Category Archives: Business

Jukebox Barber Shop

Jake “Jukebox” Johnson was born in Fort Scott, but raised in Iola. He was attending FSCC when he decided to stop by Boone’s Barber Shop to ask about careers as a barber. Encouraged by what he learned, Mr. Johnson enrolled in Wichita’s Old Town Barber College. After graduating 11 1/2 months later he took a job at Boone’s Barber Shop.

Now he is starting his own business with the Jukebox Barber Shop at 15 E. Wall Street where he offers $10 haircuts and $10 shaves. On a recent visit a record player in the corner was playing Johnny Cash and there were a number of guitars on display on the wall.

Mr. Johnson said the guitars are for sale. He also has strings, picks and other supplies that he said are hard to find in Fort Scott. He also offers guitar lessons. His goal with the guitar, lessons and supplies isn’t to make a large profit–he just wants to get more people interested in music.

The Jukebox Barber Shop is open from 8 to 7 Tuesday through Friday and 8 to 1 on Saturday. The telephone number for voice and text is 620-224-7798. The shops website is:





Boeing Plans to Close Wichita Plant

Boeing has announced plans to close their Wichita plant which will cut over 2,000 jobs. According to Senator Moran, less than a year ago Boeing had pledged to add 7,500 jobs to the Kansas location as part of the tanker contract they were awarded.

City officials from Wichita helped Boeing in their efforts to win the tanker contract based on the new jobs it would create, so they feel a bit betrayed that the aviation/defense company chose to not only move the tanker jobs to Oklahoma City and San Antonio, but also shutdown the rest of their Kansas operations.

Officials were also disappointed that Boeing didn’t talk to them about the changes before making the announcement so they weren’t able to offer any incentive for the corporation to stay.


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 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 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.