia Hospital Braselton campus and serves as interim Chairman of the Board of AMS, a non-profit consulting company.
Cindy leaves the day to day operations of Cotton Calf Kitchen to Matt and the staff but enjoys meeting her friends and family there as often as she can!