Meet the McCormicks
I was just twenty-one years old when I opened the first McCormicks in June 1994. It was located in downtown Springfield and offered fresh baked bread, high-quality, fresh ingredients, homemade soups, salads and self-serve drinks. McCormicks Deli quickly became known for being FAST, FAST, FAST!!! That was important to anyone who worked in the downtown area and had a short, thirty minute lunch break – our customers could walk to McCormicks, have their lunch, and have time to spare.
We were busy from opening day, as it was the only restaurant in the downtown area to offer this quick, casual dining experience. The staff recognized our regular customers by name. As an experienced cook and self-taught businessman, I soon learned that survival in the restaurant business was not an easy feat for one to accomplish. Steady growth and consistently good food were aspects of our success, but variety played a very large role as well. Keeping these fundamentals in mind, I purchased equipment and a new vehicle and expanded my services to include a new branch of business, Catering.
We were busy from opening day, as it was the only restaurant in the downtown area to offer this quick, casual dining experience. The staff recognized our regular customers by name.
This is when my story changes to our story, in March of 1995 when I met Sarah. She was on her way to Nursing school at Bradley University. We dated for eight months and decided to get married. I proposed to her on one knee in the dining room of where else but at the deli, and asked her if she was willing to become a part of my life here in Springfield and with my business. We were married in April of 1997 and were soon expecting our first baby. Jarred Jr.
Business was doing well downtown, but we knew we could really flourish in a new location on the rapidly expanding west side of Springfield. We found a new location on the west side in a little strip mall on West White Oaks Drive. We opened with gusto welcoming our loyal customers, as well as new guests, that kept us busy from day one. Our catering business continued to grow too and we contributed the businesses’ success, in part to the new location, better exposure, and sticking with the original principles that had taken us this far.
In 1999, we decided to update our concept to grow with the trends that were emerging in the foodservice industry, by changing the business name and concept from Deli to a Restaurant. Our new menu featured burgers, fries, chicken, horseshoes and other grilled and fried items. Our customers loved the changes and business expanded even more rapidly than we imagined. Along with our great successes, came a few minor problems. The first and foremost was the parking lot. There were not enough spaces to accommodate our business. The more crowded our lot became the faster our staff worked to move everyone in and out in a timely but enjoyable fashion. The business took on an energy of its own.
The more crowded our lot became the faster our staff worked to move everyone in and out in a timely but enjoyable fashion. The business took on an energy of its own.
Ten years of business flew by and in 2007, The Gables group approached us and inquired about our interest in taking over a vacant building in The Gables shopping plaza. We were very interested in the building and had been for several years, but concern over leaving a successful location for one that wasn’t a sure thing was daunting. Instead of moving our current business, we decided to try a new concept. BBQ!!
We named our new endeavor Fire and Spice Smokehouse, much to the chagrin of then ten-year-old Jarred who remarked, ” But no one will know who we are!!”. While Fire and Spice Smokehouse was a success in its own right, we knew McCormicks was still evolving. Our lease term at the McCormicks location on West White Oaks Drive was expiring and we finally knew what the answer was…
We combined the two concepts, changing the name back to McCormicks Smokehouse Restaurant, (so everyone would know who we are!) and physically relocated to our current location in The Gables. Along with this change and the expansion of our menu and catering services, this is our best, business decision yet for our company and our family. Our business continues to expand by leaps and bounds every month. We have a fully operational drive-thru and delivery service and enough parking to accommodate our consistent growth in new dining guests. Best of all, we finally feel like we are home!!
Thank you for visiting our website and hope to see you soon!
Jarred, Sarah and Jared Jr.