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Mother’s ownership makes Queen City investments

Local brewery debuts coffee and bar concepts amid event space expansion

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It’s been a busy start to 2024 for Mother’s Brewing Co. LLC, as its owners have launched a pair of concepts that could bring new customers onto its downtown property and beyond.

The company underwent an ownership change in May 2023 when Jeff and Lindsay Seifried purchased the business from founder Jeff Schrag and his wife, Mary. The new owners opened Cufflink Coffee on Jan. 15. It’s a shop located on the east side of the 215 S. Grant Ave. Mother’s Brewing campus. Jeff Seifried said the opening came less than two weeks after the debut of Mama’s Home Terminal Tavern by Mother’s Brewing Co., a branded bar at the Springfield-Branson National Airport.

“For us, it’s an opportunity to get people to interact with Mother’s in a nonalcohol platform – something that gets people in at 7 a.m.,” he said of Cufflink Coffee, which is open seven days a week from 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. “There’s no reason that space should sit empty all day and wait for the taproom to open.”

The shop serves coffee sourced from partners Mudhouse Coffee and The Coffee Ethic, as well as coffee-infused Mother’s beers, like Imperial Grind Black, and bakery items such as muffins, scones and a German waffle with chocolate on top, dubbed Nuss-Schokoladenwaffeln. He said the latter item’s addition to the menu was the idea of his wife, Lindsay.

“We’ve got several folks on the brewery side that not only speak German, but have some German roots, including my sister-in-law,” he said, noting the company employs 25, including three who primarily work at Cufflink Coffee.

In its first couple weeks of operations, the shop is experimenting with other pastry sourcing options, Seifried said, declining to identify current partners. He also declined to estimate the cost of renovations, which include a new deck visible from Grant Avenue.

He said the shop’s name is a salute to Schrag’s nationwide cufflink wholesale business, Pioneer Formal Accessories, adding the 800-square-foot space formerly stored cufflinks.

Cufflink Coffee joins the downtown coffee shop scene just as another exited last month. Republic-based Black Lab Coffee Co. closed its downtown shop Dec. 17 after three years, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. That was preceded by a July 2023 closure of another 3-year-old downtown shop, Seattle Roast Coffee.

Gathering space
Brewing coffee isn’t the only new activity ongoing on Mother’s campus, which includes its 40,000-square-foot brewing facility, located in a former Butternut bread bakery.

In the fall, Mother’s opened its BarrelHouse event space, which can accommodate up to 250 people, Seifried said. That’s in addition to the adjacent Mother’s Sitting Room, which can hold another 35 people and the brewery’s outdoor pavilion that has space for 100 more.

The BarrelHouse recently hosted a Missouri Craft Brewers Guild event, he said, adding it also has been utilized for Christmas parties and private gatherings.

“We’ve got some wedding receptions booked in there,” he said. “We’ve got some whole brewery rentals this year for weddings. It is quickly turning into a very unique wedding venue.”

Repurposing facility space is in the works, Seifried said. Upon completion, it will double the BarrelHouse capacity to 500 people. Even with the additional space, he said parking should be adequate to accommodate guests.

“We have a whole upstairs where the bakery offices used to be, which was a key storage area for us. We’re in the works of trying to get those improvements done by June,” he said, declining to estimate the cost for renovations, which include window replacement and flooring upgrades.

Seifried said the BarrelHouse also is an area that showcases Mother’s barrel-aged stouts.

“Those barrels are filled with beer that ages for a minimum of 12 months,” he said. “It’s just a cool way for people to interact with the brand, the beer, and see it in action.”

Brand building
Mama’s Home Terminal Tavern at the airport is a partnership for the brewery with Wilmington, North Carolina-based Tailwind Hospitality Inc. Jeff Switzer, Tailwind president and CEO, said the company has been the food and beverage operator at Springfield’s airport for over two years. Tailwind operates in over 40 airports in 23 states, according to its website.

“The airport suggested it might be good to give the travelers a sense of place by using a local brewery,” he said, noting the conversation with Mother’s began over a year ago. “When we put that satellite bar in, we just thought it was a good idea to allow them to put their name on it and just support the local brand.”

The area near gate 10 is home to the bar, which has views of the airport’s runways. Mother’s and Tailwind officials declined to disclose terms of the partnership.

“It gives customers the opportunity to sample a number of different beers on tap,” Seifried said. “So, there’s six different varieties of Mother’s beer at the airport, which is unique in the marketplace, and we’re very proud of that.”

Switzer said Tailwind employs around 25 at the airport, and they work at both the tavern and The Riverbend, the airport’s restaurant. The on-site coffee shop is operated by Travellers House Coffee LLC.

“We’re glad to be there. We’re happy to work with them, and we’re just trying to support the community,” Switzer said, noting Mama’s Home gives customers a sense of place when flying in and out of the airport.

Aside from its recent investments, Seifried said the company plans to grow its current distribution footprint. Operating in Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas, Mother’s ranked No. 1 on Springfield Business Journal’s list in 2023 of the area’s largest breweries based on production volume. The company reported 8,039 barrels made in 2022, a 0.4% increase from 2021. Officials didn’t supply last year’s barrel production by press time.

“First and foremost, we want to take care of our current footprint, and then as we look for areas to grow, I think you can look towards Illinois and the rest of Kansas as well as some other key states we’re looking at,” Seifried said, declining to name areas under consideration. “We’re going to hunker down and finish out that meeting event space, and then we’ll look for the next opportunities.”

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