Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NEWS from the Little Red Hen Café  


 This goes out to all of the regular “Hen” customers, and especially to those of you to whom I made a promise to be even more available after the end of June. Instead, you may be wondering why the Hen has been closed all summer.


I told myself I’d either open again by October 1st, or decide to close the café indefinitely.


So, I’m writing to let you know that as of now, Little Red Hen  Café will remain closed.  However, we have obtained full service catering license and will re-open for all catering options this month! More on that soon.


But, for all who wish to know, here’s a brief explanation and some thoughts for the future, especially regarding the restaurant and food scene in Springfield:


Did the café fail? No! My vision for the “Hen” café was to provide an alternative in Springfield, where folks could get food that was fresh, locally sourced, hand-prepared, and a bit different, a little more upscale without being overpriced. I believed we succeeded! We had a wonderful group of very loyal customers who kept us going all year and to all of you,  I miss you very much and am so grateful for all of you patronage.  I still believe such a place will succeed in Springfield at the Hen or elsewhere! I truly believe it is possible to serve fresh unprocessed,food without additives, preservatives, chemicals, or unnecessary packaging that tastes delicious and nourishes body and soul! For me, this is the key to longevity and sustainability, but I realize that the forces of commercialization have most folks convinced otherwise! I will still be eating this way, and serving local, wholesome foods at the Cinnamon House, and through my catering menus. We met so many of Springfield's wonderful citizens and look forward to working together for years to come.
Why can’t you just open for lunches again? Our B&B operation has become more demanding (this is great for us and for Springfield!) and even though I have left my full time job, I have found that paying attention to providing adequate hospitality at Cinnamon House, caring for our adopted son Seth who has special needs, as well paying the proper attention to my own health and well being, my farm and my husband, is more than enough. It’s impossible for me to run the Hen alone, and financially prohibitive to pay someone at this juncture.
Did you try other solutions? I spent about four months mulling over and seeking out solutions! I love having the Hen open. My favorite thing about it is that it was becoming a meeting place for folks, who loved chatting with each other and catching up. Because of Trip Advisor, we were beginning to get visitors from Lebanon and Bradstown and beyond! I signed up for HelpX and WWoof, two services where young (and not so young) folks come and work in exchange for room and board. We had a lot of interest, but none actually panned out.
 What’s next? Currently, I am exploring donating the “front” of the Hen to a local charity/non-profit who might be able to use it for on the job training and rehab. So it may actually open again in some form, if only for coffee, ice cream, sandwiches, and the like. I even tried to talk the Amish folks into using it!  I am currently open to suggestions. However, any use would need to be sustainable and environmentally friendly.  Another option we are exploring, as the B&B grows, is turning the café into a suite or cottage.



So! The catering. I have already begun to do some catering for regional establishments and will be looking to do more. We are now a full service caterer! The website for the HEN will soon have a catering menu and a printable brochure. You can help us by passing one along to any one you know who is looking for something a little different than the same old same old this holiday season…. We can cater at your office, home or at the Cinnamon House. Just ask! We will work with each customer to provide the freshest and most locally sourced ingredients available. Thanks & Love.

Cynthia (& Eric)