Beth Tully to open second Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates in Overland Park

UPDATED — Beth Tully is taking her second step toward what she perhaps only half jokingly calls world domination.

The Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates founder is opening her second store, this time in Overland Park’s Prairiefire development on West 135th Street between Nall and Lamar avenues.

“We’re going to think of Wichita as the hub and that this is the first spoke in the wheel,” Tully says.

Yes, that means she’s already thinking of other potential regional stores, though none is in the works yet.

“I think you only double the complexity of a business once, and this is it,” Tully says.

The idea, she says, is to create a template that can be reproduced.

“We’re basically going to do kind of a tweaked version of our lounge here,” Tully says of her Bradley Fair store.

Tully and her husband, Jay, opened their Wichita store in 2005 in Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock Road and then moved to Bradley Fair in 2009.

Tully says she has long thought about a second store.

“The honest truth is probably in our first year of business, way when I shouldn’t have been have been thinking of having a second location,” she says.

She knew that “as a really baby business” she couldn’t realistically do a second store then.

“We’re kind of a sophomore business now,” Tully says. “We’ve finally gotten over the hump.”

Read More »

Beau Monde Spa and Boutique consolidates beauty bar into Comotara space

WICHITA — Beau Monde Spa and Boutique owner Michele Wheeler is closing her makeup bar at Douglas and Oliver to consolidate her two stores into her expanded 9,000 square feet at Comotara.

“It really allowed me to put everything under one roof,” she says of the center at 29th and Rock Road.

The expanded space will have a BlowOut Bar for hair styling similar to the popular one Wheeler has had at her smaller location.

Wheeler says the move isn’t a financial one.

“It really just creates energy,” she says. Having everything in one place “creates the ultimate spa experience.”

“Wichita’s become very sophisticated and savvy in its beauty needs,” Wheeler says.

Beau Monde has many more national competitors now than when it started eight years ago. Wheeler says the fact that she brought many new brands to the market and focuses on customer service “really sets us apart from all the big-box experiences and competition.”

She says being at the center at Douglas and Oliver was great.

“Just the synergy on that corner is something really, really hard and unique to find,” Wheeler says. “It’s a great shopping environment to see women walk back and forth from store to store.”

Aspen Boutique owners James and Monica Smits also own the center.

Read More »