SPRINGFIELD - Doug McGregor and Margaret Mattox, are a brother-sister team and natives of Springfield. As soon as Doug graduated from culinary school in Colorado, his sister called him and convinced him to come back home and open a restaurant with her nearly five years ago. Seasons Bistro and Grille, is now a big part of Springfield's downtown renaissance and a continuing effort in the family's long line of successful business ownership.
Margaret Mattox felt like Springfield needed a few more dining options and felt like Seasons would be a fun family project. Her brother, Doug, had spent several years cooking in Colorado restaurants, and Margaret herself had spent time in Nashville learning about the food industry.
They developed a unique idea for their eatery. Seasons offers a menu that changes each season, highlighting the freshest foods that winter, spring, summer and fall have to offer. To do that, they made a connection with local farms to stock their restaurant.
"We definitely try to support the local farms. We try to buy as much of the ingredients locally as possible. We go to the local farmers market in Yellow Springs and Springfield has a nice farmers market," McGregor said. "It's the best product we can get our hands on."
Mattox agrees with her brother and likes that the restaurant's kitchen is open for all patrons to see.
"But it's more of a matter of fresh foods and trying to keep things interesting and finding different ways of preparing food and just an emphasis on things being fresh and prepared right there in the moment as opposed to frying things or purchasing things pre-made," she said. "You know we are making everything right there in our kitchen."
Season's efforts to be a positive part of downtown Springfield rebirth is not lost on Krista Magaw of the Tecumseh Land Trust. Her organization has made the restaurant a destination for its big yearly fundraiser held Tuesday (May 15). And a large part of the site selection is due to what the eatery stands for.
"We are really enthusiastic about every restaurant that features local fresh food and also just orients people to seasonal eating. It was one of those things that people have got out of touch with. You can get the same old all year around, and it comes from Lord knows where, maybe another country," Magaw said. "These guys have just such a refreshing idea to have a seasonal menu. They are so creative. I like it that they change the season when they decide that it is time to change the seasonal menu. They get tired and are ready to move on. And of course, we preserve a lot of farms in Clark County."
Mattox and McGregor are proud to be the latest in a long line of family members to find business success in Springfield.
"Well, our family has a pretty long history in Springfield. Our great-great grandfather and his brother actually had a greenhouse company and they sold roses and they were very successful," Mattox said. "So that's kind of set that standard for us and given us inspiration a little bit. Our dad was in business with his brother and his father. So we have roots in the community and we think it is a great place. Doug has a little more memory of what it used to be like than I do."
McGregor was able to expand on the family's history, and Springfield's as well.
"It is home, were the family is. I do have fairly vague memories of downtown Springfield back in the day. Going down to the Wrens, all of the neat architecture that used to be down there, that is still down there," he said. "Springfield used to be a hopping place to go. People used to put on their Sunday best and go shopping and go grab a bite to eat. There were multiple movie theaters downtown, clothing stores, shoe stores and restaurants."
And there used to be a greenhouse in the family.
"That is correct. It was catalog driven. They mailed catalogs all over the world and sold roses all over the world. They specialized in roses," McGregor said. "Dad is kind of collecting the catalogs."
Frank and David McGregor, just following the civil war, founded the business.
"I guess our family has always had an entrepreneurial spirit," McGregor said.