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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Pacific Coast Pizza and Walkers Bar and Venue to open by arena in March

Aaron Moore (left) and Rusty Law, who are opening Walkers Bar and Venue and Pacific Coast Pizza near Intrust Bank Arena.

UPDATED — Before Intrust Bank Arena opened in 2010, there was a lot of buzz about how many bars and restaurants it would attract to that part of downtown.

That hasn’t happened, but two new venues are preparing to open in a month or so, and one more may follow this summer.

It’s been about a year since Have You Heard? first reported it, but Rusty Law is getting ready to open his second Pacific Coast Pizza at 222 S. Commerce St. That’s at the south end of a series of buildings attached to the back of the former Spaghetti Works space, which is east of the arena.

The 5,350-square-foot space was built in the 1980s. It will be adjacent to the 4,950-square-foot space to the north where Law’s longtime friend Aaron Moore is opening Walkers Bar and Venue. The 1908 building was a flour mill at one time.

Law and Moore hope to open both businesses in early March.

“I think what we’re going to … have is something Old Town does not necessarily have,” Moore says. “Location’s obviously key.”

He’s calling his business Walkers “because people seem to walk here.”

“It’s quite obvious when you come down here on event night that everybody’s walking,” Moore says. “When you watch the flow of traffic on event night, I can’t see why everybody wouldn’t want to stop in. I think we’ll capture a large audience just by being something fresh.”

Law says he plans to capitalize on Old Town revelers who may have had a few adult beverages by selling “a slice of pizza for them at 2 o’clock in the morning.”

He says the area will become a destination.

“Location wise it’s perfect for us being right next to the arena, right next to all the development in downtown,” Law says. “The customer count down here is going to be really good.”

He says Wichita Thunder hockey games bring in a potential 4,000 to 5,000 people, and concerts and other events can bring in as many as 12,000.

“It’s almost free advertisement being down here by the arena.”

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Hairy Sofa Pet Grooming Boutique to open at Siena Plaza in a couple of weeks

Julie Breault and Sara DuLac are opening the Hairy Sofa Pet Grooming Boutique in Siena Plaza. On Breault’s lap is her dog Edward, whom she says is in desperate need of grooming.

WICHITA — If you heard about a new business that features a large purple sofa and chandelier to greet you along with a refreshment center, you might think you’ve entered a hip new bar.

If you then learned this business offers massages and blueberry facials, it would be natural to assume it was the latest spa in town.

It is – just not for humans.

Julie Breault and Sara DuLac are opening the Hairy Sofa Pet Grooming Boutique at Siena Plaza to cater to man’s best friends, whether they’re dogs or cats.

“We’re trying to really create a unique space, something unlike other grooming salons you’ll see here in Wichita,” Breault says.

There will be “all kinds of great options for the pets to get while they’re there. They’re going to be very well attended to.”

Breault is the practice manager at Heartland Animal Hospital & Play & Stay, which her husband, veterinarian Gary Breault, and her brother-in-law, veterinarian Bill Breault, own.

The two businesses will be sister companies of sorts. Heartland’s grooming business is moving to the Hairy Sofa. Pets who need vaccinations or other medical care will be transported from the Hairy Sofa to Heartland.

“We’re hoping to make it as convenient as possible – kind of a one-stop shop without being all in one stop,” Julie Breault says. “As little of time as you can run around transporting your pet the better.”

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Arena entertainment district inching closer to opening with restaurant and two bars

WICHITA — In February, Have You Heard? first reported that a deal was in the works to bring a Pacific Coast Pizza downtown near Intrust Bank Arena as part of a larger entertainment development.

As most development seems to go, it’s taking longer than expected, but it’s still on track.

“We’re definitely trying to get it open,” says Kevin Law, one of the partners.

In addition to Pacific Coast Pizza, which has an east-side location that opened in 2009 at Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock, there will be a couple of bars next door as well.

The first one to open has the working name of Walker’s Venue.

“It’s a play of everyone walking by, going through the area,” Law says. “The crowd that’s going to be coming in is going to be walkers.”

He says there will be a large patio and live music. On nights when there are concerts at the arena, the music will be geared to whatever is playing there.

“Then we’re hoping to put a martini bar below Walker’s,” Law says. “We’re kicking the idea around of an upper-end martini bar.”

Walker’s and the restaurant will open first, followed by the martini bar. More businesses will follow, Law says.

“We’d just like to try to develop a district down here for something.”

He and his partners have to get the initial two businesses open first, which isn’t a speedy process.

“It’s jumping through hoops.”

New bars and restaurants opening on east, west sides and downtown

WICHITA — There are several new bar and restaurant deals in the works.

Not unexpectedly, Charlie Badeen and David Allan have decided to reopen their O’Brien’s Irish Pub on East Kellogg by Scotch & Sirloin.

They closed it last year, and the short-lived Encore Restaurant and Nightclub took its place.

Earlier this month, Badeen told Have You Heard? he and Allan were considering various options for the space, including reopening O’Brien’s.

They originally closed because they were opening the new Joe’s Old Town Bar and Grill in Old Town, plus they already had Dudley’s Sports Bar and Grill on the west side and Mulligan’s Pub out east.

They’ve since sold Mulligan’s, and they’re ready to open Joe’s in the next week or two.

Badeen says O’Brien’s should open by the end of March.

“Basically everything’s going to be about the same.”

There’s another deal in the works to bring a Pacific Coast Pizza downtown near Intrust Bank Arena.

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Opticology Eyecare to open at Siena Plaza

WICHITA — Optometrist Greyson Barger is branching out on his own next month.

Barger has been with Adventure Dental & Vision for the last three years.

Now, he’s opening Opticology Eyecare at Siena Plaza at 37th North and Rock Road.

“It’ll just be me,” Barger says of his initial plans.

He’ll treat all ages, but Barger will emphasize children’s vision.

He’ll have a retail area for glasses as well.

Barger says he’ll take care of “everything from glaucoma to glasses, I guess.”

He’s starting with 2,000 square feet but hopes to expand later.

“I’d rather outgrow a spot than pay for space I’m not using.”

Orange Leaf opens Friday at Siena Plaza

WICHITA — Sean O’Brien’s first Orange Leaf is opening Friday in Siena Plaza, a Chuck Caro property at 37th and Rock.

This is Wichita’s second Orange Leaf yogurt franchise.

Jeff Finnell, the other franchisee here, opened the first Orange Leaf at the retail center at 21st and Tyler in front of the Warren Theatre in July.

O’Brien also is working to bring Orange Leaf to Caro’s strip center near the northeast corner of Central and Greenwich.

Look for a probable October opening there.

Shops at MarketPlace lands four tenants

WICHITA — In today’s economy, it’s a gamble to build a speculative shopping center and hope to find tenants for it, but it’s a move that’s paying off for Paul Jackson.

The Vantage Point Properties developer has Andover MarketPlace, a 140-acre development on the southeast corner of Kellogg and Andover Road in Andover.

In May, Jackson began building the Shops at MarketPlace, a 14,000-square-foot center next to Dillons Marketplace.

He now has four tenants to announce:

Scooter’s Coffeehouse, which will have 1,400 square feet and a drive-through on the north end of the center.

H&R Block, which will have 1,400 square feet.

Martinizing Dry Cleaning, which will have 1,400 square feet.

Spa Pedicure, which will have 1,200 square feet.

“We have a nice amount of interest in the remaining space,” Jackson says. “We feel like it’s been a good decision to build that.”

When Jackson first bought the property several years ago, his plan was to hold it for the long term.

“We weren’t looking to develop it immediately.”

Dillons wanted to expand with a Marketplace concept, though, and the YMCA decided to build a new branch about the same time.

“They just came into play a lot earlier than we expected them,” Jackson says. “Once those started, we started full speed into the development process.”

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Chuck Caro is in Italy and not just for vacation

WICHITA — Developers scout businesses all the time with the plan to possibly lure them to their developments.

It sounds like Chuck Caro is taking that to an extreme.

We hear Caro is in Italy to find a potential Italian restaurant to come to his Siena Plaza development at 37th and Rock.

It’s hard to believe, and we can’t confirm it with Caro because, of course, he’s in Italy.

Sounds like he has family there, though, who just might help him make a connection.

We’ll let you know how it went when he returns.