Lauren Brown has taken her parents’ family business to new levels, expanding Neighbor’s Mill into Springfield and developing a second location.
With her husband Clif, they first brought Neighbor’s Mill to Springfield in 2016, modeled after the original concept in Harrison, Arkansas. Their new restaurant across from Mercy has a target opening in mid-April.
At the heart of it all is a commitment to wheat made on-site and an atmosphere of servant-leadership.
“My employees have seen me do dishes, they see me get down on my hands and knees to clean a spill off the floor,” she says. “If you see your boss on the front lines of battle alongside you, as opposed to seeing them on the sidelines barking directions, then they are much more likely to stick with that team and stay loyal when times are hard.”
What was your first job? My parents owned a Dairy Queen franchise. I was supposed to walk through the parking lot and keep a log of all the out-of-state license plates. My dad confessed he just did that to keep me busy.
What are you doing to make the Ozarks better? We’re trying really hard to keep the craft of bread baking and milling wheat alive.
What did you learn the hard way? I need to clearly define my expectations. I’m learning how to be a better boss and leader every day and a big part of that is learning how to sit down with my team to communicate a clear vision.
Cuban cuisine arrived on C-Street with the opening of La Habana Vieja; independent brokerage Gateway Real Estate opened its first office; and a veteran of the restaurant industry invested in her first food truck.
Barak Hill gives advice based on what he learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected his business. He says we should all have a backup plan ready to use.
Sandy Higgins, owner of the Crackerjack Shack, recommends the book "The E-Myth Mastery" by Michael E Gerber. She says it changed the course of how she runs her business.
Aaron York describes the work culture he tries to foster at Donco3 and why he attributes to it a part of Donco3's success. Rachel York is a co-owner of Donco3 and Aaron is the General Superintendent.
Hollie Elliott, executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, explains how local schools factor into business decisions and affect a local community.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, says an important lesson she learned was not to over-expand and to do her research before hand. She gives examples from her experience as a startup business owner.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen own TCI Graphics, and are now celebrating 50 years of business. Jim Meinsen takes some time to explain his philosophy on debt, and how to stay out of it.
Caleb Scott, owner and coach of Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football, says the early grind was hard, but it was worth it. The team is in their second season carrying a national ranking of number 2 in the NFA IDFL.
Barak Hill, local musician and entrepreneur, tells about his switch to livestreaming in 2020. He says it was a necessary move, but also not an easy one.
Jessica Burkland, a SCORE mentor and an instructor at the MSU Department of Management, gives us a rundown of the non-profit organization SCORE. SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives and offers free consultation and advice to business owners.
Hollie Elliott, the executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, discusses some of the ways helping small town businesses is different than in larger cities. The Dallas County Economic Development Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit aimed at helping local existing and new businesses in the county.