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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Sweetly Scrumptious specialty bakery to open at Normandie Center

notsosweetWICHITA — When Kellie Foltz officially debuted her Cake Ball Divas creations at Exploration Place’s Death by Chocolate party in March, most people had one question:

Where can we get these things?

“We just got a very big response,” Foltz says.

She describes the cake balls as the size of a large truffle with the visual aesthetic of a fine chocolate.

She also makes cupcakes and cookies and is opening a specialty bakery, Sweetly Scrumptious, to sell them all.

The shop will open in the next couple of weeks in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn between the Seafood Shop and Beyond Beads Boutique.

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Mother Nature postpones Seafood Shop delivery

WICHITA — Seafood Shop co-owner Jessica Eberth is stunned to report that she didn’t have fresh fish to sell Saturday because either a tornado or straight-line winds destroyed the delivery truck bringing her fish Friday night.

“I thought they were kidding when they notified us,” says Eberth, whose shop is in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

The delivery truck was coming from Denver. The incident happened just outside of Colby.

“Although the driver is OK, it totally destroyed the trailer,” Eberth says.

“What are the odds of that?” she asks. “You would never think out of, what, 1,500 semis rolling across I-70 that a random tornado would hit ours.”

It looks like the truck also had fish deliveries for area restaurants, too.

Eberth says that although she was floored, her customers handled it just fine.

“Everybody took it in really good spirits,” she says. “I had no complaints.”

Yoder Meats to open at Normandie Center

WICHITA — Less than six months after opening in the former YB Meats space in west Wichita, Yoder Meats is making plans to open a second store.

The new one also will be in former YB space, this time on the east side at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

“It was all set up, so it was a good deal for us,” says Alan Waggoner, who owns the business with his wife, Carol.

The two purchased the four-decade-old Yoder Meats in Yoder, Kan., two years ago.

They didn’t intend on expanding into Wichita with retail sites, but Alan Waggoner says he noticed sales slipping at YB Meats — including Yoder products — and told the owner he’d be interested in buying the business if he ever wanted to sell.

They had a deal within a week. That was November. The sale closed in January.

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Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets still on track

WICHITA — Wal-Mart’s plans to bring its Neighborhood Market concept to Wichita are still progressing, but there don’t appear to be any done deals yet.

“We’re still under contract,” says Chris Goebel of Star Lumber.

Goebel hopes to sell his property at Central and Maize where he once planned the Gaslight Creek commercial development on more than 11 acres.

“We’ve had to do some extensions,” Goebel says of the contract.

That’s because there’s “a wee little bit of an environmental issue.”

Goebel says there are leaking underground storage tanks on another site — not his — that are of concern.

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