Category Archives: Business

Action Behind the Scenes Downtown

Papa Don’s Restaurant Manager Brita Rygmyr shares a light moment with attendees of the Quarterly Downtown Meet and Greet Tuesday morning at the restaurant. In her comments, he said the restaurant has a special event room for rent with or without catering by the restaurant. In the background is Dav Mohler, office manager of Fort Scott Family Dental.

People with an interest in Fort Scott’s downtown area met at Papa Don’s Restaurant Tuesday morning to share news.

Here is a list of shared comments:

  • Holly Baker, Fort Scott National Historic Site Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management, will be leaving Fort Scott at the end of January for a position in Washington D.C.
  • Baker also announced a youth art exhibit will be displayed in February and March at FSNHS, and also shared the fort now has a mobile app for viewing the grounds with extra background history.
  • Bids and Dibs Consignment shop is seeking a place to give overstock items. “Anyone want to start a thrift store?” owner Angie Simon asked the group.
  • City Manager Dave Martin said the city is looking at ways to reduce tax amounts, indicating a visioning committee is looking at the issue.
  • Fort Scott Community Development Director Rhonda Dunn said one of her goals is to make Fort Scott a Christmas light viewing destination in the area. She stated she is soliciting unwanted Christmas lights and decorations for the project.
  • Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison announced the winners of the toy soldier decorating contest: Elaine Buerge, Deb Anderson, and Stacia Weilert. She said the downtown shopping brochure will arrive next week. There are leftover small business cloth shopping bags and doormats to give away, she said.
  • A Shiney Foundation representative announced there will be a feature film documentary 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at Memorial Hall, with a dance party following.
    The film is  FREE to the community.If the person would like to attend with a VIP package ( light meal, drinks, film and post party)  it is a 35$ ticket donation.
  • The Beaux Arts Center now is a Common Consumption Center, owner Denise Duncan announced.
  • A Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative representative said broadband services will be offered soon to businesses in Fort Scott, then to residents.
  • Dave Mohler, office manager of Fort Scott Family Dental, said the renovation of the building at 2 N. Main has uncovered some old stain glass windows hidden in the walls.
  • Owner Angela Simons said Bids and Dibs is undergoing a restructuring inside and a new security system installed. The business has over 1,200 consigners that contribute items she said.
  •  Fort Scott Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt said this weekend a basketball tournament will be at the middle school, Buck Run Community Center and the high school.
Attendees of the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce sponsored Downtown Quarterly Meet and Greet listen as each attendee was given the opportunity to speak about the entity they represent.

Chamber Of Commerce Changes

Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Board Members present at the first coffee of 2018: from left front, Deb Needleman, Gina Shelton; back from left: Reta Baker, Alysia Johnston, Jody Hoener, Mark Lewis, Darcy Smith, and Gregg Motley. Members not present: Ken Anderson, Bob Beckham, David Lipe, Bill Michaud, Geoff Southwell, and Robert Uhler.

The Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce will have a new face welcoming the public at its office at 231 E. Wall and a new configuration of the building interior this year, along with some new divisions of the Chamber.

At the weekly Chamber coffee January 4,  Lindsay Madison, executive director of the Chamber, said Vonnie Rickerson will replace Allyson Turvey as the administrative assistant in the Chamber office starting January 8.

Vonnie Rickerson left, will be the new administrative assistant at the Chamber starting January 8. She is pictured with Lindsay Madison, right.

In an interview following the coffee, Madison said the public area of the Chamber building will be enlarged and the administrative assistant will be shifted to the left of the front door, while the tourism section will be moved to the north part of the building.

Turvey will change from a Chamber employee to a city employee.

“She will work 1/3 time for tourism, 1/3 time for economic development and 1/3 times for community development,” Madison said.

The enlargement of the public area is the result of Fort Scott becoming a regional tourism center with the State of Kansas.

“There are two other regional tourism centers in the state,” Madison said. “So there will be a lot more materials and signage, so there will be changes to the building.”

Also new this year, the Chamber board is adding an Ambassador Group “to be more in touch with our members,” Madison said. At the coffee meeting, she asked for volunteers to be an Ambassador.

Madison said the Chamber has selected a new mission statement as a result of the tourism section coming under the city direction.

Supporting businesses, building community and promoting town spirit is the new mission statement at the Chamber.

Announcements from the first Chamber Coffee of the year:

  • The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign this year netted $7,000, Allen Schellack said. Schellack is the director of Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries and the local agency for the SA.
  • The Young Professional League will soon be having its annual enchilada fundraiser in support of the Beacon, YPL Member Chris Petty said.
  • Zach Allen, Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative, said that the company is bringing fiber optic services to the city’s businesses.
  • Live Local, a local grassroots group, will be a new division of the Chamber and will focus on local businesses, Gregg Motley said.
  • The annual Chamber dinner will be March 15, Motley said.

Pictured above, the attendees of the weekly Chamber coffee mingle before the meeting began.

Each week attendees may pay $1 and tell about an upcoming event, with proceeds going to support the Chamber trolley car.

The average attendance is 40-60 people, according to Madison.







Microbrewery Opens January 6

Bryan and Barbara Ritter stand in the taproom of the Boiler Room Brewhaus.

This Saturday, January 6, Fort Scott’s first microbrewery will open at 11 a.m.

Named the Boiler Room Brewhaus, the brewery is located in the lower level of the Beaux Arts Center, 102 S. National. Entry is from the alley on the south.

Public parking is at First and National Streets and additionally,  Judson and Second Streets nearby. The Fort Scott Post Office parking lot is off-limits, however it is through the post office parking lot that one must enter the facility.

“It’s  a comfy atmosphere,” Barbara Ritter, who along with her sister-in-law Peggy Ritter are the owners, said. “No TV’s. We want to encourage people to talk to each other.”

In addition there will be board games.

There is a 40 person capacity in the tap-room, she said.

Right now, Barbara’s husband Bryan Ritter is the primary brewer.

He is making ales.

“Beers fall into two categories,” Bryan Ritter said. “Ales and lagers…most people in Bourbon County drink lagers such as Budweiser and Coors. I’m not going to focus on that right now.”

The cooler seasons are ale seasons, Bryan said.

“You want something thicker and richer,” he said. “There is 4-6 percent alcohol content.” He can produce one barrel per brewing session or about 33 gallons.

For opening night, they will have close to 100 gallons, he said.

In addition, Jake Johnson will provide the music that evening.

Only prepared snacks will be offered in the taproom with the beer.

“By Bourbon County law, 30 percent of sales have to be in food,” Barbara said. “We don’t want to be a restaurant. So we are hoping  to get some support by getting it put on the ballot to change the law for microbreweries.”

The hours for the brewery are Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, 12 to 7 p.m.

Bryan Ritter holds a handful of toasted malt barley in the brew room of the Boiler Room Brewhaus. The hops Ritter uses is from the Kansas Hop Company, Ottawa.  The Honey Weiss he produces is from honey produced on the Ritter property, south of Fort Scott, Black Dogs Farm. Visitors can view the brewing system as they come in the brewery.
Barbara Ritter shows the jars that people may take the brew home in.
One of the three flavors currently offered at the Boiler Room Brewhaus.
Original web page

113 S National Ave

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Sharing Ideas For Downtown Fort Scott


Lindsay Madison at the Christmas Parade 2017 which the Chamber of Commerce sponsors.

Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison has been the executive director since October 2010.

On January 11, 2011, Madison initiated the Quarterly Downtown Meet and Greet.

“I started it to provide a platform for downtown business owners and any interested party to network for ideas related to downtown,” Madison said.

The Meet & Greets are held the first Tuesday of each quarter from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. unless otherwise announced.

Usually, approximately 18 to 25 people attend, with the host business invited to tell about their business and any future events, she said.
” City representatives (Dave Martin or Rachel Pruitt) usually give a city update and a Fort (Scott National Historic Site) representative usually announces upcoming fort events,” Madison said.

Some of the projects and ideas that have come out of the meetings include:

  • A new downtown shopping brochure was completed in 2017.
  • The Toy Soldier Project was started Christmas 2017.
  • Businesses are encouraged to decorate windows for special events, i.e. patriotic for Symbols of Sacrifice, Naturalization Ceremony, etc.
  • There is a discussion about co-op advertising opportunities for retailers to go together on, i.e. TV ads, etc.
  • A new parking sign was installed on Wall Street in the city parking lot where the depot is located, to promote additional parking downtown.
  • A short-term parking sign was installed in front of Papa Don’s, following discussion of the group.
  • Ideas for downtown events and promotions are discussed, such as 10% off items on Kansas Day if shoppers wear a sunflower, the Halloween parade, the Christmas parade, and Downtown Open House events, Sales Tax Holiday (first weekend in August), 3rd Saturday Marketplace events, including when to hold the events.
  • Informing attendees of grants/incentives available to downtown businesses.
  • A scarecrow contest was held in the past to create fall decorating.
  • New downtown banners for the light poles were the result of discussion at the meetings.
  • Ideas for new murals, for instance, to replace Star Emporium mural at the north end of Main Street.
“We are always soliciting new ideas and volunteers to help organize any type of events or promotions,” Madison said.

On January 9 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. the meet and greet will gather at Papa Don’s Restaurant, 10 N. Main to share ideas once again for the downtown area.

The goal of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce is to be a premier chamber of commerce in the region, acknowledged for leadership effectiveness, member-focused services and success, and being a go-to resource for business and community, according to its website.

For more information:


A Healthier Workplace

Fort Scott Firefighter Colten Hoggatt works out at the Fort Scott Fire Department fitness room Wednesday. The City of Fort Scott has implemented a wellness policy to incent its employee’s  to get fit.

Recently, the City of Fort Scott Commissioners implemented a  policy to engage employees in becoming more fit.

This was in response to the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team challenging businesses to develop wellness policies, Deb Needleman, human resources director with the city, said.

Other entities challenged to promote wellness and physical activity were Fort Scott Community College, Mercy Hospital, USD 234, USD 235, Peerless Products Inc., McDonald’s Restaurant, Landmark Bank and Ward Kraft Inc.

“Fort Scott Community College passed their policy recently, too,” Jody Hoener,  administrator for the Bourbon County Healthy Pathway Grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas Insurance, said. “I talked to (FSCC President) Alysia Johnston, who said they have started painting the room where their (fitness) equipment will be,” Hoener said.

“We are setting up policies to encourage employees to exercise at least three hours per week,” Needleman said. “We’ll be rolling the policy out in January to our employees.”

For her part, Needleman has started CrossFit training.

“The policy will encourage me to do CrossFit three times per week,” she said. “But any moderate physical activity that gets the heart rate going,” will work.

If she continues her fitness program for the whole month, “The following month I’ll get an incentive, a $20 reimbursement in expenses,” Needleman said.

This money can be spent on “fitness club membership, shoes, a new tire for a bicycle or anything related to physical activity”, she said.

The outcome of the policy implementation is expected to be an increase in the level of activity which is intended to help the bottom line of each entity that participates.

“When you have healthy activity, employees are more productive, there are lower health care costs and lower employee absenteeism and higher employee retention,” Needleman said.

For the incentives, employees must meet the criteria set forth in the policy, and Needleman acknowledges that not everyone will.

The policy is not mandatory, Needleman said.

Still, the city has set aside $9,000 to $15,000 in its’ budget to incent employees to get more active.

The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team will survey the city staff in August or September 2018 to find out if the level of activity has increased and thereby are approaching or meeting national standards, Needleman said.

“We will look at and re-evaluate the policy at that time,” Needleman said.

“We were about one-half of the national standard,” when surveyed prior to implementation of the policy,  she said.

Increasing activity is the goal of year one of the policy, Needleman said.

“Year two, we will look at nutrition,” she said. “Healthy eating, food choices in the workplace.”

“Year three we will look at tobacco cessation,” she said.

Each worksite is eligible for $10,000 to implement a wellness policy  Hoener said.

Firefighter Colten Hoggatt, 25, pictured, works out even on his days off for about one hour, he said. The fire department has a separate building on site that it uses as a fitness room.

Fort Scott Fire Department Captain Dale Bolinger said the fire department currently tracks physical activity of each employee and that information is included in their employment evaluation.


Hartman Spine And Joint: Two Focuses of Medicine

Husband and wife chiropractors, Dr. Heather Davis and Dr. Grant Hartman with their billing employee, Jenny Guilfoyle and receptionist, Joy Fleming.

Hartman Spine and Joint is a team of husband and wife, both chiropractic doctors, but who focused on different areas of chiropractic service.

Grant Hartman’s diploma from Logan University hangs on the wall of his practice.

Both graduated from Logan University, St. Louis, Mo.

Dr. Grant Hartman treats musculoskeletal conditions.

Following sport injury issues at Fort Scott High School, Hartman received help through chiropractic medicine. He graduated in 2008.

“I had back problems in high school in football and track,” Hartman said. “A chiropractic doctor was able to help.”

Additionally, his grandfather Ron Billiard had extensive back problems.

“I always said if I could help only one person so they wouldn’t have to go through what he went through,” Hartman said. “That’s what motivated me.”

Conditions that Dr. Grant Hartman treats.

Dr. Heather Davis, a 2006 graduate of FSHS, focused on different issues.

“I was a bodybuilder and did well,” Davis said. “But my health was devastated. I started seeing a functional medicine doctor.”

After six months of seeing improvement in her health, she changed her focus at Logan University to functional medicine.

Dr. Heather Davis’ diploma hangs on the wall of her office. She graduated magna cum laude.
A sign in the doctor’s office explains functional medicine.

The office has two employees, Joy Fleming and Jenny Guilfoyle.

Receptionist Joy Fleming schedules appointments, takes patient payments and coordinates referrals to other doctors as part of her duties at Hartman Spine and Joint.
Jenny Guilfoyle works on billing for Hartman Spine and Joint which includes insurance, billing, statements, and helping patients understand their insurance coverage.
Treatments available at Hartman Spine and Joint.

Trailer Park Sold, Property Will Be Developed

Fort Scott Estates trailer park is being cleared. The property is located on Horton, across from Fort Scott Community College.

Two Dogs Barking Real Estate, owned by Patrick Wood and Jake Gross, recently purchased Fort Scott Estates trailer park at 2170 S. Horton.

Demolition on the property was by Johnny Walker, who was hired by the previous owner, Ted Shadid.

The house that is on the property will be moved to another location, Wood said.

“Originally we purchased the property to build apartments,” Wood said. “But since then some other things are in the works that are bigger.”

Wood and Gross also own the Garrison Apartments, at 1731 S. Horton, across from Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene.

Almost all the trailers were out of the Fort Scott Estates park on Dec. 11 in this photo.
Kevin Asbury works on his mobile home Dec. 11 in preparation for moving it from Fort Scott Estates trailer park on Horton.

Sign Up Today: Sunshine Boutique $95 Gift Basket

Sunshine Boutique owner Georgia Brown, left, with friend, Rita Emmerson.

Walk into the Sunshine Boutique, 18 E. Wall, and the aroma of coffee is noticed first.

“I have coffee on all the time,” owner Georgia Brown said. “And we offer samples of hot chocolate or tea.”

“I want people to come in and feel comfortable shopping,” she said.

Sunshine Boutique offers tuxedo rental, decorating for weddings, and wedding cakes.

In addition, “All kinds of cakes, cookies, and pies,” Brown said.

But the business is most known for its’ shop full of boutique items.

See the photos below for some of the items that can be purchased in Sunshine Boutique.

Many people may not know that Brown does corporate giftings where she picks out, wraps and delivers gifts to the business. The wrap and delivery are free to customers.

Starting today, The Sunshine Boutique is offering a special give away to subscribers of FortScott.Biz. Georgia Brown is offering a gift basket valued at $95.

The winner will be chosen from among subscribers to FortScott.Biz who sign up by Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. See more details below the photos.

Georgia’s husband, Donnie, prepares to deliver corporate gifts to a local business.  Gift wrapping and delivery is a free service of Sunshine Boutique.
Brown likes to do business with companies that help others. Those businesses include some of the  dips, coffees, teas, and boutique items she sells, she said.
Angels, Christmas stockings, candles and Christmas decorations are sold at Sunshine Boutique.
Shoppers can find wall decor and table decor at the store.
Purchase Fiesta ware and Christmas decorations at Sunshine Boutique.
Unique dips and mixes can be purchased at the store.
Shelves of handmade unbreakable nativity figurines by Fontanini are featured.
One of the Fontanini nativity scenes that Brown sells at the shop.
Many specialty loose leaf teas are offered at Sunshine Boutique.
Georgia Brown grinds coffee beans for the gift basket giveaway.
Many varieties of coffee beans can be purchased and the beans ground by owner Georgia Brown, in the store.

The Sunshine Boutique is offering a special give away to subscribers of FortScott.Biz. The owner is offering a gift basket valued at $95.

The winner will be chosen from among subscribers to FortScott.Biz 

So make sure you signup by CLICKING HERE if you don’t already get our emails.

We’ll draw a winner on Dec. 20 at 10 a.m.

Be sure to watch your emails because you’ll have 24 hours to respond before we select a new winner.

Some details about entering the contest:

  • You have to be subscribed to the list to enter. That means you’ll need to type in your email address and then confirm the subscription.
  • You can enter from this link or use the form on the right-hand side of the page.
  • You’ll need to come to Fort Scott to claim the prize. If you live in Alaska, this might not be cost effective for you.
  • The winner will be announced and have their picture posted to the site. This probably isn’t a good contest for people in the witness protection program.
  • If you are under 18, you’ll need a guardian to accept it on your behalf.

New “Tiny” Houses In Production

New construction is going on at the corner of 6th and Lowman Streets.

Business owner Mike Rogers is hoping his new venture is good for the community.

The venture is building four small rental houses at the corner of 6th and Lowman Streets.

The houses might not be considered tiny, but with each at 782 square feet,  they are small.

People just starting out or people at the other end of the spectrum, ” Those looking for a more efficient lifestyle,” Rory Chaplin, the coordinator with 3RK, said.

“They are not big,” Rogers said. “They are the size of an apartment. They’ll have 36-inch doors, so they are wheelchair accessible. They have no steps.”

There will be 18 feet between houses, which allows for a small yard with a privacy fence. Each house will have two designated parking spaces.

Construction began about a month ago on the project. The summer of 2018 is the expected availability dates for the rentals.

Rogers new business, 3RK, is building and managing rental houses.

He also owns R2 Concrete, which is doing all the concrete work for the project. In addition, he is sub-contracting parts of the project to Geiger Plumbing, Jeff Allen Electric, and Casper Enterprises, Rogers said.

“We may have other businesses involved, as well,” Chaplin said.

The amount of rent to be charged per unit is undetermined at this time, he said.



The Watts Of Smallville Are Superman “Nerds”

Submitted photo. Aaron and Lindsey Watts, owners of Smallville Crossfit Fort Scott.

Aaron and Lindsey Watts are Superman “nerds”.

That’s why they named their business Smallville Crossfit Fort Scott.

“Smallville is a small town in Kansas, where Superman grew up,” Lindsey said.  Aaron was called Clark Kent/Superman while serving in the army, she said. Lindsey was from Fort Scott, Aaron lived in Fort Scott for a while when younger.

In December 2016, Aaron was honorably discharged from the army, following seven years of military service. He was stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C. and also Fort Campbell, Kentucky and served in Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan.

“At Fort Campbell, we found Crossfit,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia in the seventh grade.

“Doctors told me all the activities you weren’t supposed to do,” she said. “I was taking 5 to 10 pills, two to three times a day. Nothing was helping.”

“I would sleep all the time.”

When Aaron and Lindsey got married eight years ago, they started “putting on weight,” she said. Aaron then started fitness training and together they started doing bodybuilding-type workouts.

“I found when I put stress on my body I felt better, less pain, less fatigue,” she said. “That intrigued Aaron. He learned about things to do in fitness. We’d go to the gym four to five times a week.”

Lindsey’s health improved.

That inspired Aaron to be a fitness coach in thinking about a job following his army career.

Lindsay always wanted to own a business, someday.

On June 1, 2017, they purchased the fitness business at 13 S. National Avenue. Lindsey is the business manager, Aaron writes the fitness programs and is the gym manager, with both husband and wife coaching the Crossfit members.

There are over 100 members currently.

CrossFit packages are $90 for unlimited contracts, $80 for student unlimited and a 10 class punch card for children for $80.

Two beginners classes will be offered in January. A beginner class is $50 for a one week class.

“We go over nine foundational movements and diagnose our athletes and find restrictions and teach them the movements they are capable of,” Lindsey said.

New hours for the business as of December 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes start at 5 a.m. with the last class at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday have fewer classes offered. Saturday is open gym from 8 to 11 a.m. most Saturdays. Fit Kids is offered Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Aaron writes programming and training for the volleyball and baseball teams at Fort Scott Community College, as well.

For more information contact the Watts at 620-719-9602 or check them out on their Facebook page Smallville Crossfit.




Fort Scott’s Price Chopper To Open Dec. 13 According To CFO

The cover sheet for the Price Chopper Fort Scott plans.

Citing “unforeseen issues” at the delayed store opening, Dennis Riley, Chief Financial Officer of Price Chopper, said the new grocery store will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, December 13, not December 6.

“Barring any other unforeseen issues, we will open Dec. 13,” Riley said. “We wish it would have been sooner… Everything will be open and operating and ready for the citizens of Fort Scott .”

“Late August is when demolition began,” Riley said. “It’s been a top to bottom remodel and a relocation of the flow of the store.”

The store is similar to the Price Chopper in Paola, Riley said.

“We have a heavy emphasis on fresh foods,” he said. “We are proud of our meat department and our produce department.”

There will be a cut fruit and salad bar where people can dine in, Riley said.

The Dunkin’ Donuts area has a drive-up window feature.

Price Chopper Fort Scott currently has 120 employees and is located at 2322 S. Main Street on the city’s south side.

The site was formerly Woods Supermarket.

Barry Queen is the owner of the store and has family ties to the Fort Scott area, Riley said.