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Aviary to rebrand in partnership with Lavender Falls

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Lavender Falls Farm LLC is partnering with private equity firm Westward Alliance LLC to rebrand and renovate Aviary Cafe.

Catherine Bersted, who co-owns Lavender Falls Farm in Clever with her husband, Thor, said she would serve as the operational partner for what will be named Aviary by Lavender Falls. Westward Alliance, which took over Aviary in 2015, is not taking a stake in the Clever farm operation but would still have ownership in Aviary, she said.

"We are so excited to be working with Westward and the team there. It's been a fun partnership," Catherine Bersted said, declining to disclose terms of the Aviary deal. "The Westward family has been coming to our farm since we opened."

Aviary is currently operating at 2144 E. Republic Road in south-side development Farmers Park. Westward Alliance officials late last year announced the cafe's downtown presence would move to the site of BYOPizza, another of its concepts that closed. Plans are still in the works downtown, Bersted said, but the current focus is on the Farmers Park restaurant.

Bersted said Springfield-based Brown Abbey Gourmet is helping to revamp menu items. Lavender Falls Farm will provide food-grade lavender for some items, Bersted said, noting interior renovations also are in the works to reflect the branding change. An Aviary Facebook post points to limited hours June 16-21 during the transition.

In Clever, Lavender Falls Farm was unable to open for the summer season due to COVID-19, Bersted said. The venue, which grows and sells lavender and hosts events, such as weddings, is slated to return in 2021, she said. The farm was founded in 2015.

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