Category Archives: Business

Espressly For You

Expressly For You is a coffee shop located 19th street and 69 across from Shepherd’s car dealership. It is owned by Judy and Phil Friedrick and opened for business about 5 1/2 years ago.

Jackie Webster looks out the drive through window.

Expressly For You serves breakfast and lunch with specialty drinks, soups, waffles, cookies, sandwiches and much more.

When I visited I spoke with Jackie Webster who was working the front. She said that most everything they serve is homemade. She said it can take a few minutes to make the drinks or cook a waffle. If customers are in a hurry they can call ahead so it will be ready when they arrive.

The inside of the store is nice decorated, clean and friendly. Having never been in the store, it was quite a bit bigger than I expected.

Expressly For You is open 7 – 2 on Monday through Friday for drive up and in store service. If you want to call ahead, their number is 620-223-1333.

Chamber Coffee – Ruddicks

The Chamber Coffee on December 1st was held at Ruddicks at 117 S. National. Ruddicks was started in 1934. The current owner is Terry Davenport. He has been at Ruddicks for 40  years–first as an employee and now as owner.

In addition to furniture, Ruddicks also offers sound equipment and floor materials and installation. Mr. Davenport said that they can order nearly anything and encouraged people to ask if they need something that they don’t have in stock.

 

Larkin Witt Christmas Open House

Larkin Witt Financial Group held an open house December 1st from 10 to 2 at their office at 207 E. 1st Street.  The event drew quite a number of people with over 60 individuals visiting before noon.

Bob Larkin has been involved in financial services for over 40 years. His first office was in Security State Bank in 1974. He grew up on a farm in Fulton, still farms today and was even the co-owner of a local John Deere dealership.

Jordan Witt graduated from PSU (finance) and KU (MBA) and is heavily involved in the Fort Scott community. In the last election he successfully ran for the U234 school board and has been serving there.

The office recently launched their new website at www.larkinwitt.com. The site has a number of financial calculators, articles, research and forms for requesting quotes on insurance and other services.

Hairbow Center

In 2008 Kristi Banwart started making hair bows for her daughter and even sold a few of them at craft shows. She soon found that there was a big need for quality ribbons and other supplies for her projects. Eventually she purchased a large supply of good ribbon, but it was much more than she could use on her own. After listing for sale online, she found there were a lot of people looking for the same thing and the ribbon sold quickly.

There are probably thousands of hairbow makers across the US, who have run into the same problems locating good ribbon making supplies. Most people just stop at this point and make do with what they can get, but Kristi’s entrepreneurial streak kicked in. She began researching global suppliers and looking for manufacturers who could make high quality ribbon.

Finally she sat down with her husband, Trent, and asked, “How much do we have on our home equity line of credit?” And that is how Hairbow Center was started.

With the line of credit, the Banwarts were able to order a shipping container full of high quality grosgrain ribbon, hair clips, and all the other supplies that you need to make hair bows.

As the first container crossed the ocean on its way to Fort Scott, Trent mentally calculated how long it would take to sell the inventory based the bulk products they were splitting up and selling. The answer was measured in decades.

When it arrived, the inventory filled their garage. With an online webstore to sell the product, sales exploded. People all over the world discovered that www.hairbowcenter.com in Fort Scott Kansas was the place to go for quality ribbon and quick shipments.

Trent didn’t have to worry about his garage being stuck with the original inventory, but it wasn’t long before the garage couldn’t fit all the product they needed to inventory.

Eventually they built a warehouse on the East side of Fort Scott. They now have 7 employees working out of the 6,500 square foot, high efficiency facility where they ship an average of 100 orders each day and maintain an inventory of over 3,000 items.

The Hairbow Center is now creating ribbon with custom printed designs and even a custom line of specialty ruffled ribbon. So some of the products shipped from their warehouse aren’t available anywhere else in the world except Fort Scott.

Rural Kansas isn’t usually the first place businesses think of to build a large online business, but Haribow Center is finding a lot of advantages in Bourbon County. Land, electricity, construction and labor are all relatively inexpensive. By selling on the Internet, the Banwarts are able to stay a part of the community they love while tapping into a global demand for their products.

Edward Jones Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Edward Jones office today at noon. Approximately 35 people attended the event. Jamie Armstrong (Financial Advisor) and Tedena Tucker (Branch Office Administrator) will both be working in the new location at 1713 S. National Suite B. The office is right next to subway in a section of the building that used to be the Movie Gallery.

Edward Jones provides financial services to nearly 7 million clients in the United States and Canada.

Edward D. Jones Ribbon Cutting Friday

At 12 noon on Friday there will be a ribbon cutting for the new Edward D. Jones location at 1713 S. National Suite B (next to Subway). The public is invited and light refreshments will be served. Come to help welcome Jamie Armstrong and Tedena Tucker in their new office.

Pet Store Coming To Fort Scott

Fort Scott will have a new petstore called Everything Pets. The new petstore will be next door to the gas station at 6th and National.

Owner, Dawn Bryant, plans to open next Saturday on November 12th. A variety of birds, hamsters and guinea pigs have already taken up residence in cages and are waiting for opening day.

The new store will fill a void left by the closing of Pets n Pets a few months ago.

 

Cowboys Like Us Is Open For Business

Saturday a new store opened downtown at 118 E Wall Street. Cowboys Like Us is a western wear and equipment store that caters to the needs of cowboy/cowgirls. The store is owned by Chelse and Yance Day who are students at the Juco. Fiance Cassie Johnson and mother Sherry Day also help run the store.

Cowboys Like Us carries a large selection of new and used equipment and clothing and name brands like Chinch, Stetson, and Serratelli. They also have rodeo equipment like helmets, vests, ropes, goat strings and tack supplies.

The goal for the store is to give people a way to shop local without needing to go to Kansas City  or Pittsburg. In addition to the new goods, the store also takes used items on consignment. Cassie Johnson said, “It’s good to have consignment items for college kids” because it helps keep the cost down and provides an outlet to sell equipment that is no longer needed.

They are working on setting up a Cowboy Wall Of Fame to help highlight local rodeo heroes.

Cowboys Like Us is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Be sure to stop in and show your support for Fort Scott’s newest local business.

Job Fair November 10th

On November 10th, the Chamber, City of Fort Scott, and KansasWorks will be hosting a job fair at the Danny & Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center on the campus of Fort Scott Community College. The event will run from 10am until 2pm allowing potential employees to stop by on their lunch break.

If you are a potential employer, please contact the Chamber about getting a booth. If you are a potential employee, you might take a look at this resume template created by a graphic designer for Microsoft Word to get you started with a fresh look. Also, you may be interested in taking a look at these 10 Articles On Creating the Perfect Resume for some tips and ideas.

The Buffalo Grill to Close

The Buffalo Grill’s last day with be October 22nd.  The announcement email that went out was signed by Dean & Becky Mann. It cited a statistic that fast food chains have seen a 22% decrease in customer visits over the last five years and that the pace had accelerated at the beginning of this year.

The River Room will still be available for rent as will the space where The Buffalo Grill restaurant is currently.

Old Middle School – New Owner

The previous owners of the Fort Scott Middle School gave up on their plans to turn it into an art center after partially renovated some of the rooms into a very modern looking apartment.  The fate of the building has been uncertain for some time.

If you’ve driven by the old Fort Scott Middle School in the past few days, you’ve probably noticed a “Sold” sign in the yard.  The property was purchased by Paul Feeney and his wife. Their goal is to turn the building into a large entertainment venue. They plan to start off with indoor electric race carts and eventually add a video arcade, rock climbing wall and a restaurant. They would also like to look at renovating the auditorium so it could be used for events.

Paul said it is a long term project, but they are moving to Fort Scott in the next few weeks and plan to live here full time. The initial attractions probably won’t open for two years because there is going to be a lot of work necessary to renovate the building to accomodate the planned changes and he is expecting some regulatory hurdles particularly concerning retrofitting an older building for handicap access.

The work will be self funded and they are not seeking for outside investors. However, they are open to partnering with local businesses. For example if a local restaurant was interested in opening a location in the building once the attractions are running, they would prefer to partner with an existing business rather than opening up competition. Paul said, “The last thing we want to do is to step on anyone’s toes.”

The big difference between some of the other failures in this type of building is that we are going to be in the town and living in the building. This isn’t going to be an offsite project done remotely. ~ Paul Feeney

Paul is 43 years old and a veteran of the automotive industry in California. He said his goal is for the project to support itself. He and his wife are very excited to being part of a smaller community like Fort Scott.


Here are some photos of the middle school from the real estate site where it was offered for sale. These pictures are several years old, so there has probably been some deterioration.