Cow & Sow Deli and mini grocery coming to the Renfro apartments downtown

WICHITA — Renfro residents, along with other downtown dwellers and workers, soon will have a taste of country cooking from Conway Springs.

Tracey Coln and Teresa Gerber now live in Wichita, but Coln describes herself and Gerber as “just the country girls . . . trying to bring some country cooking into the city.”

They’re opening the Cow & Sow Deli next month at the new apartment building at 612 E. Douglas.

Coln’s mother grew up on a dairy farm in Viola, which is Coln’s inspiration for desserts and side dishes with lots of cream and butter — thus the “cow.”

Gerber grew up on a farm outside of Conway Springs, which is where she learned her family’s recipe for German sausage — thus the “sow.”

“We were being silly,” Coln says of trying to come up with a name.

Joking about the Cow & Sow “caught on, and everybody loved it,” Coln says.

Coln, who owns Heartfelt Memories photography studio, and Gerber, who recently left Cessna Aircraft, grew up together in Conway Springs.

“We were best friends,” Coln says.

Gerber’s departure from Cessna is what’s leading the two to open the deli, which will specialize in take-and-bake sausage, sandwiches, side dishes and a salad bar that Coln calls “something fresh and unique and not just a basic salad bar.”

They’re also going to carry some grocery items, such as milk, eggs, toilet paper and toothpaste as a convenience to residents.

There will be two sides to the business in two 600-square-foot spaces. One will be the deli, and it will have seating for about a dozen. There also will be a venue space called Renfro Studio that will have overflow seating and that residents or others can lease for events. Coln also is going to use it as photography space.

“I’m going to lease it back to myself,” she says.

Coln says she hopes patio seating along Douglas might be a possibility, too.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey.

The deli will be open for breakfast, which will feature cinnamon rolls and smoothies, lunch and into the early evening, though there are no set hours yet.

Coln says they’re striving to make the Cow & Sow a relaxing area if diners want to stop in but also convenient for those who want to get something and go.

“I want it to be quick.”