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Startup Corner: Daniel Ernce, Cassidy Rollins and Michael “Jersey” Schmitz, Progress and Reverie

Springfield's startup community is here. Take the pulse.

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Minimally viable product …
A full-service restaurant and bar.

Problem solving …
We’re not just serving food and drink; we’re creating a warm, welcoming and memorable environment for our guests to experience hospitality at the highest level.

Hurdles overcome …
Growing from a once a month pop-up restaurant model to a full-time, full-service restaurant has been a hurdle. Changing our mindsets from a passion project among friends to a full-time, day-to-day business has stretched us in new ways.

Next phase …
Construction is underway in both concepts. Past opening, the next phase is to embrace our community to foster a culture of great hospitality. [Editor’s note: At Farmers Park, Progress plans to open in November in the former Metropolitan Farmer space, and Reverie is targeting a September opening at the former Barley, Wheat and Rye on the top floor.]

Pivot …
As a pop-up, we focused on a tasting menu where we were totally in control. We’ve transitioned to opening an a la carte restaurant in order to make our food more accessible to the public.

Biggest mistake …
We served a pretty regrettable dessert at our very first pop-up. It’s devastatingly embarrassing, and it went down in print. We just have to laugh at ourselves now and see how far we’ve come.

Best advice received …
Focus on being yourself and expressing your own vision.

Worst advice received …
Take shortcuts. 

Greatest need …
For guests to come and see what we’ve been building for the past two years.

Food for thought …
As a startup, you have the ability to create your own culture. It’s incredibly important for us as owners to create a work environment that is not only positive for us as individuals, but positive for our employees, and ultimately our guests.

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