Tammy Pressnell has owned her local catering business for seven years, and she is now using her food industry knowledge to open a restaurant.
Planet Pressnell, a family restaurant on East Main Street, will open next Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with a grand opening celebration. So far, Pressnell has hired 30 people for the restaurant.
“I’ve been in catering going on 20 years,” Pressnell said. “I’ve dreamed of having my own restaurant since I was 16 years old.”
The catering business, called Visions for You Event Planning and Catering, is known for handling events at the Bushnell Building such as breakfast with the Santa.
After her time in the catering business, the new restaurant “just made sense,” she said.
The restaurant will have traditional, casual American fare, “old school with a modern twist.”
Pressnell said the chef makes creations such as fried green tomatoes with panko crumbs and bruschetta, or sauteed shrimp with cheesy grits. The restaurant also has special kids’ meals that come with goody bags. Prices range from about $5 for salads to $20 for a prime-rib dinner.
“Everything is freshly cooked every-time, no frozen french fries, nothing like that,” Pressnell said.
Pressnell also sees her restaurant as a way to give back. That’s why she said she chose to hire so many people, regardless of price, age or experience.
“We’ve hired a lot of people really struggling to find work,” she said. “There were people jumping up and down, crying because they were so thankful to find a job. Some of these people have been pounding the pavement for a year.”
Pressnell said she does expect some initial hires to leave, and she figures to end up with a team of about 15 people. She said depending on how the opening goes and how strong business is after that, she hopes to hire more later on.
Planet Pressnell will be open for dinner on the first night, and then 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily after that.
Several restaurants have opened in the last year in Springfield. Sake Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar and Sakura Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi both opened on Bechtle Avenue this spring.
Create A Crepe Cafe also opened in April in Upper Valley Pike. And a new bar, Stone Street, will open in the former Spirits venue on North Limestone Street. Owner Eric Swan could not be reached for comment.