Hey, everyone, I’m out until Dec. 2. Happy Thanksgiving.
Hey, everyone, I’m out until Dec. 2. Happy Thanksgiving.
UPDATED — The 2-year-old Artist Central at 5014 E. Central is going to reduce in size to make way for a new business.
OT Media is a portrait photography and videography business that Nick Thomas has been running from his home.
“This will be our first …office,” he says. “Our team’s gotten bigger, and so we need a space.”
He now has three employees. Thomas says he offers portraits and “kind of like lifetime event videography,” such as weddings and graduations.
The OT in OT Media stands for Thomas’ middle name, Owen, and his last name.
The space his business will be in used to be Artist Central’s gallery space.
“We’re basically splitting Artist Central,” Thomas says. “So they’re going to have half the area now.”
Jo Zakas, the Clifton Square owner who started Artist Central, says Artist Central still will have 2,500 square feet.
“We felt that this was such a great addition to Artist Central,” she says of OT Media. “They’re artists. … They’re young, and they’re enthusiastic, so we think they’re just going to add a really bright spot to us.”
Zakas has news coming soon about artists’ residences at Artist Central.
“We really want to make Central Canyon Road,” she says, referring to the famed gallery row in Santa Fe, N.M.
Thomas will debut his new space at next week’s Final Friday.
WICHITA — Three new Easygates lease-to-own franchises have opened nationally this month.
Bud Gates, who is chairman and CEO of the company, announced the new Easyhome stores for Roanoke, Va., Aurora, Ill., and Essex, Md.
“The owners of these franchises are experienced and successful business men,” Gates said in a release. “We are pleased to
partner with them. They will bring their commitment to customer service and overall business savvy to their stores, and
be a major plus to our U.S. franchise community, offering our unique services to even more customers in Virginia, Illinois and Maryland.”
This makes 44 Easyhome stores nationally. Gates is the master franchisor for Easyhome in 36 states. He operates some of the stores and franchisees have others.
Gates started Easygates in 2007. Previously, he was chairman and CEO at Rent-A-Center and THORN Americas.
WICHITA — Clinical psychologist Beth Hartman McGilley, who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, and nutritionist Kimberly Marstall are moving their practices to the Hartman Oil Building at 10500 E. Berkeley Square Parkway.
The two have been at Lakepoint Office Park at 9342 E. Central for years, and McGilley says they weren’t looking to move.
“I loved it there,” McGilley says. “I had a little office that looked kind of like a tree house.”
The problem is, she says, her landlord decided he liked the space, too.
“He basically kicked us out and said he wanted the top floor for himself.”
McGilley’s P.A.T.H. Clinic and Marstall’s Marstall Nutritional Consulting are separate businesses but work well together, McGilley says.
They’ll share 1,000 square feet. Therapist Angie Hardage-Bundy will use the space part time for individual and group therapy as she’s finishing her dissertation.
McGilley says in addition to a general practice, Hardage-Bundy provides dialectical and behavioral therapy, which is a form of treatment for people with trauma and impulse control issues. She says that can be helpful for people with eating disorders and is a good addition to her own practice.
WICHITA — Another company is going to be taking part of the former Big Dog Motorcycles space downtown, and this one is an especially fun one.
“It’s been an incredible opportunity both for me and kids,” says Nancy Deville, who has teamed with other investors to open the business.
“Basically, what really drew me to it is the trampoline because kids love to jump,” she says.
Except she’s hoping adults use the park, too.
“You can burn 1,000 calories an hour jumping on the trampoline,” Deville says. “It’s so much fun.”
Deville is a California-based health book writer, and she says two of the most important things for maintaining health are getting exercise and clearing your mind.
“There’s not enough of that for kids today,” she says of physical activity and time “where you’re just not thinking about anything.”
Get Air will open in 22,000 square feet on New York Street between Douglas and First Street.
The wall-to-wall trampoline will have a number of different areas for various activities, including dodge ball, a basketball dunk and foam pits. There’s also a bungee jump that helps users who can’t do flips on their own.
There will be a toddler area as well.
“That’s really important because then they won’t be intimidated by the older kids,” Deville says.
“Birthday parties are going to be a big part of what we do,” she says. Deville says it makes sense to have something active to do after serving birthday cake.
There will be teen nights, parities and corporate events “so we can get people out of their office and do team building and confidence building and clearing out mental cobwebs,” Deville says.
There’s also going to be something called GETAIR-obics for exercise.
“I want to see more adults coming out,” Deville says. “How many hours can one person stand on a treadmill staring at CNN?”
WICHITA — Dan Schmidt is nothing if not an experimental Laundromat operator.
The Lost Sock owner is having mixed success with his latest endeavors.
First, he tried to provide some entertainment at his 1902 E. Pawnee Lost Sock with pool and video games.
“The focus was to get the kids occupied on something other than playing in the carts,” Schmidt says.
Now, the games are a little too much of a focus.
Schmidt says he’s heard from some customers that the Laundromat has “turned into a pool hall, and there’s people in there playing video games more than doing laundry.”
Though he says some people say, “This place has turned into a casino,” with lots of noise, he says there are others who are enjoying it.
“There’s both sides of the fence.”
Schmidt is one month into a one-year contract for the games. He’s not sure if he’ll keep them after that.
Over at his Lost Sock at 5455 S. Hydraulic, Schmidt says he’s made a substantial investment in the greenhouse that was already on his property when he purchased it in 2009. He says he’s using the heat from the greenhouse to help quickly heat his dryers.
“It’s tied right to the Laundromat.”
Now, Schmidt is heading to Florida to learn about using fish water to feed hydroponic plants.
“I’m going to class this week on it,” he says.
Schmidt is visiting a self-sustaining farm to learn about raising fish behind the greenhouse and using the water that the fish fertilize to feed his plants. He then plans to purify the water to feed the fish and eventually sell them. Schmidt is still learning how the entire process works.
He’ll be in class for two weeks.
“It’s really intensive.”
Schmidt says he had a vision when he purchased his Hydraulic property.
“I saw all the potential in the world,” he says.
“I’ve always liked greenhouses and plants and trees. It’s just appealing to me – more than the laundry business.”
UPDATED — More than four decades after opening, Food For Thought is closing.
“It probably should have been done before now,” owner Melinda Foley says. “The competition in town is just getting tougher and tougher.”
Foley says her store is Wichita’s only full-service independent natural foods market left in the area.
She says big-box competitors are an issue. The Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage chain opened in 2011.
“We kind of started seeing our numbers slip then,” Foley says. “And Bread and Circus is looming next year.”
That’s the Whole Foods chain that’s opening at the Waterfront.
“We are in a location where not as many people are shopping in this area as used to be,” Foley says.
The store has been at 2929 E. Central for the last 20 of its 42 years in business.
“It’s time for us to go out gracefully.”
The store has started a liquidation sale. Foley expects to close within a month.
“There’s going to be some awesome people out there looking for employment,” she says.
Foley says she didn’t try to sell the store.
“We just felt like it was time to just let it go,” she says. “We have so enjoyed serving this community, and we have made so many friends with our customers. That’s going to be really sad to let go.”
WICHITA — Why talk business when there’s food on a stick to discuss?
He talked about a lot of things, such as the federal government shutdown.
“Hope you’re praying for your country.”
And small business.
“Small business is the engine of growth,” he said to applause.
Not surprisingly, though, his most fun remarks were about food.
“I eat all foods that come my way, so I appreciate everybody here.”
Brownback explained what a dining roller coaster he’s been on the last few weeks.
First there was an obesity summit he attended, followed by the Kansas State Fair.
Though Brownback is partial to Oreos, he said he ate an entire fried Milky Way on a stick – minus the stick – while at the fair.
He suggested it might be something for restaurateurs in the audience to check into.
“I don’t know if some of you want to consider serving that on a regular basis.”
“We’re supposed to be firing up the boilers tomorrow morning,” says David Bahre, who is opening the business with his wife, Kim.
Though production should start Friday – Wheat State will produce a variety of gin, vodka, whiskey and rum, though not all at once – the Bahres can’t sell their products until the government approves their label.
“So we can’t sell a drop until the government reopens,” David Bahre says. “If you can believe it. We’re that close.”
The bureau that approves the labels also has a 30-day backlog, he says.
“I don’t know when the government will reopen, but whenever they do, it will set us back however many days they were shut down” plus the backlog, Bahre says.
The Bahres, who are from Wichita, live in Wamego.
Wheat State is in 3,200 square feet at the southwest corner of 37th and Hydraulic.
David Bahre has a degree in milling science, which is the process of turning grains into products, from Kansas State University. He says he’s been a business owner since he was 19. He has bought and sold a number of restaurants and has other business interests as well.
Bahre thought finding a distributor might be a challenge.
“We thought that was going to be one of the hardest parts,” he says.
When Have You Heard? reported the business was opening, though, the calls started coming.
“Some of them even called my mother looking for us,” Bahre says. “All of the largest ones in the state are interested in us.”
He says he hasn’t made a deal with one yet, but he’s already “had a hell of a run.”
Now that the business is starting, Bahre says he welcomes visitors for tours. He’s not ready for the official kickoff just yet, though.
“There’s just no point in having a grand opening until … we have something to sell.”
WICHITA — The Kansas Department of Labor, which is temporarily located at the Finney State Office Building, has signed a lease at the former Ryan International Airlines building at 266 N. Main St.
“They looked at several buildings,” says Chuck Knapp, Department of Administration spokesman. “Labor decided that that building best met their needs.”
The 10-year lease, which has two renewal options of five years each, is for 9,113 square feet.
Knapp says the department had been in another downtown building but was having some issues, so it made a quick move to the Finney building.
Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal for the Main Street lease, which begins Nov. 1.
Simon also recently handled the sale of that building when Tom Schmeidler of SBA Construction, his brothers and another investor purchased the property out of foreclosure.
More news is coming about the building soon.
There’s also news coming about another departure from the Finney building.
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