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
Company commissions locally produced pieces that highlight takeaways of the pandemic.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, discusses an issue she sees in how business is presented to young women. She says because social roles are different for men and women, women can be led to expect an unrealistic work-life balance as business owners.
Randy Bacon, a longtime professional photographer based in downtown Springfield, says preparation before making big decisions helped him transition between important stages in his life. He says his big decisions were ultimately a big leap of faith.
Andrea Petersberg, owner of the Local Bevy, says the appeal of a local store holds a lot of value for people in and outside of Springfield. Petersburg says being a supporting part of the local connection for artists is important for her.
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, shares his story on how he left his job in the corporate world to pursue his dream. Now 60 years old and with signature character to his photography and business, he says he still is a 15-year-old boy with a camera.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, gives her advice for maintaining good relationships with clients. Drawing on her experience working with customers coast to coast, Thomas says equity and fairness are some of the best ways to build trust and respect.
Don Helms, co-owner of Munchie Moe’s, says it's important to know your business and to think ahead of your supply chain. Helms says COVID-19 has changed the way he has experienced business operation. He says foresight is key.
Janet Susdorf, business consultant and founder of Brain Power for Hire, LLC, discusses the importance of adapting and learning from failure. Drawing from the struggles she has faced in her own life as a sixtime cancer survivor, Susdorf talks about when to fight and when to accept change.
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.