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Category Archives for "Springfield"

From An Impound In Springfield To A Fun Fashion Truck | Bree’s Closet

From A Police Impound In Springfield To A Fun Fashion Truck

How can a beat-up old truck turn into a super snazzy fashion shop on wheels???!!

With some good old fashion imagination and some hard work!

There’s a pretty cool history behind the fashion truck known as Bree’s Little Closet. Who would’ve thought it’d come with a back story like this...

An ugly little thing once housed at a police impound to being transforming into a money-making machine.

Its background will surprise you, but you’ll love the ending!

Love at First Sight

Some people may have thought it was a challenge too big to tackle, but not for Brianna and Tina Barnett who are both entrepreneurs and creative visionaries.

What would one day become a mobile boutique started out as anything but...

Brianna and her mother Tina bought the Truck through an auction after it had been sitting at a police impound lot for some time.

The history of the truck is interesting and comes with a shady past.

The man who previously owned the truck was a bit of a thief, but those days were long over.

When Brianna and Tina saw the truck for the first time, they saw something that only true entrepreneurs would.

The perfect place to start a business!

With the love of fashion and some inspiration, they were determined to see this dream become a reality.

From Ratty to Spectacular

When they bought the truck, they knew there would be a lot of work to do before it could be transformed into the fashion truck it is today.

From the interior to the exterior that work was extensive.

It needed much more than just a touch-up.

With a little help from friends and family, they rolled up their sleeves and began to turn that truck with a not so nice history into the handsome fashion truck it is today.

They put in some additions to support their beautiful collections and revamped the interior with lovely decor, ceiling tiles, wood flooring and even antique doors before finilizing it with a decorative logo on the side.

After all their efforts, their truck looked like the shop they had envisioned.

All that hard work and energy had paid off and was thoughtfully named Bree’s Little Closet.

The Fashion Truck Is More Than Just a Beauty

What’s really astounding about this fashion truck is not only the transformation it underwent but the innovative and creative vision behind it all.

A passion for fashion and a desire to make a business idea a reality was the driving force behind Bree’s Little Closet.

This is a great example of what you can accomplish with an idea, determination and a little help from some friends.

Click the link and check them out today! 

Rove Coffee Springfield MO

Rove Coffee Springfield MO – Locally Owned, Crafted to Perfection

​Rove Coffee Springfield MO - Locally Owned, Crafted to Perfection

​Rove Coffee Springfield MO

Do you notice a bunch of people at the airport holding a cup of coffee in their hand?

It’s easy just to get a hot or cold brew in about any coffee shops at the airport but,

To find the perfect cup of coffee that’s brewed and crafted flawlessly? This requires some research and trial-and-error.

Until Rove Coffee Springfield MO was born.

And they aren’t only serving you up before or after a long flight, they’re roasting facility is located  in the heart of Springfield. Their goal? To provide the finest coffee in town made from the freshest, local ingredients.

Check out their story, what they offer, (yep, it’s not just coffee!), and why they rock Springfield’s world!

​Coffee + Airport = Rove Coffee Springfield MO

​Coffee + Airport

Rove Coffee was conceived by Missouri natives, Dustin and Katie Jackson and their passion for coffee and airports.

Dustin wanted to deliver a need to passengers flying from the Springfield-Branson National Airport, which is high-quality coffee.

Eager to take action for his plan, he brought this impassioned idea to his wife.

And as the cliche goes, the rest is history.

The Jacksons went ahead with their coffee shop plan, got to work, and actualized it.

This was back in January 2013.

Since then, Rove Coffee has been providing travelers the satisfaction of sipping a cup of an amazing brew throughout the years.

Local First - Supports Local Businesses in Missouri

What is amazing about Rove Coffee is not just how great their coffee is.

But they are a business with a heart.

They work with local businesses in Missouri by showcasing products from shops in and around Springfield.

For instance, their pantry case is fully stocked with delicious pastries and breads from Gardener’s Orchard and Bakery, a local pastry shop in Brighton. There are plenty of Danish pastries and other quick bites to choose from, all carried by this business.

They also feature products from Springfield’s homegrown Tea Bar & Bites such as their homemade pop tarts and gluten-free/ vegan berry cobbler bars.

Tea aficionados can also enjoy a wide selection of teas from Kansas City’s Hugo Tea Company.

Other local products at Rove Coffee include items from Askinosie Chocolate Bars (from Askinosie Chocolate) and Star Bars rom Chelsea’s Bakehaus. These businesses are located in Springfield and Kansas City, respectively.

​One-Stop Shop for Coffee, Bites, and Chilled-Out Vibes

​One-Stop Shop for Coffee, Bites, and Chilled-Out Vibes!

Flying can be quite an exciting but exhausting experience at times.

The Springfield-Branson airport may be small, but it’s little comforts make it memorable.

Thankfully, Rove Coffee Springfield MO offers a cozy and relaxing spot for travelers to slow down and “smell the coffee”.

Their selection of fresh brews will entice your palate and the amazing range of pastries will fill your tummy and carry you through to your next meal until arrive at your next destination.

Check out rovecoffee.com and look them up on Facebook and Instagram for specials and the latest news about these guys!

Stephen Driscoll: 4-Things You Need to Know about The Uniform Broker

Stephen Driscoll: 4-Things You Need to Know about The Uniform Broker

Things You Need to Know about The Uniform Broker

“I could talk to you for an hour, and if you take away one meaningful thing, then I’ve done my job. If I can give something to someone where they walk away with something that was going to improve their life for the next 40, 50, 60 years, that’s what matters.”

The words of Stephen Driscoll; entrepreneur and community advocate. Stephen is the founder of The Uniform Broker in Springfield MO, 24/7 my best life and a growing 417 community and business-focused Facebook Group.

Going beyond the old way of doing business, Stephen has the philosophy that even though there’s always direct competition, there’s always room for businesses to work together. He knows that as an entrepreneur, it is up to business owners to support one another and genuinely be the foundation on which the community stands.

We had the opportunity to meet with and hear the vision behind the man, and this is his story.

From a Zen Moment to the Birth of a Local Business 

Stephen Driscoll had his share of the 8 to 5 workday, long commutes, accompanied by the nagging feeling that there was a better way to leave his mark.

He shared his moments of zen when he would leave the office and take a detour stop on the Atlantic coast. In those moments, mystery and wonder seeped in. The same way the ocean touched every coastal area on the planet, we too have the ability to impact each other lives in the same way. He knew, there was something bigger ahead for him.

The inspiration behind the Uniform Broker, 417 and 24/7 My Best Life was people. Not just people, but the community as a whole.

Stephen came all the way from Florida with his wife to start his entrepreneurial dream in the 417 area. In just a couple of years, he has created a business that supports other local business owners and is a fast-growing influencer in the community.  

The question is, are you in?

The Business of 417

The Business of 417 Podcast, Site and Social Media Connects 

Stephen believes that Springfield and the surrounding area is home to hundreds of talented people who are unrecognized.

Whenever up and coming entrepreneurs or small business owners want to bring value into the community, the old way was to go at more or less solo. Exhaustive hours of self-promotion and marketing just to be able to have an opportunity to serve the people.

The business of 417 aims to change all that. His goal is to build up these platforms that support the heart of “Hey, let’s get you out there. Let’s bring awareness to each other.”

He also realized that there’s a greater opportunity to feature more and more people in the community with a business that everybody needs to know about.

You can connect with the Busines of 417 through any of the social media platforms including the Facebook group.

There’s also a podcast featuring their very own business spotlights.

This live show is packed with raw, honest conversations, putting the comfort blanket down and discussing what can make any business thrive.

With everyone working together, rowing together towards the big picture, everything is possible.

Success is inevitable!

Uplifting Local Networking Tuesday Afternoon Group 

As a way to connect with fellow 417 local business owners, Stephen created an Uplifting Networking Group that’s going to be held every Tuesday Afternoon at the 4 by 4 Brewing Company in Springfield.

This is where other entrepreneurs can connect with one another, share, gain knowledge and build relationships that expand their reach in the community.

Check it out on Facebook

As a business owner, thinking in terms of nothing but the competition just doesn’t work anymore. It’s our responsibility to come together for the greater good of the community.

Expect high energy, loads of fun and some phenomenal speakers.

This is a unique opportunity to bring the community together. When the community is not unified, it falls. How can business owners better serve their customers, and how can local businesses partner with one another in a way that brings value to the 417 local area?

This theme is at the heart of Stephen new networking group. It’s all happening Tuesday, 2:30 p.m starting May 21, 2019.

Fighting Alongside the Little Guys

The Game Changing Uniform Broker - Fighting Alongside the Little Guys 

Stephen is the founder of Uniform Broker which focuses on what’s known as textile products. (Or, the uniform business). His business model aims to assist business owners to utilize their in-shop products as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

We’re talking about things every single business needs for either their day to day operations or to meet customer expectations. Paper towels, toilet tissue, hand sanitizer, air fresheners, chemicals, mats, towels, you name it, Stephen isn’t just a representative, he’s an in-depth consultant.  

With 15 plus years of experience in the field, it became apparent to Stephen that the majority of representatives working with businesses were not operating in a way that was best for the business owner.

Over 71% of sales reps in the Uniform business do not stay within their field for longer than 18 months. This means that there’s a lot of room for error and inexperienced advisors.

The result? Most businesses unknowingly are paying too much for these products, have the wrong items in place, have discrepancies in their inventory or are not utilizing these items properly. The cost in losses being anywhere from 5 cents to 40 dollars per absent, misused or misplaced item. Over time, these losses add up.

The concept seems simple enough, but the program was designed to be detailed oriented with both the customer, employee and the business in mind.

The Uniform broker does not rent these services, they help business owners in evaluating the true needs of the business. In addition, Stephen trains employees on the proper use procedures to utilize these items effectively.

His mission, to provide a business with these solutions, without overpaying for items they don’t need. Effectiveness, while reducing waste.

Hear the full story on this podcast.

A Story of Two Mats 

One Example that came up in our interview with the Uniform Broker was a restaurant that was paying for the wrong mats for over 5 years.

These two mats alone, not talking including uniforms, towels, aprons and other services caused this mom and pop business to pay over $2,500 in rental fees that it did not need to.

This is what the Uniform Broker does, comes alongside business owners and saves them money.

Only Pay if You Save 

It says a lot about the quality of service when you can offer a money back guarantee.

Only pay if you save means if the Uniform Broker’s services don’t save you money, you don’t have to pay.

Hit Stephen up : (e)mail - stephen (at) theuniformbroker.com

Website - https://theuniformbroker.com/

Uniform Broker Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/theuniformbroker/

Uniform Broker Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/theuniformbroker/

Uniform Broker LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/theuniformbroker/


Business of 417 Facebook Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/399262540865777/


24-7 My Best Life Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/247mybestlife/




The Future is Here

The Future is Here 

Stephen Driscoll is an impressive community partner through his work and his visions yet to come.

Whether you find him on 247 My Best Life, The Business of 417, The Uniform Brokers or a Networking event you can be sure he’s hard at work bringing those once “just dreams” into a reality.

Bringing a new wave of thinking into how business is done and we together can serve our customers and communities better.

Diaper Bank Brings Hope, One Diaper At A Time

Diaper Bank Brings Hope, One Diaper At A Time

Diaper Bank Brings Hope, One Diaper At A Time

1 in 3 families struggles to buy diapers.

What it means is that in every 3 families in the country, 1 of them has a child crying as it lays in a wet diaper, a soiled diaper, and hasn’t been changed for hours or even a day…

It is a reality that not many people are aware of, and this is the problem Diaper Bank of the Ozarks is out to solve.

Sad Diaper Stories

Did you know that about 48% of U.S. families fail to change their babies’ diapers regularly?

And that 32% of U.S. families reuse diapers?

With dirty diapers being reused over and over, and babies are deprived of clean diapers when they need them, just think about the impact on these little ones’ health…

Skin rashes, infections, inflamed skin, and so on, and so forth.

Meanwhile, that distressed baby cries from the discomfort she is going through. That poor child can barely verbalize what she is feeling. Parents, on the other hand, are left feeling guilty and helpless from not being able to support their baby’s basic need.

It is something most people may not know of but this inadequacy in diaper supply experienced by 1 out of 3 families with babies in the U.S happens day after day.

The Diaper Bank of Ozarks has been extending its support to solve this issue, and they need your participation to keep the vision and mission alive… For these suffering babies across Missouri, and the entirety of the United States.

Programs Offered By the Diaper Bank of the Ozarks

Programs Offered By the Diaper Bank of the Ozarks

The Diaper Bank has created several programs all with the same purpose:

To address the daily needs of families in need of a diaper for their babies… And More.

These programs include:

- Greene County Disposable Diaper Distribution which serves babies in Greene County through 40 partnering agencies.

- Rural County Diaper Distribution Program reaches 30 counties through 20 partnering agencies in the Ozarks rural counties.

- Diapers for Daycare Program distributes 50,000 to 80,000 disposable diapers each year.

- Cloth Diaper Loan Program provides cloth diaper loans to as much as 150 families yearly.

- Baby Hub Program offers educational resources to families, as well as children’s activities during class time.

- Period Products Program provides period items with the support of partner agencies.

These programs are set in place to reduce the suffering of babies whose caretakers are unable to meet their need for a clean diaper. Now it’s your turn to take part and give back where help is most needed.

The Diaper Bank is More Than A Diaper Storage

The Diaper Bank is More Than A Diaper Storage

According to statistics, the national poverty rate is between 12.7 and 14.1 percent.

In Springfield, it is at 25 percent.

Such a big number that means so many things. One of these includes the fact that so many parents struggle to provide one of the costliest baby items.

As a way of extending help to this pressing issue, the Diaper Bank has created a program that will supply clean, disposable and/or cloth diapers to these little ones.

Since its inception, it has donated between 70,000 and 80,000 diapers to 40 of its local partnering agencies located in Greene County. This is to address the daily requests for clean diapers by single moms or dads, financially struggling teen moms, and grandparents raising these babies while on a fixed, inadequate income.

At present, the Diaper Bank partners with a total of 29 agencies in the Ozarks’ rural counties, successfully reaching 30 counties. Through these agencies, their goal is to distribute as much as 300,000 disposable diapers to families in 2018.

The Diaper Bank gives hope with its acts of charity and generosity to those in most need of their help.

Every diaper provided to a family gives hope, a commodity that is just as rare as a pack of diapers for these struggling individuals in society.

If you had a baby, would you let her cry endlessly because of a soiled diaper that’s been sitting there for hours and hours?

If no, then you wouldn’t bear any baby to suffer this fate… Whether she’s yours or not.

Extend your help through The Diaper Bank today.

City Butcher, Springfield, MO

Is Missouri ready for Texas barbecue?

Is Missouri ready for Texas barbecue?

Born in Texas, raised in Springfield. Springfield has its fair share of people from other parts. Pick a part of the country, I bet you know someone from there who now calls Springfield home. One great thing about this phenomenon is that we can pick and choose from some of the greatest food in the country without having to drive to another state, let alone another city.

Cody Smith, a founder of City Butcher, is on a mission to spread the good news of Texas Barbecue. He does just that one smoky, succulent bite at a time. Being close to KC, Springfield has its share of barbecue joints. But KC style barbecue is all about the sauce while Texas barbecue is all about that slow wood smoked beef.

Cody Smith a founder of City Butcher

From 11 am till “Sold Out”

City Butcher opens its doors at 11 am and famously are open until they have “sold out” of all their meats. Other bbq joints in town have suggested that City Butcher just doesn’t make enough food. So what is going on here? Is “sold out” just clever marketing or is there something special going on?

I don’t know how to run a restaurant so I don’t know if City Butcher made more meat they would stop running out. But I do know that I have never eaten at City Butcher and been alone. It is rare that I’ve eaten there and they haven’t been all-hands-on-deck busy. There is always a line. But like most people, I am very happy to wait in almost any sized line to get my share of burnt end.

From 11 am till “Sold Out”

No frills, but who needs frills anyway

Located in the Kickapoo Corners shopping center, City Butcher doesn’t need a big, fancy, stand-alone store to sell their barbecue. In fact, they don’t need anything fancy. They trust their meat to be good enough that you won’t need to be distracted by bric-a-brac.

Unfinished cement floors, simple but well made wooden benches, a few pictures on the wall. Most of the budget went toward function. There is an impressively long, ice-filled beer cooler that could comfortably hold a Fiat. The fixin’s are free at the condiment station and include chopped onions, pickles, and bread.

No bad choice

The brisket is the King of Texas barbecue, you can judge a barbecue joint based just on the brisket. City Butchers’ brisket is aromatic and moist but the best thing on the menu is the burnt ends.

Choose any of their specialty sandwiches without worrying about missing out. You will be back enough times to try everything but I recommend starting with the Sweaty Texan (brisket and hot links) or the Pig Bird (pulled pork and smoked turkey).

No bad choice

All that smokey flavor is gonna leave you thirsty and City Butcher has the perfect beer to pair with your barbecue. Due to a partnership with local brewery White River, you can pick up a beer specifically made by the good people of City Butcher. Butcher Block Phils is a traditional American lager that will quench your thirst without drowning out the barbecue taste in your mouth.

The fact that they made their own beer tells you everything you need to know about City Butcher. Quality first, they think about the experience of the meal and leave nothing to chance. All the time and effort shows. City Butcher will become one of your favorite places in Springfield.

The Springfield Art Museum

Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO

Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO

I am gonna borrow a quote from the American novelist Kurt Vonnegut. “Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside of you, to make your soul grow.” (italics added) The Springfield Art Museum is in the business of growing souls. Heavy, I know, but I think it’s true.

The Springfield Art Museum has paintings. Good paintings. It has all the stuff a museum should have. They have other things too.

Things they have:

  • Pottery c​​​​​lasses
  • American regionalism
  • Sewing classes
  • Metalwork and jewelry classes
  • Asian porcelains
  • Free admission
to make your soul grow

In my experience, when a person or a group has stored up goods or value, it is always guarded. And access is rarely, if ever, free. The only thing that can account for the Springfield Museum’s odd behavior regarding its goods is that they love art. And they want you to love art too. They want you to love art so bad it hurts.

This isn’t L.A. or N.Y. Our Springfield Art Museum isn’t a sprawling, six-story warehouse. We are a small to medium sized Mid-Western town. To find any art museum in our town is curious. To find such a well-curated museum in our town is a revelation.

For the unsure, I beg you not to be too worried. I know that lots of things called “art” are anything but art. I also know that people who enjoy museums can also tend to get what my wife calls “artsy-fartsy”. The Springfield Art Museum isn’t like that. They have several great displays featuring art from many fine local elementary schools. We have a lot of homegrown talent.

It’s strange that as kids we love drawing and cutting and painting and coloring and all kinds of art. When we turn into adults we let all of that go. Why? So we can watch predictable sitcoms? The only art we see on the daily is the bland corporate art designed not to offend anybody. I say we get back in touch with our younger selves and look at something beautiful from time to time.

Pop Art is for everyone

The Springfield Art Museum is situated right next to Phelps Grove Park, another hidden gem. Go to the art museum see something beautiful. Make something beautiful. Then walk out the doors and walk through the park. See another kind of beauty. Why not? It’s free!  

You drive past it every day. You have driven past it a thousand times never guessing at the golden treasure contained inside. The Springfield Art Museum is a treasure hidden in plain sight and yet few ever discover the abundance within their reach. Will you be one of those who ignores their own treasure? Or will you be the one to go and claim it?

The Purple Burrito, Springfield,MO

The Purple Burrito, Springfield, MO

The Purple Burrito, Springfield, MO

Springfield has almost as many Mexican restaurants as they do Chinese restaurants. There was a popular joke a few years ago that everytime a Chinese restaurant went out of business a Mexican restaurant opened in the same building. And everytime a Mexican restaurant went out of business a Chineses restaurant opened up in the same building. I don’t know if I believe it but it sure seems true.

So why do we need another Mexican restaurant? Two glorious words: California style. That’s right, California has its own style of Mexican food. The style you are used to is actually Tex-Mex, Texas style Mexican food. Makes sense, we are closer to Texas than California. But for transplants from the west coast there has always been a hole in our hearts for a style of Mexican we can’t get in Springfield.

Thankfully the Purple Burrito is here to fix us up with something fresh and authentic. They have all the good stuff. Crispy tacos, chile relleno, carne asada burritos, horchata, menudo on Sundays! If you don’t know what some of these items are, just consider them comfort food. You can get something you know and love or try something you’ve never heard of, either way, you will be happy.

Purple Burrito shoots and scores on providing a relaxed atmosphere. The service is over the counter but the floor is always clean and the salsa bar is always stocked. You should try watching your food getting made. It’s like watching a glass blower at Silver Dollar City. You will be mesmerized but this time you get to eat the product after it’s made.

They have a very industrial decor that makes me wonder if they are being sincere or taking a jab at other restaurants who take themselves too seriously.<cough-Chipotle-cough> Purple Burrito is family run, always a plus. If you talk to the owner he will remember you next time you come in for a bite.

The next time you crave a fresh, crisp taco or the crunch perfection that is their chicken chimichanga the only place you should consider is the Purple Burrito.

the only place you should consider is the Purple Burrito

The Flea, Springfield, MO

A Dive Bar By Any Other Name…

If we meet by chance out in the big, wide world. You know, picking up some Himalayan Salt at the health food store or picking up a six-pack at the discount cigarette store, then you have probably seen me wearing a shirt that advertises one of my favorite bars in Springfield, The Flea.

The Flea is not a dive bar. However, it is a bar designed to emulate a dive bar. In real-world terms that means it has a decor that looks like it has been there for twenty-five years, even though the place hasn’t been open that long. The Flea has all the great stuff that you want from a dive bar without the feeling that you need to wash your hair after you leave.

The first question you want to ask yourself is which night do you want to be a regular at. There is the raucous open mic night. Fun for anybody that likes good music and wet drinks.

Tuesday Night Trivia is the cornerstone of the Flea’s weekly calendar. And the trivia is great. Pop-culture, so you don’t have to work too much if you never got around to finishing your Masters in Engineering. Difficult enough to be challenging but if you end up drinking a beer or two more than you planned, you can still make a showing. I have won two t-shirts at Tuesday Night Trivia, both are in heavy rotation.

There is so much live music you may accidentally learn to play the guitar. I know that sounds awesome but it really comes with a lot of responsibility. That Texas Swing ain’t gonna play itself. But if the urge to pluck those strings gets too much for you then pop outside to the patio for a bit.

A Dive Bar By Any Other Name…

Ah, the patio. The beating heart of the Flea. Let’s follow the conversations for a minute. Talking trash on the last ( and obviously the worst EVER) Star Wars? Check. Running through your bracket for the World Cup? Check. Discussions on the best empire to ever rule the Earth? Check. (And don’t say the Romans, that’s the obvious answer. C’mon man, read a book once in a while) Decide what kind of a conversation you want to have before you show up.

Let’s say you started the night off with your favorite drink, old faithful. But now you want to stretch your wings a bit. You want a Dogfish Head Seaquench margarita? I’ve seen it happen. You never know what they are gonna have on special. But I can’t tell you that whatever drink you get will be served up by some of the friendliest people in the Ozarks. Unless you get out of line, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

So when we see each other out there in the world and you tell me “Hey man, cool shirt” I will probably say something like “Thanks. You know, I think the last time I saw you was at the Flea.”

I think the last time I saw you was at the Flea

The Coffee Ethic

The Coffee Ethic

Here in 417 Land, we are lucky to have many amazing coffee shops to choose from. Since I work as a freelancer and from my computer, coffee shops are where I do the variety of my work. 

I was recently talking to my mom about the uniqueness of the 21st Century conception of the coffee shop. She says that I’m lucky to have so many great places to build community, drink delicious coffee, eat good food, and to get work done. “In my day, we didn’t have coffee shops like today’s coffee shops,” she says. The popular sitcom Friends’ depiction of a 1990’s New York City coffee shop as a hub for gossip and culture tell a different story than my mother but that’s another topic for another day. Regardless, we are lucky to live in an era in which coffee shops provide us with warmth, community, and sustenance.

Because of my strange fascination with both the abstract idea of coffee shops and actual coffee shops themselves, I have visited almost all of shops in the 417 area. Maybe I’m not supposed to have favorites, but I do.

Springfield’s The Coffee Ethic, as the #1 of my heart, provides me with everything I want in a coffee shop. I’ve been coming here on a weekly basis for the past two years and over those two years I have become friends with the baristas and the other regulars. I meet my friends here to catch up, I have business meetings here, I write here, and during finals week I essentially live here.

The interior is warm and cozy with brick walls covered in artwork from local artists, natural wood floors, and wooden tables. The huge coffee roaster in the shop’s northwest corner emits the pleasant odor of roasting coffee beans that coupled with espresso and chocolate permeate the entire shop with a distinct and home-y smell.

You can sit in one of the wooden chairs at a table, on one of the benches against the brick wall, or on the leather couch that looks out on Springfields Park Central Square. When it’s warm you can sit outside on the patio.

Because I’ve been coming here for so long, I’ve essentially tried everything on the menu. The Coffee Ethic has traditional espresso drinks (I usually have a double cappuccino or the house coffee!), teas, smoothies, and alcohol. They sell a variety of pastries baked in house too. My AM go-to is the blueberry muffin while my afternoon snack of choice is a no-bake cookie since I have never been able to successfully make them on my own.

At The Coffee Ethic, each employee is incredibly friendly and helpful. Like I said before, I’ve made lifelong friends of many of the baristas. Despite the friendly facades of these baristas, they aren’t kidding around. Each of them is incredibly skilled in how to extract the tastiest espresso and incredible latte art.

The warm community and house coffee make this shop the best in town and I highly suggest Coffee Ethic to all of my friends, family, and readers.

I also apologize to Coffee Ethic’s staff--they’re probably all sick of my face.

Phelps Grove Park

Phelps Grove Park

Once farmed by John and Mary Phelps, the Phelps Grove Park was established in 1914 and has been making history ever since. It was one of the very first parks established in Springfield by the park board. Phelps Grove Park holds many events throughout the seasons including memorials, various performances and activities, as well as serving as a location for personal celebrations. Here you will find room for both recreation and leisure. It is one of the only local parks where you can find hammocks attached to the trees during the warm seasons. Visitors can come to connect with nature under the many mature trees, utilize the charcoal grills or stone pavilion with seating or, simply play throughout the park. Phelps Grove also has its own tennis court, playground, and paved trail that surrounds the park. This park is pet friendly with water fountains and restrooms available.

Did you know!?

Directly adjacent to the park is the Springfield Art museum, which once was the site of a lake and waterfall belonging to Phelps Grove Park until the late 1920’s. Another interesting piece of the park’s history is that it was the site of the city zoo until the mid-1920’s. The city purchased the Dickerson Park land where the zoo is currently located today.

Follow Phelps Grove Park on Facebook or visit the parkboard.org for more information on its history and events.