Daily Archives: Nov. 6, 2013

Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates expands its production kitchen while fielding questions

WICHITA — Beth Tully of Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates has more news this week along with some reassurance for customers.

First, the news.

Since opening her production kitchen at 3540 N. Comotara in 2008, Tully says she hasn’t had any neighbors next door. She decided to move into that 2,500 square feet, the bulk of which she did Monday.

“It is appalling actually to think all the stuff we moved next door used to be in this 2,500 square feet,” Tully says of her existing space.

The new space will be dedicated “to a couple of projects that we’ve always just done on the fly,” Tully says.

Shipping has been handled at Cocoa Dolce’s Bradley Fair store where there’s a mere 400 square feet of production area behind the retail portion of the store.

“It’s amazing we were able to do it that way for as long as we have,” Tully says.

As of Nov. 25, shipping will be done at the new space.

Tully also will use the additional space to help with her new Cocoa Dolce that’s opening in the Prairiefire development in Overland Park in 2014.

“That’s just in anticipation of everything that’s coming down the road next year,” Tully says.

She has paused to step back and admire the organization that the new space allows.

“Look how grown up this looks,” Tully says. “This is no fly-by-night deal anymore.”

Even though Tully is expanding, some customers are concerned she’s closing.

This week, she took down the Cocoa Dolce sign at the Bradley Fair store in anticipation of a new sign with her new brand.

“We have had people actually pull up in front of the store … and come in to find out whether we’re closing,” Tully says. “I’ve got this little group of people panicked. None of us dreamed taking the sign down would indicate to anyone that we were leaving.”

After the stucco is repaired and painted, the new sign will go up, most likely late this week or early next week.

“We are not closing,” Tully says. “We are not going anywhere.”

 

Visual Fusion to expand, move to Delano

Visual Fusion’s Zarah Daniels (from left), Michelle Adams, Naama Marcos and Astyn Jeys, standing in part of the studio’s future Delano home.

WICHITA — A little more than a decade after opening Visual Fusion, owner Naama Marcos is moving the graphic design studio to a building she’s purchased in Delano.

“It made sense,” Marcos says of purchasing the 4,400 square feet at 623 W. Douglas.

She says that’s where Don Cary of All Things Barbecue once planned to move his business.

“He outgrew that place before he was able to move in there.”

Marcos and a partner, who moved out of state last year, opened Visual Fusion 11 years ago in 750 square feet at Eaton Place downtown.

“We really love the location,” she says. “We outgrew the space.”

Around the time the partner left, Marcos says she hired an intern who had been working for her. Since then, she’s added two more designers.

“We’re really growing, and we’re just kind of sitting on top of one another,” she says.

“We needed a bigger facility to not only have enough room for all the designers and the growth, but also we added a photography studio,” Marcos says. “We take a lot of photos, and that’s something we wanted to do in house.”

Visual Fusion’s designers “do print and Web, which is not necessarily always the case,” Marcos says.

They’re all Wichita State University graduates.

“It’s like a proud little thing we like to share,” Marcos says. She says WSU and its educators “really produce quality designers.”

WSU is a client of Visual Fusion as well.

Marcos says her company also has national and international clients, but she says the work Visual Fusion does is done “in a very personal, face-to-face kind of manner.”

“Really, our specialty is good customer service and attention to details.”

At the new space, which Visual Fusion will move into in December, the designers will have a quiet area to work on the second floor, and there will be a separate conference room along with the photo studio.

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You don’t say

“I thought I’d get in line right behind him.”

– Outgoing Chamber chairwoman Debbie Gann, who “about choked” at the group’s annual dinner Tuesday when possible mayoral candidate Jeff Turner suggested she would make a great mayor

Ty’s Diner isn’t for sale, but its building is

WICHITA — There will be a for sale sign going up on Ty’s Diner this week, but real estate agent Scott Harper of Landmark Commercial Real Estate would like to eliminate the potential for panic right now.

It’s the building that’s for sale, not the popular longtime business at 928 W. Second.

“I anticipate a lot of calls,” Harper says.

“We’ll still be here, and nothing’s changing,” says Ty’s co-owner Kristin Hale.

She and her husband, David, worked at the business for four years before buying it in July 2012.

“We have such a passion for restaurants,” Kristin Hale says. “This was really like a dream come true for us.”

A dream that requires a lot of work, she says, adding that that’s OK.

“We’re not going anywhere.”