Lean Kitchen Co.
St. Joseph-based prepared meal service franchise Lean Kitchen Co. LLC debuted in Springfield on April 19 in the Fremont Center, 1316 E. Battlefield Road. Franchisee Natalie Hardin, who co-owns the Springfield shop with husband Jon Hardin, said startup costs were around $20,000, adding they signed a three-year lease for an undisclosed rate with R.B. Murray Co. The 1,800-square-foot space was formerly occupied by The Comic Cave LLC, which shuttered in 2019. Roughly 25 meal options are sold, such as turkey tacos and a southwest steak bowl. Individual meals range $9-$10 or $85 for a 10-meal plan. The Springfield store is the third for the couple, who opened their first in Columbia in June 2020, followed by Kirksville last October. Lean Kitchen Co.’s website lists a $30,000 franchise fee, ongoing 6% royalty and 2% advertising fees. The 2016-founded company has 10 other Missouri shops and operations in nine states, according to its website.
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
The UPS Store
Republic gained a franchise of The UPS Store Inc. with the March 11 opening of a shop at 566 E. Harrison St. in Town Center Plaza. Husband-and-wife franchisees Tim and Robyn McKee own the store via McKee Enterprises LLC. Robyn McKee said startup costs, including an undisclosed franchise fee, were roughly $160,000. The UPS Store also collects 8.5% of franchise owners’ adjusted gross monthly sales, according to its website. The McKees signed a five-year lease for an undisclosed rate with Tillman Redevelopment LLC, she said. The 1,500-square-foot, five-employee shop’s services include shipping, packaging, printing, notarizing, shredding and mailboxes. McKee said there was a growing need for shipping and printing services in Republic, noting the nearest UPS Store was at least 15 minutes away in Springfield. The couple also have owned Rocco’s Italian Kitchen, formerly Rocco’s Pizza, since 2010 in Republic, she said.
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
Reborn Co., which makes soy wax candles and fragrant sprays, opened its production center to the public Feb. 10 after relocating to Rogersville from Springfield in October 2020. The company’s 2,400-square-foot shop is at 24 Industry Road, Ste. B, said co-owner Ben White. He declined to disclose relocation costs or lease terms. The shop previously operated at 420 W. Walnut Lawn St. in Springfield. White said he became an owner of Reborn Co. with friend Adam Johnson in the fall. Johnson’s parents, Carlton and Patty Johnson, sold their ownership last year but are still involved with the company, White said. Reborn Co. products are primarily sold wholesale at retailers in four states, and he said offering the public weekly store hours provides regular direct access. Candle prices range $15-$26, and room and toilet sprays cost $10-$14, he said.
Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday
Read profiles of this year's honorees.
Aaron York, general superintendent of Donco 3 Construction, describes what he sees in the construction job market in Springfield in 2021. Rachel York is the co-owner of Donco3 Construction.
Jim Meinsen gives his advice for finding new clients as the owner of a new or existing business. Jim and Debbie Meinsen own TCI Graphics, and recently celebrated 50 years in business.
Jeramey and Julia Henson discuss the reason they and HM Dentworks co-owner Chris McWhirter started the HM Dentworks Academy. With the job demands of their field taking them across the country, all three felt that they needed a plan for the future.
Caleb Scott, owner and coach of the Queen City Insane Asylum, says the name for the team was chosen lightheartedly. He said the name also catches people's attention.
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.