Category Archives: Grocery

Wichita’s Whole Foods Market may not have to be called Bread & Circus

breadncircusWICHITA — According to a poll so informal it probably shouldn’t be called a poll, it looks like the Bread & Circus name that Wichita’s new Whole Foods Market will go by here isn’t exactly being embraced.

Or, to be blunt, no one seems to like it – or actually call the store by that name.

There’s a glimmer of hope, though, for those who prefer the Whole Foods name.

The reason the Austin-based chain chose Bread & Circus, which was the name of some stores the company bought in 1992, is Wichita’s local Whole Foods Association already had the name here.

GreenAcres Market owner Barb Hoffmann purchased the Whole Foods Association stores in January, and it appears she’s now considering letting the larger Whole Foods chain have the name.

“I’m not able to say anything right now,” Hoffmann says.

She says she’ll likely be able to talk in a couple of weeks.

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Good Life Co.’s cookies go national

UPDATED — Even during the Good Life Co.’s humble beginnings – when Greg Cole was selling his Little Bits cookies at farmers markets – he knew he’d go national one day. He never thought it would be three years after starting his business, though.

“We’re actually two years ahead of our projected plan,” Cole says.

“We go national next month,” he says. “I never thought that we would get a national contract so soon.”

Cole’s specialty is seven-spice gourmet cookie. After farmers markets, he began selling to local stores, such as Green Acres MarketSpice Merchant & Co. and the local health store Whole Foods Association.

When Fresh Market opened at Bradley Fair in 2012, Cole began selling his cookies there.

“They weren’t expecting the cookie to do so well,” he says.

Then the Kansas City Fresh Market began selling the cookies.

Now, the chain is going to begin putting Little Bits in its other stores as well.

“It’s going to be a five-year project,” Cole says. “You can’t roll out to every store all at once. … That’s an ongoing process.”

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Daddy Jack’s Salsa is returning to Dillons

Jack and Bev Lee with jars of their Daddy Jack's Salsa.

Jack and Bev Lee with jars of their Daddy Jack’s Salsa.

WICHITA — It’s been a much longer wait than he anticipated, but Jack Lee says his Daddy Jack’s Salsa will be returning to Dillons stores shortly. He thinks it will be back in time for the Super Bowl.

“I’d rather have been there during the holidays, but we didn’t make it,” Lee says.

The salsa has been a fresh-from-the-tub staple at area Dillons deli departments since the late 1990s. Lee and his wife, Bev, would make and deliver it. They’re at retirement age, though, and thinking to the future. Over the summer, Lee told Have You Heard? he needed to make the salsa shelf stable in order for it to carry on.

Kansas City, Kan.-based Original Juan has created jarred versions of the mild and hot Daddy Jack’s Salsa.

“It’s really quite a laboratory,” Lee says.

“We were just extremely happy with the way it came out.”

He’s especially partial to the hot salsa.

“The hot turned out excellent. We were very happy about that.”

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Dillons to do fuel center at 21st and Amidon

WICHITA — As promised, Sheila Lowrie contacted Have You Heard? to say that yes, Dillons is putting a fuel center at its store at 21st and Amidon.

For a long time, it looked like the company was preparing to do a gas station there, but there was no confirmation.

First, Dillons demolished the former Twin Lakes Liquor store that was on the northeast corner of the intersection.

Then, Dillons employees at that store started telling customers that the station was coming, but still there was no official confirmation.

Now, Lowrie says Conco Construction will begin the project on Sept. 23. There will be seven fuel dispensers for 14 fueling positions. Look for the project to be completed in November.

Daddy Jack’s Salsa to become shelf stable and be back at Dillons stores soon

WICHITA — Daddy Jack’s Salsa, a fresh-from-the-tub staple at area Dillons deli departments since the late 1990s, is going away. Founder Jack Lee says it shouldn’t be for long, though.

“We might be kind of like Twinkies,” Lee says. “We’ll hopefully return at some time.”

Lee and his wife, Bev, began making their fresh salsa for Dillons a couple of years after Lee won a salsa competition in 1995. He’s been making salsa since 1972, though.

The 75-year-old says says he’s at retirement age now and is looking to the future.

“To continue the legacy, it’s going to have to be a shelf-stable product,” he says.

A Kansas City-area producer soon will begin cooking the Lees’ salsa, packaging it and delivering it to Dillons stores. Previously, the Lees made it fresh and delivered it to 18 Dillons stores themselves.

“We’ve been trying to get this done for several months,” Jack Lee says of the new arrangement.

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Checkers grocery store to close

WICHITA — Checkers, a longtime store in the Pawnee and Hydraulic area, is closing.

“The store is closing just due to economic conditions,” says Mike Collins, store manager.

The independent grocery, which is at 1915 E. Pawnee, has been open since 1987.

Collins won’t discuss who owns the store.

“We just don’t want to put that out there.”

The grocery leased the building. Collins isn’t sure what may take the store’s place or if there’s another tenant considering the space.

The store’s last day is May 28.

“Everything’s 30 percent off,” Collins says.

He won’t talk specifics on what happened to lead the store to close.

“The whole issue has just been the economy, and that’s just it,” Collins says. “That’s just about all we can say.”

Still no word on gas at 21st and Amidon

WICHITA — It’s still not certain that Dillons is adding a fueling center at its store at 21st and Amidon.

Last month, Have You Heard? reported when the company knocked down the former Twin Lakes Liquor building.

Dillons employees were telling customers a gas station was coming, but company spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie wasn’t available for comment.

Now she is, but she still can’t confirm what’s happening. As soon as she can, she says, we’ll be the first ones she tells.

Is Dillons adding a gas station at 21st and Amidon? Employees say yes

WICHITA — Officially, Dillons is mum about whether it’s putting a fueling center at its store at 21st and Amidon.

Unofficially, employees are telling customers it’s coming.

The former Twin Lakes Liquor store, which was on the corner in front of the store, was demolished this week.

About this time last year, after the liquor store had been closed for a while, shoppers started wondering if a gas station might be coming.

At the time, Dillons spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie said, “I can tell you that we’re always exploring options when it comes to how we can expand fuel for our customers because it’s something they tell us they enjoy about shopping with us, but unfortunately at this time I would be unable to confirm future plans for that location.”

Lowrie is out this week, and a Dillons representative says no one else is authorized to speak on behalf of the company.

No one else may be authorized, but that’s not stopping employees at the store from freely discussing it with customers.

We’ll check with Lowrie to officially confirm next week.

Dillons adds fuel center in Andover

WICHITA — There’s a new Dillons Fuel Center under construction just west of the chain’s grocery store along Kellogg in Andover.

There will be six fuel pumps with diesel and gasoline that can accommodate 12 vehicles.

“We’ll also have a small kiosk, which is the typical format for our Dillons Fuel Centers,” says spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie.

Unless there are delays related to weather, Lowrie says the gas station should open by the end of the year.

Kwik Shop still coming to 13th and Woodlawn

UPDATED — An alert reader who saw a construction sign go up and then come down wonders if the Kwik Shop is still going to happen at 13th and Woodlawn near the Dillons.

It is, according to Clay Brasher, director of real estate.

“It’s probably a couple of months away from actually starting construction,” he says.

The store will be about 4,000 square feet. There will be eight fuel pumps, which equates to 16 fueling stations.

Brasher says there won’t be a pharmacy but there will be some grocery items.

“It’ll have a pretty good selection of Dillons food at Dillons prices.”