Springfield entrepreneurs Lisa and Dan Freeman, who own Le Torte Dolci Bakery, Salato Deli and Crust & Company, are creating an “umbrella brand” for their businesses as they announce the purchase of Ironworks Waffle Café.
The Freemans said in a press release the purchase of Ironworks is a natural expansion for their businesses and creating an umbrella brand is an opportunity for them to unify their businesses. Each business and brand will remain distinct, but will all share the same purpose.
“We want to offer you an experience that you would be proud to offer your friends,” Dan Freeman said.
The umbrella brand is called Amichi Collective. Amichi is an Americanized version of “amici,” which means “friends” in Italian. The Freemans said they consider their customers their friends.
Future benefits of creating Amichi Collective include having gift cards that work at all locations and a multi-location loyalty program, the owners said.
Le Torte Dolci Bakery was founded in 2017, followed by Salato Deli in 2018 and Crust & Company in 2020. Ironworks Waffle Café originally opened in 2020 by Marcy Nesselroade and her daughter, Ellie.
Marcy previously told this news outlet before moving back to Springfield in 2014, she and her daughter had lived in France and Belgium, where they discovered their love for European waffles. She said at the time they felt like Springfield could use more breakfast and lunch options and thought made-from-scratch waffles were a great option.
“Our mission in creating Ironworks has always been to give back to Springfield and help build up our city,” Marcy Nesselroade said. “Dan and Lisa Freeman are the perfect people to continue to carry out that mission.”
The mother-daughter duo decided to sell the waffle business because Marcy was diagnosed with stage four melanoma. Ellie Nesselroade said with all of the unknowns involved, they decided it was time to take a step back.
She added, “While we are sad that this chapter of our lives is coming to an end, we could not be more thrilled that Ironworks will continue to be a staple of our city.”
The former owners said in the release they selected the Freemans to carry on their legacy because of their shared ideals and culture. The Freemans said they are committed to using high-quality ingredients, providing exceptional service and being dedicated to their local communities.
“We are honored to be entrusted with carrying on the legacy of Ironworks Waffle Café,” said Lisa Freeman. “We are committed to maintaining the high standards set by the previous owners and to continue serving the Springfield community with delicious food and warm hospitality.”
The Freemans said they are planning to continue the same menu and customer service standards that Ironworks customers have come to expect. Ironworks Waffle Café will remain open during this transition — generally maintaining the Friday and Saturday hours, the Freemans said.
Operating hours and days are expected to expand in the future.
Ironworks Waffle Café is located at 101 S. Fountain Ave. in Springfield’s COhatch The Market.