In 2014, two years after Robbin Orbison moved to the Cape from New York City with her husband Michael, she had the foresight to launch CapeSpace in Hyannis, to offer flexible workspace to local professionals.
“We are really proud of what we’ve built. We have a very robust community at this time which is a side effect of the pandemic,” Robbin said. “It is the rise of the remote worker. We have more people who are not going into their corporate headquarters every day, but who don’t want to work from home.”
More than seven years after bringing coworking to the region, Robbin has sold the business to longtime friend and CapeSpace member Kim Marchand, owner of MarchandCFO. The sale is effective as of Oct. 1. Orbison will remain on as a consultant through this month to assist in the transition.
“This is one of those opportunities you can’t pass up,” said Marchand. “Robbin has built such an outstanding organization. It is my pleasure to come in and take over such a wonderful organization that is so well known, so well used, and so highly regarded.”
Orbison opened the 8,600-square-foot facility on Independence Drive in Hyannis, in July 2016, offering a mix of private offices, conference rooms, a business lounge, a business mailing address, a kitchen complete with a gourmet coffee bar, and high-speed fiber optic internet through OpenCape. CapeSpace offers a variety of plans to fit every work style and budget.
It was a concept she had witnessed in her role as Chief Financial Officer at Silverstein Properties in New York City. “My career had all been spent in commercial real estate development and my last employer decided to put flexible office space into one of their buildings,” Orbison explained. “I learned a lot about the industry, and I liked the model. When we came here, I realized there was nothing like that on the Cape and I thought it would be a fit.”
While it took time for Cape Codders to embrace coworking, there was enough interest that Robbin was able to open a second CapeSpace location at Mashpee Commons in December 2019. She recently expanded CapeSpace’s footprint in Mashpee in August, adding seven new private offices which have all been rented.
“CapeSpace fills such a great need,” said Marchand. “We have so many folks who work remotely, especially since Covid. It was built as an organization for professionals to get their work done and still have a close-knit community around them.”
Marchand has been a member of CapeSpace since it opened in 2016. In the fall of 2021, she rebranded MarchandCFO to support entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and businesses with essential bookkeeping and financial services. Several of her clients are CapeSpace members who receive discounted rates through a partnership Marchand and Robbin announced last year.
One of Marchand’s goals is to “build on the synergies between MarchandCFO and CapeSpace,” she said. “I also want to build on what Robbin has started. She is smart, savvy, and a class act.”
The pair share several similarities. Both graduated from Simmons University’s MBA program. Last month, they were recipients of the Cape Cod Women’s Association 6 Over 60 Awards, recognizing women in the community who are over the age of 60 and making a positive impact in the community. In 2022, both CapeSpace and MarchandCFO made it onto Cape & Plymouth Business Media’s Readers Choice Watch List for companies to watch.
Marchand lives in Yarmouth Port with her husband Jim. The pair owned the Sesuit Harbor House in East Dennis, a 21-room motel which they purchased in 2008 and sold in 2019. They transformed it into an award-winning inn that was ranked by TripAdvisor as the #4 hotel on Cape Cod.
She has owned MarchandCFO since 2010.
Orbison and her husband, an attorney who served as the general counsel for CapeSpace, will be moving from their home in Sandwich to Paris, France, bringing their cats Boo and Peanut with them, in November.
“We want to travel more and most of the traveling we want to do is in Europe so it made sense to have a base in Paris,” Orbison said. “We’ll really miss the Cape, especially the people. We’ve made a lot of good friends, formed a lot of important relationships and we all went through a lot together over the past 10 years on Cape Cod.”