Thick Girls to replace Not Just A Cop Shop

WICHITA — With the opening of Twizted Confections in Normandie Center in late 2012, Bruce Reesman switched his focus from his Not Just A Cop Shop to baking.

“He’s got his plate really full,” says his wife, Tina Sidelnik. “My husband’s having a great time. We’ve got a really fantastic crew there with lots of creative energy.”

So she’s preparing to do something new in the Not Just A Cop Shop space at 2817 E. Central, which is between Hillside and Grove.

“We are in the process of kind of transitioning our store,” Sidelnik says.

Not Just A Cop Shop is having a clearance sale and will close its doors most likely at the end of March after more than seven years in business.

“We’ve run our course for as far as we can run it,” Sidelnik says.

She says the store focused on the general public’s security needs along with smaller law enforcement departments and security firms. Sidelnik says she and her husband never went after bigger city and county contracts. She says they found that their sales to other customers were hurt by the Internet.

Now Sidelnik says she has plans for a new store that “is going to be something up my alley.”

“We are going to focus on individuals that do not get recognition in apparel,” she says. “We’re going to focus on thick women.”

Sidelnik is naming the shop Thick Girls.

“I don’t want to say plus-sized,” she says. “I don’t like that word. Plus-sized what?”

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Sugar Salon to open at Normandie Center

WICHITA — After more than a decade working in downtown Wichita, stylist Susan Brady is opening a new salon at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

Sugar Salon will open in mid-November in 1,200 square feet, which is bigger than Brady’s current Salon Lush at Occidental Plaza and smaller than Urban Image, which she used to have at Old Town Square.

“I would rather keep it small and intimate,” Brady says. “It makes for a cozier, more friendly environment.”

The chief difference with the new salon, other than being on the east side, is that Brady is once again going to have an Aveda salon.

“We had decided when we opened Salon Lush we would not carry Aveda; we would see what else is out there to offer,” Brady says.

She missed the quality of Aveda’s products and color along with Aveda’s education and “just their general support.”

“I finally realized I just need to stay with Aveda,” Brady says. “So when the opportunity presented itself to open … another Aveda salon, I of course jumped at the chance.”

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Lawrence Photo to leave downtown after 125 years for move to Normandie Center

WICHITA — After 125 years in the greater downtown area, Lawrence Photo is leaving.

“When you leave the core area of the city that you’ve been in for 125 years … it’s a tough decision to make,” says owner Paul Hudson.

He’s moving the store from 401 E. Douglas to Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

“I thought it was just the sweetest intersection of the city,” Hudson says.

That’s because Normandie is home to the Twizted Confections and Sweetly Scrumptious bakeries.

“And then I’m going to round it out with Whole Foods on the healthy side,” Hudson says.

He also likes that the Seafood Shop and Yoder Meats are there, and Great Harvest Bread Co. is nearby across Woodlawn.

“I don’t have to drive to go to the grocery store ever again,” Hudson says.

“I like the neighborhood, and it still has a neighborhood feel. The demographics are right there.”

The business started in 1877 as Lawrence Drug Store and was located downtown where the Intrust Bank parking garage is now. Hudson says in 1888 owner Charles Lawrence signed the first Kodak dealership west of the Mississippi with George Eastman of Eastman Kodak.

In more recent years, Hudson has expanded his business to include custom framing along with printing.

“It’s a major portion of business,” he says. “We’re certainly wanting to expand that framing and printing.”

At the new space, which is in the 3,000 square feet where Pathfinder Birkenstock used to be, Hudson will begin having photography classes. He says he’s been getting a lot of requests for them.

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Banh Mi Ngon Bakery & Deli to open at Normandie Center

WICHITA — A “delicious” new Vietnamese deli is opening in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

Banh Mi Ngon Bakery & Deli – “ngon” means “delicious” in Vietnamese – will open later this week or next week following its final inspection.

“I think we do the best Vietnamese sandwich,” says Annie Vu, who owns Glamour Nail near the restaurant.

“I cook for my employees sometime,” Vu says of her nail salon workers. She occasionally lets customers have a bite of her food, too, and she says many people have told her she should open a restaurant.

Vu wasn’t interested in doing that, but her husband, Peter Nguyen, was.

They’ll make their own bread for their signature banh mi sandwiches along with the pate that goes on them.

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Howard’s Optical to consolidate two stores

WICHITA — Howard’s Optical is consolidating two of its stores with “one big, giant move.”

So says vice president and co-owner Linda Charmchizadeh.

The stores at 1650 S. Oliver and in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn will consolidate at 5405 E. Central, which is just west of Central and Edgemoor.

“We’re going to have more of a … street view,” Charmchizadeh says. At Normandie, she says, “Not a lot of people can see us.”

Friday is the last day for the stores to be in their current spaces. They reopen in the new space on Monday.

Howard’s Optical, which has several more stores around Wichita, sells frames and lenses and has its own servicing labs.

Charmchizadeh says the chain will have more news later this year.

“This is our 45-year anniversary.”

You don’t say

“I’m probably the only armed baker in town.”

Bruce Reesman, who owns Smart Security and Investigations, Not Just A Cop Shop and Twizted Confections, a bakery that opened this week in Normandie Center

Twizted Confections to open in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn

WICHITA — It perhaps makes sense that Tina and Bruce Reesman own both Smart Security and Investigations and Not Just A Cop Shop. Their newest business, though, is going to be a deviation from the security world.

The Reesmans are opening Twizted Confections, a bakery, in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn next month.

“My husband actually has been baking for many years, and this is a passion of his,” Tina Reesman says.

The bakery will open in the approximately 3,500 square feet where Subway used to be.

Normandie also is where Sweetly Scrumptious is, but Reesman says she and her husband’s business will be slightly different.

They plan to sell pastries such as cookies, baklava, cannoli and what she calls “authentic East Coast” cheesecake and pies.

“I hate to say this, but you can taste the calories when you eat it,” Reesman says. “We don’t cut back on the butter. We don’t cut back on the sugar. What you’re eating is rich and decadent and melts in your mouth.”

Twizted Confections won’t have cupcakes or cakes.

“My husband is so incredibly talented … that when he makes cakes it’s a huge process,” Reesman says.

They’ll offer some sugar-free and gluten-free items along with some savory food, such as quiches for lunch and mini quiches for appetizers.

The bakery will have a soft opening on Election Day Nov. 6 with some donkey and elephant cookies. Anyone who shows an “I voted” sticker can have a free cookie.

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Family Christian Stores to move from Normandie Center to Eastgate Plaza

WICHITA — After more than a decade in Normandie Center, Family Christian Stores is moving to Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road.

“We’re actually going where we feel more of our customers shop,” says Paul Sobol, vice present of real estate for the Michigan-based chain.

Normandie is at Central and Woodlawn, which Sobol says is “not a regional shopping area.”

New stores at Eastgate, such as Ross Dress For Less, “really have a similar customer so that we feel we can reach out to more and more people,” Sobol says.

There’s also a Family Christian Stores location in NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road that’s been open for about seven years.

Nationally, there are almost 300 stores, which sell Christian-themed products, such as gifts, books, jewelry, CDs and DVDs.

“We reach out to the whole Christian community,” Sobol says.

The new east-side store will be in the former Mattress Firm space, which is about 4,000 square feet. That’s slightly larger than the Normandie space.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons and Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. handled the deal.

Look for the Eastgate Family Christian Stores to open around Oct. 25.

Sister Moses owner Linda Burton has two new sister businesses: Traveling Sister and Calamity Jane’s Resale

UPDATED — Sister Moses is no longer an only child.

Linda Burton, who owns the shop at Comotara Center at 29th and Rock Road, now has two sister companies –  literally and figuratively.

In July, she started Traveling Sister, which is something of a traveling boutique where she can sell clothing and accessories in people’s homes and at events.

Next month, Burton is opening Calamity Jane’s Resale in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

So much new business at once is creating some chaos in Burton’s world.

“It’s so bad, one of the girls is working out of the bathroom,” she says, laughing.

Burton says Traveling Sister has already gone as far as Texas, where Sister Moses has a lot of online customers.

“This weekend in Leavenworth, it was insane,” Burton says.

The events are parties of at least about 20 women, who can sip wine and shop in a friend’s home or at an event.

“It’s networking, and it’s finding out about more places that we can go to,” Burton says. “The great thing about it is it’s 20 girls that are being waited on.”

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It’s confirmed: Planet Fitness to open at Normandie Center

WICHITA — Last week, Have You Heard? reported confirmation of Planet Fitness deals at 21st and Amidon and near 21st and Maize and said it looked like a deal also was done at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

Now there’s confirmation of that, too, in the form of a building permit.

Planet Fitness has a permit for $550,000 at the center.