Beechwood Café

406 North 5th Street, Roscommon, MI 48653

www.beechwoodcafe.org

  • Initial Situation

    When Lisa Ballard-Cassel and Matt Cassel first contacted the Michigan SBDC in the summer of 2020, they wanted to purchase a location to start their own breakfast/lunch restaurant in mid-Michigan. Fast forward through multiple failed location options and countless declines from area lenders, all of which resulted in the grand opening of Roscommon’s Beechwood Café.
  • How the SBDC helped

    “If at first, you fail, try, try again. With the help and guidance of the SBDC, we lived our dream. Without the SBDC’s help with the business plan and three-year projections, there’s no way we would be here today.” – Lisa Ballard-Cassel
  • Success

    The Roscommon business has gone through a successful grand opening and currently offers a full-service sit-down breakfast/lunch restaurant. In addition, they’re offering a "grab & go" menu for those unable to sit down as well as a children's menu - which most of the area restaurants do not offer. In the future, they also plan to offer special occasions, gourmet/from scratch cakes, cupcakes, chocolates, and pies.

If you look in the dictionary for the definition of perseverance, you’ll see a picture of Lisa Ballard-Cassel & Matt Cassel. 

When they first contacted the Michigan SBDC last summer, Lisa and Matt wanted to purchase a location to start their own breakfast/lunch restaurant in mid-Michigan. 

Fast forward through multiple failed location options and countless declines from area lenders, all of which resulted in the grand opening of Roscommon’s Beechwood Café.

With over 60 years of restaurant experience, the Cassell’s bring a wealth of knowledge, education, and skills to The Beechwood. They have worked in the largest tourism markets in the country like San Diego, New York City, and West Palm Beach. 

Lisa’s family has lived in the area for over 20 years and she’s excited to come back home and become a vibrant part of the community.  

Lisa, a graduate from the French Culinary Institute of New York City, brings her front-of-the-house management skills as well as being a classically trained Pastry Chef. Matt has served as an Executive Chef as well as a Private Chef. Working in his parent’s restaurant at 14, Matt has worked with some of the finest chefs in the world including Danial Bouloud and Gordan Ramsey.

The Beechwood Cafe offers a full-service sit-down breakfast/lunch restaurant. In addition, they’re offering a “grab & go” menu for those unable to sit down as well as a children’s menu – which most of the area restaurants do not offer. 

They’re offering superior entrée selections for both their breakfast/lunch crowd. They’re focusing on “bang for your buck.” 

In the future, they also plan to offer special occasions, gourmet/from scratch cakes, cupcakes, chocolates, and pies.

When asked her thoughts on opening a new business, Lisa said,

“If at first, you fail, try, try again. With the help and guidance of the SBDC, we lived our dream. Without the SBDC’s help with the business plan and three-year projections, there’s no way we would be here today.”

With the downtown Roscommon businesses and schools nearby, the couple believes they will have a unique opportunity to offer the only breakfast, lunch, and specialty baked goods restaurant in the area. Roscommon enjoys a substantial summer/tourist influx as well as ice fishing, the AuSable River, canoe rental, and numerous snowmobile trails near their location who can now enjoy the Beechwood Café. 

Follow them on Facebook: Beechwood Cafe Roscommon | Facebook or learn more at: www.beechwoodcafe.org

Published September 24, 2021

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