Sara Lee Bakery Outlet to move to Lexington Square

WICHITA — A new Sara Lee Bakery Outlet is opening on the west side, and the one at 2536 S. Southeast Dr. is closing.

“We’re basically moving that store over to the new site,” says retail sales manager Ray Christ.

The store will open in about a month at Mike Hampton’s Lexington Square at the southwest corner of Maple and Maize.

The outlet, which is owned by Mexico-based Bimbo Bakeries, sells baked goods such as bread and cakes. It carries a number of brands, such as Sara Lee, Rainbo and Oroweat.

“We’re naming it Sara Lee because that’s a recognized brand here in Wichita,” Christ says.

The company operates as Bimbo in Topeka, which is where the Wichita products are made.

Christ says if he says Bimbo here, Wichitans “look at you cross eyed. What’s Bimbo?”

“It hasn’t really spread down here to Wichita yet.”

Until about a year ago, Bimbo had a Rainbo Bakery next to the Sara Lee Bakery Outlet on Southeast Drive.

“We closed the bakery just because it was old, rundown and not worth investing the capital to put new equipment in there,” Christ says.

The company then put the property up for sale, and it sold more quickly than expected.

Christ says the Sara Lee on Southeast Drive has to close Sept. 22.

“We’re trying to keep everything progressing as rapidly as possible so there’s not any lost time, if any.”

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

There’s a second Sara Lee in the Indian Hills Shopping Center at 13th and Meridian.

Christ says an east-side outlet is possible in the future as well.

At Lexington Square, where Sara Lee will join Yoder Meats and Ultimate Avon Beauty Center, Hampton owns Rolling Hills Wine & Spirits.

He says he’s always joked about having beer, beef and beauty at the center.

“And now we’re going to be able to say bread,” Hampton says. “I thought it was kind of funny.”

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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Yoder Meats to open third Wichita store

WICHITA — Yoder Meats is expanding its Wichita presence by taking over the former Kline’s Meats location near Maple and Maize.

“We just stepped in and bought that equipment and will be opening that location up the first of November,” says owner Alan Waggoner.

In addition to the Yoder Meats retail shop in Yoder, Kan., the company also has stores in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn and at 798 N. West St.

“We’ve had a lot of requests and demands from the far west side of Wichita,” Waggoner says.

“People only travel so far,” he says. “I think that’s why there’s a Dillons on nearly every corner.”

Waggoner says there will be about six miles between each of his stores.

“They’re all very even across the city.”

So is the far east side next on his agenda?

“Far east Wichita is something I’d look at, but probably not before I’d considered Rose Hill or Derby,” Waggoner says.

There’s also a Yoder Meats plant in Yoder.

“We have local products from local farms,” Waggoner says. “We process most all of our product here in Yoder from a three-county area.”

The newest store will be open Monday through Saturday, as is the Normandie store.

Waggoner says the West Street Yoder Meats also is open Sunday afternoons.

“Just so, you know, if somebody wants something they can drive a few miles, but they can get it.”

Don Bearden brings his Five Star Grill and Dinner Sauce to Wichita

WICHITA — The Bearden family has long been known for its work in stained glass, but Wichita native Don Bearden wouldn’t mind being known as the sauce guy, either.

Bearden, who now lives in Kansas City, is bringing his new Five Star Grill and Dinner Sauce to Food For Thought’s Spring Fling this weekend at 2929 E. Central. He’s also selling it at Yoder Meats.

Bearden first started making the sauce 15 years ago.

“There’s really nothing like it out there,” he says.

Red and golden delicious apples are the main ingredients. There also are tomatoes, raisins, jalapenos, onion, garlic and vinegar.

Bearden says the sauce, which he’s selling for $6.99, is great as a marinade on anything or as a dipping sauce.

“It’s weird how it just came out so versatile,” he says. “It’s kind of like the new ketchup, if you will.”

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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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Yoder Meats owners are purchasing YB Meats

WICHITA — Only one week ago, Yoder Meats owner Alan Waggoner called YB Meats owner Eric Kauffman to see if he might be interested in selling his store.

Kauffman was, and now the longtime store at 798 N. West St. will operate as Yoder Meats. It officially opens Wednesday (though there may have been a sale or two in the last day or so) and the deal will close in January.

“He was motivated to be done, and I was motivated to take over,” says Waggoner, who owns a meat plant and retail shop in Yoder with his wife, Carol.

If a one-week turnaround seems like a crazy kind of time frame, Waggoner agrees.

“Yeah, way crazy.”

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