The Tin Ceiling Event Venue and Mercantile
A health care worker became a first-time business owner Dec. 8 by opening The Tin Ceiling Event Venue and Mercantile LLC. The 5,000-square-foot venture at 123 W. Main St. in downtown Ash Grove hosts weddings, showers, parties and corporate events, said owner Cassy Ballard. Startup costs were roughly $225,000, she said, including the building purchase from Ernie Cotter. The building had been vacant for about three years after formerly being occupied by several restaurants, she said. Venue rental prices begin at $75 per hour with a four-hour minimum, while weddings start at $995, according to its website. Ballard said she has experience decorating and organizing weddings and other events for friends and family. Ballard said she also maintains employment with Mercy as a nurse analyst in informatics.
Hours: Vary by event
The Sweet Peach Bakery
A home baker decided to pursue a longtime dream of starting her own business. Reagan Witt launched The Sweet Peach Bakery LLC on Oct. 1 out of her Nixa home. The Sweet Peach Bakery’s menu includes cakes, cupcakes, sweet breads, cinnamon rolls and miniature cookies. Cakes are sold for weddings and other special occasions, Witt said, and prices start at $25 for two layers and $35 for three layers. Cake flavors include chocolate chip cookie dough, banana and coconut, according to its website. She said startup costs were roughly $3,000, including bakery supplies and a commercial mixer. Witt, who said she’s mostly self-taught, also holds a couple of part-time jobs as a nanny and for product distribution company The Lime Canary LLC.
Hours: By appointment
Premier Choice Tax and Accounting Solutions
Springfield-based Premier Choice Tax and Accounting Solutions LLC expanded its reach in Greene County with the Jan. 1 opening of a Republic office at 947 U.S. Highway 60. Co-owner Marilee Daugherity said startup costs for the 900-square-foot, three-employee office were $35,000. She declined to disclose the five-year lease rate with Lee Roberts. Daugherity said she owns the firm with husband Ricky and another couple, Jean Paul and Nicole Herrera. Premier Choice offers tax, insurance, bookkeeping and payroll services. The rapid growth of Republic was an attraction to starting an office in town, Marilee Daugherity said, noting the firm added a third location Jan. 5 in Aurora via acquisition of Jessee Insurance Agency Inc., at 226 S. Madison Ave., for an undisclosed rate. Premier Choice launched in 2019 at 636 W. Republic Road, Ste. A112.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday and Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday in Republic
Visionhealth Eye Center in Republic moved; Gettin’ Basted expanded north to Springfield; and the second Springfield facility for Blue Iguana Car Wash opened.
Jennifer Charleston, a 20-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and the only female lieutenant in the department, talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about her career in law enforcement and her new position in the department as a liaison to the LGBTQ+ community.
Moving from physical meetings to digital meetings can feel like a barrier, but Mackenzie Scherer, an independent technology business consultant, says it can be an opportunity. Scherer says that with good moderation, a digital meeting experience can make people feel more included in the discussion.
Abby Glenn, development director for Habitat for Humanity, says corporate partners are a huge asset to the work they do. Corporate donation matching programs help individual donors feel they are contributing more and help Habitat for Humanity cover the large costs of their projects.
Alex Neville-Verdugo, museum director at the Discovery Center in Springfield, describes the opportunities the Discovery Center has through partnerships with other educational organizations. Neville-Verdugo says the Discovery Center’s virtual learning program reaches across multiple countries, with traffic mostly coming from the U.S. and Canada.
Elizabeth Hurst, business development manager at HR Advantage, says we do see fewer women in the workforce today than before the pandemic. Hurst says many women want more flexible work environments and that is one way employers can capture the female labor force.
Curtis Marshall, CEO of Tie & Timber Beer Company, says he sees work-life balance very differently. When he was younger, he would push himself to take on more and more responsibility, but would stop and put his career on hold for months while living in New Zealand or Mexico, or to start a pet software project. He says he lives by the philosophy of work hard and play hard.
Brent Cochran didn’t think he would become a retailer, but when thinking of ways to keep his young adult son with Down syndrome intellectually engaged, he came across a father and son team that did just that. Cochran, now owner of Al’s Pals Pet Place, says both the needs of his son and his affection for the family dog with a sensitive stomach led him to the world of e-commerce.
Michelle Romero, co-owner of PKD Venue, says her business has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by changing its business model to include food service. Now on top of serving as a venue for rent, they can keep revenue through online and pick up and go orders.
Dr. Clifton Petty, dean of the Breech School of Business at Drury University, lists three priorities for an effective MBA program. Petty says an entrepreneurial focus, a cohesive group of fellow students and an emphasis on hands-on experience are things students should look for in an MBA program. This is sponsored content.
Megan Short, the executive director of the Springfield Contractors Association, discusses her company’s organization strategies to encourage networking. She encourages organizing networking events around some activity and working to explicitly provide time during events for people to chat and have conversation.