Springfield couple to open 3rd downtown eatery in less than 2 years

A Springfield couple is expecting to open their latest downtown Springfield business Crust & Company in the coming months.

Crust & Company will be the third European-style eatery in the area opened by Dan and Lisa Freeman in less than two years.

The new eatery will focus on providing customers with freshly baked bread as well as authentic Roman-style pizza. It will be housed in the old Myers Market, which is in the process of being turned into a shared office and market space by COhatch.

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The couple said they first took a chance on downtown Springfield when they opened their Le Torte Dolci bakery, that includes authentic European pastries, on North Fountain Ave., in May of 2018. During the same year, after receiving a warm response from customers, they decided to open Salato deli next door.

They developed the deli’s decor and menu after visiting businesses in Florence in Italy’s Tuscany region. The pastries offered next door are based on their travels to other regions of Italy as well as countries such as France and Switzerland. The goal is to provide customers with menu items that can’t be found elsewhere in the area.

That has not changed for the couple’s latest business venture that will feature a type of pizza they sampled in Rome, which tends to have an airy crust and hints of olive oil.

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“We felt this was something that was missing in Springfield,” Dan Freeman said.

In addition to serving up fresh pizza for the lunch and dinner crowd, the eatery will feature freshly baked bread in the morning. The goal is to bake up to several hundred loaves a day, depending on customer demand, and will range from traditional baguettes as well as sourdough and other specialty breads.

The couple decided to open their first eatery after Lisa Freeman started her bakery business in their home. As the demand for her cakes and pastries grew, she decided to look for a permanent store front.

When space became available next door to the bakery, Lisa and her husband decided to open the deli, importing the majority of the deli meats they use from Italy. In addition to the unique menu offerings, they also sell products from a few other small businesses.

“We combined our love of travel with the ways Europeans handle food and with the passion for creating food,” Lisa Freeman said.

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The idea for Crust & Company came after COhatch announced it was investing about $2 million into the historic Myer’s Market building late last year.

Dan Freeman said he and his wife had been in contact with those involved in the COhatch project and came up with an idea that would work well in that space.

Their latest venture is slated to be one of five vendors that will be featured in the market portion of the building that includes North High Brewery, Painted Pepper, Iron Works and Portion, which will offer a make-your-own salad bar with fresh lettuce and products produced in the community.

Dan Freeman said they expect to open Crust & Company between February and March.

1916: Year the Myers Market first opened in Springfield

1977: Year the Myers Market closed

5: the number of eateries that will be located in the old Myers Market building this year

The Springfield News-Sun is committed to covering new business ventures in Clark and Champaign County, including stories on new eateries and the ongoing construction of a parking garage in downtown Springfield.

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