Category Archives: Hutchinson

Mattress Hub founders start second company, Furniture Hub, to sell furniture

WICHITA — In case opening more than 20 stores in four years isn’t enough to keep them busy, Mattress Hub founders Ryan Baty and Mark Barrientos are starting a second company.

“Basically what we’re trying to do is expand on the Hub brand,” Baty says of starting Furniture Hub.

“We’ve always been intrigued by the furniture business,” he says. “We see a lot of potential and a lot of opportunity.”

Furniture lines will include Lane, Bassett and England.

“You’re going to see brands that are very familiar,” Baty says.

He says he and Barrientos envision branding Furniture Hub in the same way they’ve marketed the Mattress Hub in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

“We’re really going to try to own the media in every market we go to,” he says of advertising penetration.

He says customer service, which now includes educating customers on mattresses, will continue to be a focus.

“We try to take it to a whole other level,” Baty says. “We see opportunity in selective markets to where we can come in and bring the same type of approach.”

They’re looking at some markets that have Mattress Hubs and some that don’t.

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Hutchinson-based Apron Strings store to have second shop in Delano

WICHITA — There’s good news for Wichita fans of Hutchinson’s Apron Strings shop.

Owner Anne Dowell is opening a second kitchen and dining store in Delano in June.

“We have a lot of good customers out of Wichita now, so hopefully we can be a little closer to them and gain a lot more,” she says. “There just seems to be a need in Wichita. There isn’t any other store like ours.”

The Apron Strings tagline is, “Be practical with style.”

“We do a lot of gifts out of here, but we also do a lot of practical tools,” Dowell says. “We have anything for the dining room or kitchen, but not furniture.”

That includes linens, decorative dishes, cutting boards, mixers, cookbook holders and wine glasses among other things.

The store will go in about 3,000 square feet at 810 W. Douglas, which is the space Lady Grace Boutique is leaving at the end of March. That store is moving to George Holland’s development at the northwest corner of Kellogg and Tyler.

Dowell says Delano is very similar to the Main Street area where her shop is in Hutchinson.

“We are in a historic area. We are in a old building that’s been renovated. . . . It’s got more character and personality.”

That’s what she says she found in Delano.

“It just seemed to feel right.”

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Game On to open at Chisholm Trail Center-Outlet & Retail Shops in Newton

UPDATED — Everything old is new again at Game On, which has been in the Hutchinson Mall for almost five years and now is going to have a second location at Chisholm Trail Center-Outlet & Retail Shops.

The store, which will open in 1,200 square feet next month, buys, sells and trades video games, DVDs and game systems. It also sells iPods, skateboards and body jewelry.

“A lot of our business is the old, vintage games that are harder to find,” says owner Jeff Boll referring to such games as Nintendo.

“Now everybody’s older and wants to go back and play the games they had as kids.”

Game On sells new items as well.

Boll says he had to decide on a second store in either Newton or Great Bend.

“We just get a lot of customers from both places,” he says.

Newton won in part because it’s closer.

Boll likely will consider a third store down the road.

“Haven’t really thought that far ahead,” he says. “It would probably be a year or two.”

Qdoba Mexican Grill to open in Hutchinson in June; east Wichita Qdoba to follow

WICHITA — The first Qdoba Mexican Grill in this part of Kansas is going to open in Hutchinson.

In July, Have You Heard? reported that restaurateur Eric Estes is bringing the franchise to Wichita.

“We would like to do five,” says Estes, whose Estes Enterprises has almost two dozen A&W and Long John Silver’s franchises in Kansas.

Denver-based Qdoba is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill in that customers order from a counter with a number of protein, vegetable and salsa selections for burritos and tacos. Qdoba, which was founded in 1995, has about 600 restaurants in 42 states.

Ink Construction will begin building the Hutchinson Qdoba at 1518 E. 17th Ave. in February. That’s where Taco Bueno used to be. That building will be demolished.

An east Wichita location “will soon follow,” Estes says.

He says it just happens the Hutchinson deal was finalized first. He’s selected an east Wichita site, but the deal isn’t done. He’s also considering a couple of sites in west Wichita and is planning a Hays Qdoba as well.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons is helping Estes with the deals.

Estes says the Hutchinson Qdoba will open June 1 and the others will quickly follow.

Domino’s Pizza franchisees expand in Wichita, Derby and Hutchinson

WICHITA — Domino’s Pizza franchisees Mike and Stacia McKnight, who own Gusto LLC, are expanding in several ways.

Last week, they opened a Derby location in the strip center in front of Target at Derby Marketplace at 71st South and Rock Road. That’s the same center as the Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.

Late this month, the McKnights are opening another location in Wichita in the same center as Yamasa, which is on the west side of Hillside just south of Central.

This makes six restaurants for the couple in the Wichita area.

Also late this month, the McKnights are opening a Hutchinson Domino’s at 2500 N. Main.

They also own three Domino’s sites in Topeka and seven in Kansas City with one more on the way yet this year.

Mike McKnight says he and his wife likely will open two more locations in Wichita in the second and third quarters of next year. They’re looking to the far east and far west of the greater Wichita area.

“It just depends when we find the locations we like.”

‘Til We Meet Again to open second custom casket store, this time in Hutchinson

WICHITA — The YouTube video “Death Comes to the Mall” has created more than just curious customers for ‘Til We Meet Again, the custom casket store that opened at Towne West Square in March 2010.

It’s also leading to a second store, this one in Hutchinson, in what owners Nathan Smith and Traci Cone hope will be a franchised chain.

“This whole thing has just taken . . . off and just taken us all by storm,” Smith says.

“I expected us to be open at least two years before we started putting (more) stores in.”

Hutchinson residents James and Robin McComas are two of the more than 120,000 people who have seen one of the videos that customers have made about the unique store.

“We actually drove down to take a look and see what it was,” James McComas says.

Then, Robin McComas’ father died, and her family ordered an urn from ‘Til We Meet Again that was customized to look like her father’s Harley-Davidson.

“It was a wonderful experience in the sense of closure for so many people,” James McComas says.

“Right after that, I kept hounding Nathan. ‘Hey, we’d really like to be partners with you.’ ”

He says the biggest trigger to open the store was when he lost his job as vice president for operations at Promise Regional Medical Center due to restructuring.

“It opened the door to this,” McComas says.

The Hutchinson store will open at 306 N. Main St. on May 19.

“I’m calling mine the Main Street model,” McComas says. “It’s designed for rural America. It’s a little bit different market niche.”

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