Daily Archives: March 27, 2013

You don’t say

“I’m just certain he felt terrible about it. That’s just a big brain fart right there in front of God and everybody.”

– Rep. Nile Dillmore, D-Wichita, on colleague Rep. Randy Garber, R-Sabetha, who voiced support of a resolution by mistakenly referring to actor James Earl Jones as James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin

Statue removed from Ascension Cemetery for being tutu much for some tastes

WICHITA — There’s a striking display at the entrance of the Ascension Cemetery at 7200 E. 45th St. North, but the central statue in the display was removed Wednesday and will be replaced.

Since the statue of Jesus was placed there in the late 1990s, it’s been criticized – in part because it looks like Jesus is wearing a tutu.

“Some people do say that that’s the way he looks,” says Jim Sheldon, director of cemeteries for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.

What appears to possibly be a tutu actually is supposed to be clouds.

Sheldon says it’s been the intention of the diocese to replace the statue for some time.

“People weren’t happy with the art,” he says. “Art’s in the eye of the beholder, and the majority of people – although not all – did not like the way it looks.”

The bronze from the statue will be used to make a new one.

“We had a donor come forward and offer to replace the statue,” Sheldon says. “We thought that we would do something more traditional than that one was.”

Hugs & Hissyfits owner to open Smallcakes, A Cupcakery, at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA — Wichita finally is getting Smallcakes, A Cupcakery. It’s just coming three years after founder Jeff Martin planned, and he’s not the one bringing it.

Lexi Bruner is opening the cupcake business in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road where her Hugs & Hissyfits also is located.

“I like to stay busy,” Bruner says of opening the second business.

“We have a big family, so it keeps lots of people in my family busy.”

When Martin first shared his hopes for opening in Wichita, he had only two Smallcakes sites in the Kansas City area and was a veteran of the Food Network’s first season of “Cupcake Wars.”

Since then, he’s franchised the business – there are 25 open now, and there should be 40 by the end of the year – and had more national television exposure.

“We went from, like, zero to 60 so fast,” Martin says. “I’m really busy now. … I couldn’t do any more stores myself.”

Bruner says she considered a few different franchises before selecting Smallcakes.

“The others were just very corporate,” she says. “They were nice, but we just liked Jeff’s personality. He cares, and he wants to be involved, and he’s still really excited about what he does.”

Martin says he started the business in 2008 in a tough economic climate.

“The way we did it was very simple, and we just kept it that way,” he says.

“It’s very cheap compared to … these other franchises. … You don’t have to sink a bunch of money into a Smallcakes.”

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Roots & Bloom to close on Tuesday

WICHITA — This time last year, Roots & Bloom owner Chris Coburn restructured his business by expanding to showcase other businesses within a collective at his downtown shop at 151 S. Laura.

Now, he’s closing the business on Tuesday.

In July, Coburn took a job in sales at Doonan Truck & Equipment of Wichita.

“The offer … turned my head,” he says.

It was too much to do that and run his company, though.

“Trying to ride two ponies isn’t working too well,” Coburn says.

Two years ago, Coburn created Roots & Bloom out of Wichita Wholesale Florists to attract retail customers in addition to the floral shops the company sold to for decades.

Last year he invited other businesses to have a presence at Roots & Bloom, including ACI Design Studio, Overhead Door, Hong’s Landscape & Nursery and the OnionTree.

OnionTree owner Bridgit Yinger last month told Coburn she decided to leave.

“That was part of the catalyst that started this conversation,” he says.

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