Monthly Archives: April 2013

You don’t say

“Everybody’s different. Some people don’t eat steak. Same thing.”

Eunice Kim, who owns the popular sushi restaurant Hana Cafe but doesn’t eat sushi (although she’ll occasionally try cooked fish)

Planet Hair bows out of Art Aid, but the Positive Directions fundraiser will go on

WICHITA — The owners of Planet Hair are bowing out of producing Art Aid’s hair and fashion show, but the show will go on.

“It’s bittersweet for us in a lot of ways,” says Graham Ross, who along with partners Tod and Linda Ernst started their fundraising fashion show in a small club in 1993.

“Things change,” says Cody Patton, executive director of Positive Directions, an AIDS service organization that benefits from Art Aid. The show grew into an art auction, show and party.

“There are definitely no hard feelings on anybody’s part,” Patton says. “I told them I completely understand where they’re coming from and appreciated the years they contributed to it.”

Ross says he and the Ernsts became involved because they wanted to do a fashion show.

“We had some fun inspirations and looks we wanted to do.”

He says they thought it would be great to raise money for AIDS causes, and the show benefited several organizations through the years.

“We wanted it to get bigger, and it did,” Ross says. “It became so big that it just got really, really hard for us to try to run our salon … and do the event (in) the way we needed to do it.”

A few years back, the Plant Hair owners began alternating years for the event, and Positive Directions threw an Art 4 Life event on the years Art Aid was off.

Patton says last year’s Art Aid was a fabulous event that raised $114,000, but he says there were a lot of frustrations, too.

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Fisher Lumber to purchase Andale Lumber

WICHITA — Another local lumber company is being sold, but this time it’s not because of the economy.

Fisher Lumber is buying Andale Lumber in a deal that is expected to close in late May.

“I love working here, but I would like to sell it because of my age,” says owner Pat Reichenberger, who is 71. “I’m going to be gone sooner or later.”

Until then, though, he plans to stay on, “ ’cause I love what I’m doing.”

“We could not be more thankful that Pat is going to manage the Andale Lumber yard,” says Jack Fisher. “We thought it would be a good deal. We’ve known Pat for years. Our parents have.”

Jack and Joe Fisher’s parents started the family’s full-service lumber yard in 1955. Today, the company has its lumber yard in Garden Plain and the Gallery Expressions showroom on the west side of Wichita at 7355 W. Taft.

Reichenberger incorporated in 1973 as the Pat Reichenberger Co. and later changed the name to Andale Lumber. The company has about 15 employees, which is down from 35 in 2008 before the economy tanked and the construction industry in particular took a hit. Fisher Lumber has 23 employees, which is down from about 38 a few years ago.

Reichenberger says the lumber industry, which had been steadily shrinking, is getting better.

“In spite of the weather, business is better,” he says. “It’s improving. … I’m not so sure things are better nationwide, but at least there’s more going on.”

The Fishers say there are several good things about purchasing Andale Lumber.

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Taco Bueno to sublease West Street space

WICHITA — When the Taco Bueno at 333 S. West St. caught fire in August due to a carelessly thrown cigarette, a fire official said it likely would be a long time before the restaurant would reopen.

Turns out it won’t happen at all.

“They decided not to reopen it,” says Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate.

He’s now helping Taco Bueno sublease the 2,500-square-foot space, which is just south of the southwest corner of Maple and West.

“The most important thing is the city has already widened and improved West Street,” Saville says.

The building has a drive-through and has been entirely rebuilt, he says.

“You sure wouldn’t have known there was any damage to the property,” Saville says.

“It’s pretty good real estate.”

You don’t say

“Did you put it all on Gonzaga?”

Conan O’Brien teasing President Obama on Saturday at the White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner about a possible gambling problem because he bet against the Shockers

Stephen Stewart leaves the Hyatt Regency Wichita; Ripton Melhado becomes GM

WICHITA — Hyatt Regency Wichita general manager Stephen Stewart is leaving for the Hyatt Regency Columbus in Ohio.

Ripton Melhado is going to take over the Wichita general manager job on May 8. He’s currently the director of rooms at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

Stewart is already transitioning to his new post, but he’ll return to Wichita for at least one event before departing for good.

Stewart is resigning as chairman of Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau. Melhado won’t be taking that position.

Paradise Donuts and Coffeehouse to open in former Wonder Bread space

UPDATED — A second helping of Paradise is coming to the west side.

Marilyn and Hervey Wright III are opening Paradise Donuts and Coffeehouse near Maple and Maize, which will be the second Paradise Donuts on the west side.

Steve Trask opened one at 3107 W. Central in 2010.

The Tulsa-based Paradise Donuts offers licensing agreements for an area of three to five miles.

“We just have had this in the back of our minds, and the timing seemed to be right,” says Marilyn Wright, who used to work in accounting at Koch Industries.

Hervey Wright was in administration at Friends University for 20 years.

Marilyn Wright says they both grew up loving doughnuts.

Her mother made homemade bread and doughnuts with an inspiring effect.

“Hers were so good that people came to church on Sundays when she provided the fellowship refreshments.”

A young Hervey Wright, who was known as Billy back then, used to perch on a stool to watch his grandmother create cake doughnuts. He once wrote his name on her doughnut recipe card.

“And the doughnuts were forever called ‘Billy Doughnuts,’” Marilyn Wright says.

She says they chose the Paradise affiliation because the brand allows them the flexibility to do their own menu and store design.

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Associated Integrated Marketing CEO Bill Fialka is out as agency eliminates position

WICHITA — Most people probably didn’t notice when Bill Fialka took over as CEO at Associated Integrated Marketing – and that’s how he liked it – but now he’s gone.

“The position was eliminated,” says Shawn Steward, vice president of client service and public relations.

He won’t say if Fialka was fired.

“I’ll let people draw their own conclusions on that.”

Fialka didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Steward says the agency is restructuring. He and three other vice presidents will manage the company. They include Dave Stewart, vice president and executive creative director, Luke Gutschenritter, vice president and group account director, and Kim Weprin, vice president  of finance and human resources.

“This is not a financial decision,” Steward says. “This was a proactive decision to better allow us to operate more efficiently.”

He says, “We essentially saw a lot of duplication of effort at the management level. We felt that by eliminating the CEO level of the agency … we’re just getting the management closer to the client level and just streamlining across the board.”

Steward says the agency’s board of directors made the decision.

Fialka has been CEO since January 2010. He followed much more high-profile CEOs, including Mike Snyder and Bruce Rowley most recently. Fialka, though, deliberately avoided media and other attention.

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You don’t say

“We’re giving him those tools to support his family.”

Grasshopper Co. spokesman Trent Guyer on the Moundridge company making Fox & Friends on Friday for giving a wounded Florida veteran a zero-turn mower to start a lawn care business

Platinum Salon Spa & Boutique and Salon Bella to merge on west side; Color Bar Salon to open in Clifton Square

WICHITA — There’s news with a few salons and stylists in the greater Wichita area.

First, Platinum Salon Spa & Boutique and Salon Bella are merging.

Susan Wardle and Tammy Kudlock are moving their Salon Bella from 119th and Maple to Tambra Hiser’s Platinum Salon at the northeast corner of 13th and Maize Road on Tuesday.

“I wanted to grow, and I don’t want to do it … one by one where it takes months,” Hiser says. “I came up with this innovative idea.”

She actively sought other salon partners by cold calling a few.

“Basically I decided to knock on some doors,” Hiser says. “I wanted to see what salon owners were faced with, some challenges.”

She and Wardle and Kudlock thought they would be a good fit and be able to offer complementary services. Hiser says they decided, “Wouldn’t it be genius to mix these two staffs together?”

She says education is a big focus for both salons.

There will be 11 stylists who will share nine stations.

In addition to hair services, there will be facials, nail care, massage and body wraps among other things.

Hiser says the trend lately has been for stylists to branch out on their own, but she says she and Wardle and Kudlock see benefits to combining their services in one place and under the Platinum name.

“Adding two heads is better than one,” Hiser says. It’s “going to be incredible.”

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