Jeff and Michele Sommers purchased the Mosquito Joe of Springfield franchise in 2016, and the couple says it’s already grown to become one of the top franchises in the county. Now, they have the building at 1831 S. 11th St. under contract to allow for further expansion.
“I would have never anticipated how this has gone; we couldn’t be more pleased,” said Michele Sommers of the company’s rapid growth. However, it has also presented some logistical challenges. After the first year of working out of their house, the couple then shared spaces with other businesses over the next few years before purchasing their own building.
“We bought a bungalow on South Grand Avenue, and by the time we rehabbed it and moved in we had almost grown out of it,” said Michele Sommers. “We have six vans and two additional vehicles, so we needed a space that had a big garage and we wanted it to be centrally located in town.” She noted that company has six different regular routes and technicians need to be able to easily travel to Petersburg, Decatur and other surrounding areas, as well as throughout Springfield.
Then, the Sommers’ real estate broker called to let them know about a commercial property that had just come on the market. The 3,000-square-foot building is now under contract and they hope to close by the end of February, contingent upon zoning relief. The property, which was formerly occupied by Heart Technologies, is currently zoned B-1 and the Sommers need B-2 zoning to be able to operate their business. The Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the request at its Jan. 19 meeting and from there it moves on to the Springfield City Council for a final vote.
“There’s plenty of office space, a conference room and a garage in the back big enough to fit all of our vehicles and equipment,” said Jeff Sommers. “We’d been looking for a long time, and within 24 hours it all fell into place for us.”