Several new offerings available
owntown Parkville seems to be in the midst of a business boom.
Small downtown businesses operated by locals, including individual owners and families, either already are opened or are slated to open soon, according to interviews with the owners of several, but not all, of the businesses.
James (Titus) Bond not only is the developer, but also will own and operate a sports practice facility at 2 E. 2nd St.
The building’s name, “Mudville,” is a fictional representation of an old town and a nod to Parkville’s rich history. Bond said the site’s location next to the post office, in downtown’s “highest-trafficked corner,” should help establish visibility.
Bond said he bought the 11,000-square-foot building, which had been vacant for the past decade, about two years ago with the idea of opening a baseball practice facility, which will be included in the site. The Parkville resident said his background as an owner of summer collegiate baseball teams in Columbia and Springfield and his young baseball-playing son sparked the idea.
Bond said he also thought the vintage theme fit well.
“Parkville is kind of an old-timey town, anyway,” he said.
His facility will offer turf-covered fields for soccer and baseball practice. The property also includes Mudville Pub House, offering fast casual dining of smashburgers, fries and milkshakes. The restaurant is decorated in late 1800s baseball theme.
Bond said he hopes the site will “differentiate ourselves from hamburger joints down the road.” The property also will house Casey’s Sports Cards and Collectibles, a sports card memorabilia store, also with a vintage feel.
Ryan and Emily O’Laughlin decided to capitalize on an old Pullman train sleeping car and caboose that draws families by purchasing and developing the site at 100 S. Main Street, to serve donuts, coffee, cocktails, and beer. Seating at Incahoots will be available inside the old cars and on an outside deck out front of the structure that adjoins the cars, Ryan said.
“Part of the goal was to make a family-friendly environment” and add to Parkville’s limited seating, he said. A “unique” offering of Missouri and Kansas-brewed craft beer will be available with assorted cocktails served from a bar in the caboose. Good-quality coffee also will be paired with traditional glazed and caked donuts offered in eight different varieties with rotating seasonal favorites. These include unique offerings such as those glazed with coffee liqueur icing.
Brian Mertz, developer of Creekside at I-435 and Hwy. 45, re-fashioned the property at 115 Main Street to host at least three and maybe as many as four businesses, including The Baker’s Table. The building’s open concept means customers can stand in one business and peruse most of the other tenants through plate glass windows that serve as dividing walls, said Whitney George, owner/operator of the bakery along with her mother, Janine Wilson.
George said the glass construction also means bakery customers can stand inside and see into the kitchen “so you’ll know we’re not lying” about the all-homemade offerings.
George said she grew up learning to bake from her mother, who owned a pie bakery in New Mexico. In fact, Wilson moved to Parkville from New Mexico only a few weeks ago to collaborate in the business venture. Cooking and baking are relaxing pastimes, George said. The idea for the bakery was sparked by a pandemic texting chain when George, who was pregnant with her fourth baby, shared with the group that baking helped her relieve anxiety.
“I don’t ever stress about making dinner or baking,” George said.
Pie is her specialty. “The thing with pie is, it just comes so naturally,” she said.
Other offerings will include light weekend meals of chicken pot pie and quiche and salad to pair with the pie specialties of granny smith green apple pie topped with cheddar cheese. Coconut cream pie topped with meringue is another specialty that will be offered with other baked items, including cupcakes and cookies.
Popculture Gourmet Popcorn and Ice Cream also will be housed at the site and will be designed to look a lot like the business’s Overland Park location. The retail space is moving from a Parkville site next to the library, which will continue to be used as a popcorn production facility. The business has managed the pandemic by doing a lot of shipping, said owner/operator Melody Woo. Popcorn, made from non-GMO seeds, has “all the colors of the rainbow. The registered dietician said due to her background, healthy offerings are a priority. Flavorings include Dr. Pepper, cinnamon toast and loaded potato. Hard-scoop ice cream is available in 16 flavors, including unique offerings such as cotton candy and coffee. The premium ice cream is purchased from a family-owned wholesale business which Woo described as “high quality.”
Wardell Hooks plans to fulfill a retirement dream of owning and operating a barbecue take-out window from a small corner of the retail space. In June, he’ll retire from a full-time position at UPS where he has moonlighted catering weddings and tailgate parties from his home kitchen. He’s a one-man show except for the help offered by his wife and two children.
Wardell, who has always loved to cook, learned from his mother, who let him explore his passion by first preparing eggs, bacon, and fried hot dogs. While serving his signature meats of brisket, pulled pork and ribs, customers continually requested he open a brick and mortar. His space is small and will only offer a walk-up window where he hopes to take advantage of Parkville’s foot traffic on weekends.
Wardell said he only has one regret: “I wish I’d done it earlier.”
At 113 Main St., Denise Glanzer owns and operates White Farmhouse Flowers & Gifts, which includes fresh-cut flowers, cards, chocolates, and bath bombs. The black and white awning out front beckons visitors inside to the 1937 historic structure, which still retains the punched tin ceilings. The 1,300 square foot building “smells amazing and people always comment on that,” said Glanzer, who opened the spot in February.
Offerings include some flowers she grows in her own home garden, such as dahlias, zinnias, and wildflower varieties. A 1961 converted covered Volkswagen pickup truck also is available for photo shoots and special events and offers another location from which she can sell and display bouquets. Her flowers, which are available for special events–including weddings and funerals–as well as bouquets, “are important for your mental health,” especially during the pandemic, she said, adding, “They bring so much joy.”