Ann Laurence, the founder and longtime operator of The Feed Store in downtown Springfield, handed away Tuesday.
Laurence was 73.
Laurence and her spouse, Ross Richardson, started the quintessential soup-and-sandwich restaurant in 1977 a couple doorways east of their present location. The pair moved to the 516 E. Adams St. area on the south aspect of the Old Condition Capitol Plaza in 1989.
The Feed Keep was popular with condition workers, travellers and other downtown staff as effectively as the upcoming 44th U.S. president, Barack Obama, while he was serving as an Illinois state senator.
Obama returned to The Feed Store for the duration of a go to to Springfield on Feb. 10, 2016, ordering a turkey sandwich and a bowl of beef barley soup.
The pair bought the eatery — making, recipes and all — to David Stanks, who formerly owned Bernie and Betty’s, in September 2020 just after shutting down the cafe on July 3.
The few desired to retire but Richardson instructed The Condition Journal-Sign-up that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the selection to shut “to the forefront.”
Stanks, a Rochester native, reopened it this previous May well 10.
“I truly feel lousy about Ann for the reason that she and Ross have been excellent folks,” Stanks mentioned. “When I acquired this area, they set alongside one another this good recipe ebook with all the stage by action recipes, every little thing that they did below. When I essential something, I could contact them and they were ready to assistance out. They came by every single time I made a batch and took a bowl household and tried it.”
Stanks, who had been a buyer of The Feed Keep for more than 20 several years and whose daughter, Elizabeth, labored for the couple, stated he used to welcome Laurence’s critique of his soups.
“They’d prevent by and get a couple of bowls. Then Ann would call me back again and explain to me what her views have been on it and I would do what they mentioned,” Stanks mentioned. “I loved it. I can consider criticism due to the fact it helps me conduct improved and know what I’m performing mistaken. My whole notion was that I preferred to copy their recipes.
“When you communicate about soup in Springfield, this is the area most people talks about since all the soups are product based and that’s what I beloved.”
At the time when Stanks made a mushroom bisque, Laurence explained to him she thought it was a minor skinny.
“She imagined I should really have made the bechamel a tiny thicker,” Stanks recalled. “As far as style, she reported ‘you’ve obtained it proper on point, but I assume you want to make it a small thicker.'”
Mark Kessler, the co-operator of Recycled Records, was a common at The Feed Store two to a few situations a 7 days. His normal order was a tuna salad sandwich with mushroom bisque soup.
“Most persons appreciated their chicken salad. I ate their tuna salad,” Kessler mentioned. “My coronary heart goes to (their son) Daniel (Richardson) and to Ross.
“I considered Ann Laurence was a really, truly great girl and I thought she did an outstanding career running the restaurant. It truly is a actual reduction for downtown. There was constantly line out the doorway. It was a go-to area.”
Ann Laurence was a former Democratic precinct committeewoman. She lost the Ward 6 alderman race to John “Jack” Andrew in 1987.
The pair moved to Traverse Metropolis, Michigan, in 2003 for a time. Whilst residing there, Richardson was elected to the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners.
This tale will be up-to-date.
Get hold of Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, [email protected], twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.