PB&J Restaurants considers Burnt End BBQ for Wichita

WICHITA — Kansas City-based PB&J Restaurants, the company that brought YaYa’s EuroBistro and Newport Grill to Wichita, is looking to possibly bring a new concept as well.

“It’s our new barbecue concept,” says PB&J’s Paul Khoury.

Burnt End BBQ opened three weeks ago near 119th and Metcalf in Overland Park.

“It’s fast casual,” Khoury says. “It’s doing well.”

If it remains successful, he says that “just like we always do, next stop is Wichita.”

“Wichita’s a great restaurant town. People like to eat out in Wichita.”

Khoury says there are good income levels here to support restaurants.

“Look at how many restaurants that have come out of Wichita, too,” he says of chains such as Pizza Hut and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.

PB&J, which no longer owns the YaYa’s here, debuted its Newport Grill seafood concept here.

It’s now opening another Newport Grill on May 1 at the new Prairiefire development on West 135th Street between Nall and Lamar avenues. The restaurant will be one space down from where Wichita’s Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates is opening its new store.

Newport Grill has “just been very successful in Wichita,” Khoury says.

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Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates expands its production kitchen while fielding questions

WICHITA — Beth Tully of Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates has more news this week along with some reassurance for customers.

First, the news.

Since opening her production kitchen at 3540 N. Comotara in 2008, Tully says she hasn’t had any neighbors next door. She decided to move into that 2,500 square feet, the bulk of which she did Monday.

“It is appalling actually to think all the stuff we moved next door used to be in this 2,500 square feet,” Tully says of her existing space.

The new space will be dedicated “to a couple of projects that we’ve always just done on the fly,” Tully says.

Shipping has been handled at Cocoa Dolce’s Bradley Fair store where there’s a mere 400 square feet of production area behind the retail portion of the store.

“It’s amazing we were able to do it that way for as long as we have,” Tully says.

As of Nov. 25, shipping will be done at the new space.

Tully also will use the additional space to help with her new Cocoa Dolce that’s opening in the Prairiefire development in Overland Park in 2014.

“That’s just in anticipation of everything that’s coming down the road next year,” Tully says.

She has paused to step back and admire the organization that the new space allows.

“Look how grown up this looks,” Tully says. “This is no fly-by-night deal anymore.”

Even though Tully is expanding, some customers are concerned she’s closing.

This week, she took down the Cocoa Dolce sign at the Bradley Fair store in anticipation of a new sign with her new brand.

“We have had people actually pull up in front of the store … and come in to find out whether we’re closing,” Tully says. “I’ve got this little group of people panicked. None of us dreamed taking the sign down would indicate to anyone that we were leaving.”

After the stucco is repaired and painted, the new sign will go up, most likely late this week or early next week.

“We are not closing,” Tully says. “We are not going anywhere.”

 

Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates unveils new logo, brand

WICHITA — She may be used to speaking in front of hundreds of people, but it was a visibly emotional, excited Beth Tully who addressed employees, friends and family Thursday afternoon to debut a new logo and brand for her Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates.

Cocoa Dolce logo

Tully said it was the fact that it was those close to her instead of “the strangers you can imagine naked” that got to her.

“It’s been eight years in the coming,” Tully says of the rebranding. “We did some soul searching. . . . We really dug deep.”

She says the conclusion was that her current logo and brand don’t reflect the experience customers have in the store.

Her new logo “is something that’s joyful and happy.” Tully says that compares to more “stuffy” brands that fine chocolatiers — including herself — traditionally have.

“It is way more reflective of our style,” Tully says of the colorful, whimsical logo.

“This is going to be a transition,” she says.

That includes new taglines for the store to help during the changeover, such as, “Change never tasted so yummy.”

Parks Fortune and King Merj Public Relations helped make the change, and photographer Gavin Peters created new photographs to go with a reconstructed website.

Tully opened Cocoa Dolce in 2005 in Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock and moved to Bradley Fair in 2009. She has a second store planned for the Prairiefire development in Overland Park.

While the rebranding is a “fun, playful kind of thing,” Tully says it will do a lot for the store, too.

“We realized we had an opportunity,” she says. ”This takes us to . . . the next level.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

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