New businesses as well as many familiar names were recognized at the 30th annual Downtown Springfield, Inc. awards held Oct. 18 at the BOS Center.
Isringhausen Imports also announced the recipient of the 2023 DRIVE Grant, created to benefit new and soon-to-open small businesses in the downtown area. The inaugural $20,000 grant was awarded last year to The Wakery, a late-night non-alcoholic bar and coffee house.
This year’s recipient is Ceramics Made by Rosie, which owner Rosie Gale said will allow her to open a retail location for her pottery business. She and her husband, Ramsey Hindieh, moved to Springfield in 2020 from Chicago and she launched her business last year.ssive idea was to have everything under one roof,” Gale said. The couple currently live upstairs at 412 E. Monroe St. and have the pottery studio in the lower level. “We produce everything in that spot and we sell our products at local events and online. This will allow us to renovate part of the space to create a retail area, get signage made, all of that,” she said. “We’re aiming for May 2024 to be open.”
Additional entrepreneurs will receive similar DRIVE grants in the coming years. “Isringhausen, DSI and other civic organizations have a long-term vision for downtown Springfield, one that includes many places in the downtown area to live, work, eat and socialize,” said Geoff Isringhausen. “The Isringhausen DRIVE Grant is just one piece of a larger puzzle.”
Ad Astra Wine Bar & Market was recognized as the best new business downtown. Owner Kristina Barbee opened in November 2022 after extensively renovating the space at 308 E. Adams St. In addition to an extensive wine selection, Ad Astra offers a build-your-own cheese board menu, pastries from area bakers and gift baskets.
Just a few doors down, Marty and Laurie Haxel were recognized for the apartment renovations at 312 E. Adams St. The three-story building was donated to the Downtown Springfield Heritage Foundation in 2018, and the Haxels submitted the winning proposal, responding to an RFP which involved demonstrating financial ability to purchase and begin renovations within a year and a sound business plan for a project to enhance the existing environment in Springfield’s downtown.
Other business and individuals recognized were:
* Best Collaborative Effort - Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series
* Cornerstone Award - Isringhausen Imports
* Volunteer of the Year - Jay Shanle
* Downtown Advocate of the Year - Monica Zanetti
* Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award - Barb Malany