Abby’s Acai Co.
Evangel University senior Abby Voelker became a first-time business owner with the Aug. 22 launch of Abby’s Acai Co. The food truck, which Voelker co-owns with her mother, Kayme Voelker, operates weekly in Farmers Park at Farmers Market of the Ozarks. It also sets up at weddings, baby showers, community events and businesses, such as Dynamic Body LLC, Abby Voelker said. Startup costs, including purchase of the truck, were around $15,000, she said. Its menu features overnight oats and organic acai sorbet with toppings such as fruit, granola and chia seeds. Prices range $4-$8. Voelker said she opened the business after a trip to California earlier this year, drawing inspiration from acai bowls she ate there with a desire to serve the health food in Springfield.
Hours: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, and by appointment
Launch Virtual Learning Center
A Springfield Public Schools venture got a new home with the Aug. 1 opening of Launch Virtual Learning Center at 601 N. National Ave., Ste. 102. The center serves as headquarters for all programming, student support and course development for Launch, a statewide fully virtual K-12 school that serves over 340 school districts in Missouri, said Nichole Lemmon, director of virtual learning for SPS. The district is on a three-year lease with building owner Craig Wagoner for $8,094 per month, she said. Launch formerly operated in the Kraft Administration Center, 1359 E. St. Louis St., but needed more space for its student services and staff of 45, Lemmon said, declining to disclose relocation costs. The program began providing online courses to SPS students in the 2011-12 school year. Launch also has hub offices in Kansas City and St. Louis.
Hours: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday
The Robbins Group
Branson-based The Robbins Group moved Sept. 15 to larger office space at 1649 State Highway 248. Robbins Insurance Group LLC, Robbins Financial Group and Robbins Nest Media LLC operate under The Robbins Group umbrella in the newly constructed, 3,600-square-foot building, said Blake Robbins, who owns all the ventures. The businesses, which employ 13 combined, previously operated in 900 square feet at 695 Branson Landing Blvd., Ste. 210, Robbins said. More room was needed to accommodate the growing staff, he said. Relocation and construction costs were roughly $550,000, Robbins said, adding he’s on a seven-year lease for an undisclosed rate with Josh Stewart of Myli-bug Properties LLC. Robbins said he started the insurance and financial planning businesses in May 2018 before adding the digital marketing agency in June 2020. Services for Robbins Nest Media include social media management, videography, web design, photography and graphic design.
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
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