Category Archives: Food

Good Ol’ Days Begins At The End Of May: Lavetta Simmons Is the Parade Grand Marshal



Good Ol’ Days on Main Street, 2023.

The 43rd annual Fort Scott Good Ol’ Days will happen May 31 through June 1 with the theme “Where Our History Comes to Life” said the steering committee chairman, Shawn O’Brien.

The kick-off is Friday, May 31,  from 4:30-6 p.m. with the chicken dinner catered by Chicken Marys for $10 for a two-piece dinner including  German potato salad, creamy cole slaw bread, and water.
“You can purchase your tickets at the Fort Scott Chamber office, 231 E. Wall,” O’Brien said. ” Pick up will be at the corner of Wall and Main.  You can drive through on the east side at Wall Street and Scott Avenue.”
The beginning of the parade in 2019.
“The largest parade of the year starts  Friday at 6 p.m. at 6th and Main Street,” he said.  “We are delighted to announce that Lavetta Simmons has been selected as this year’s Grand Marshal. Each year, our committee has the privilege of recognizing individuals who stand out and shine in our community, and Lavetta’s unwavering dedication to Care to Share has truly captured our hearts.”
Lavetta Simmons was one of the founders of Care to Share, an organization that supports cancer patients and their families.
“Lavetta’s heartfelt commitment to Care to Share over the years has left an indelible mark on countless lives,” he said. “Her compassion and kindness have provided solace and support to numerous cancer victims, survivors, as well as their families and friends. Though Lavetta has retired from her role at Care to Share, her dedication to service continues as she now attends to her family, serving as the epitome of the best babysitter. Join us in celebrating Lavetta Simmons and her remarkable contributions to our community.”
“This year we will feature some great entertainment on the stage at Skubitz Plaza,” O’Brien said. “Friday night will kick off at 7 p.m. with Nathan Ast Band followed by Blane Howard. Blane returns to Fort Scott for his second show. We are excited to host him again as he always has a great show.”
The stage at Skubitz Plaza will feature free entertainment.
“We will have local artists Jericho Jones and Holly Crays on Saturday, he said.  “Then finish out the Saturday evening with Left of Center which will play some great music along with karaoke. Bring your lawn chairs and come out and enjoy live music that features some great artists.
“The Red Garter show will return thanks to Kenny Clary and his wonderful group,” he said. “They always have an energy-packed show. This year they will have their show in the Liberty Theatre. We are excited to partner with a generous sponsor to host this show in the beautiful downtown Liberty Theatre.”
The Red Garter show will kick off Friday at 7 p.m. for one show, then resume Saturday at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a show every hour.
Jared Leek in the Good Ol’ Days parade in 2016.
“Jared Leek, owner of Liberty Theatre, an icon of the parade, will appear on the magical bike and we are so thankful for all the years that he has represented something that dates back to the start of the Good Ol’ Days”.

Many great family activities are planned for Saturday.

“We will have a bounce house at 3rd and Main Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $5 unlimited bouncing. Tulsa Gelly Ball will return this year at 2nd and Main. They have always been a family fun event. There is a cost for each participant, hide, roll, and avoid being shot at through a maze of obstacles. We will also offer free balloon artist and caricature drawings. These have been a great hit over the past few years.”

“We have some new food trucks coming in, and locals that will feature tacos, burgers, chicken, Hawaiian dishes, BBQ, fried fish, fried Oreos, funnel cakes, and much more,” he said.
Good Ol’ Days food truck.
‘The food trucks are always a huge hit as they feature fun options that we can’t get locally. We are excited to feature some new food that we have not had before,” he said.
Vendors and sponsors are needed for the event.
The steering committee chairman is O’Brien, Vice Chair Charlotte Thompson, Secretary Kayla Hall, Treasurer Cheryl VanHoecke, Fort Scott National Historic Site representative Carl Brenner, and members, Tim VanHoecke, Shaylynn Clements, Angel Wilson, and Trey Sharp.
To learn more:
O’Brien has been on the committee for 11 years and chairman for 5 years.
Shawn O’Brien,
“I want to thank our community for their generous support and contributions,” he said. “Our festival would not be possible without so many volunteers and passionate people. The City of Fort Scott is gracious with their city workers, the Fire department and Police department and so many countless others.”
“This will be my last year as chairman, and I am looking forward to enjoying the Good Ol’ Days as I did 12 years ago strolling down the street and enjoying the food, crafts, and fun,” he said. “If you would like to become a part of the committee, please let me know as we are looking for people to join our fun team.”

Fundraiser for Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries is Sunday, May 5 at 1st Baptist Church

Sunday May 5th from 12pm-1pm at First Baptist Church of Fort Scott, 123 Scott Ave. the church will host a bake sale fundraiser for Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries.
Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries helps our community with:
-gas voucher to get to medical appointments/work
-non-narcotic medications
-shoes/clothes for work
-diabetic supplies
-incontinence pads
-baby diapers
-wheelchair/crutches on loan
-resource assistance
-homeless kits
-needs to establish employment
-and more
-100% of donations stay in Fort Scott and goes to helping our community.
If you can’t make it to the Bake Sale and still want to help support this resource in our community-you can feel free to reach out to Tanya Glessner or Angela Handly.

Working Past Health Issues, Spurgeon Builds a Cottage Business

Bree Spurgeon. Submitted photo.

Bree Spurgeon started her cottage industry of specialty cookies in 2017.

A cottage industry is a small business in which people work in their own homes, according to Cambridge Dictionary.

The first business was named The Cookie MOMster, from a suggestion by her daughter.

“I started The Cookie MOMster in 2017 after taking Financial Peace University at the Nazarene church,” Spurgeon said.

She said she is domestic and crafty and thought she’d make some cookies for Valentine’s Day and advertise on Facebook.

“Next thing I know, I’m taking orders, making sheet cakes, cupcakes, and cookies,” she said.

Spurgeon is disabled with Cystic Fibrosis,  which was diagnosed at three months of age.

“I wasn’t able to hold down a full-time job, with my lungs, at that time, because of the previous infections that have damaged my lungs,” she said. “Medication came out in 2019 that changed my health for the better. Now I have a second chance at life without a lung transplant.  I can pretty much live a normal life, without gasping for air. I got my life back.”

But carpal tunnel syndrome began in her hands.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually start gradually and include tingling, numbness and weakness in her hands.

“It was excruciating enough to make me think of quitting, and I was experiencing burnout,” Spurgeon said.

She shifted gears and began to work at Bids and Dibs consignment store in the downtown area of Fort Scott.

“So I went to work at Bids and Dibs and eventually got over my burnout,” she said.

She began massage therapy for the carpal tunnel and started to get excited about making cookies again.

Submitted photos of B-Licious creations.

She started thinking about getting licensure for her cookie-making business.

“My daughter originally named me The Cookie MOMster, but since someone in Kansas has that name already, I’m not able to have it,” she said.

A month of agonizing over a name began.

Then one of her best friends sent the name B-Licious Cookies, for her to consider.

It combines the word delicious, which helped describe her cookies.

“My name starts with a B, I thought, that’s it, that’s my business name!” she said.

Spurgeon self-taught herself cookie baking.

“As I watched countless videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, I discovered royal icing and I fell in love,” she said. Royal icing is a type of icing composed of sugar, egg whites, and sometimes flavoring or coloring that dries to a hard glaze and is used for decorating baked goods, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

She began to focus on royal icing,

“I stopped doing buttercream, cakes, and cupcakes and focused on royal icing,” she said. “I look back on those days when I first started royal icing and they were so terrible, but everyone was so encouraging and you have to start somewhere. Plus, it was so much easier with carpal tunnel.”

“Fast forward to 2024, I fully own my own business and Healthy Bourbon County Action Team helped me gain my LLC wings,” she said. “The process was super easy and fast and they gave me all the information I needed to continue moving forward at the beginning of April.”

“I do not need a license because I do not use cream cheese and my final product doesn’t need refrigerated. I operate under the cottage law. I do everything at home and only make sugar cookies with royal icing.”

She has been honing her cookie decorating skills and now uses a cookie projector to download clipart about a particular theme onto a flash drive, put it into the projector and the image projects onto the cookie, then she traces it with icing.

The cookies before decorating. Submitted photo.

“I also use an airbrush and sometimes and I use cookie stencils as a background before I put the image on the cookie,” she said.

She advertises through Facebook only.

Cookies are priced $25 – $35 per dozen “depending on the difficulty of the theme.”

Spurgeon can be contacted at 620-215-6141.


Fort Scott’s Scout Troop 114 Is Raising Money For Camp: Breakfast on the Bricks May11

Fort Scott Scout Troop 114  will be serving pancakes at the Farmers Market at the Pavilion on May 11.

“It costs about $350 per scout to attend summer camp,” according to Mandi Widder, who submitted the information. “We are trying to offset the cost for families this year. We are hoping to take both the girls and boys troops this year. The scouts range from age 11 to age 16.”

Suzanne Griffin Is Now Creating Goodies at Common Ground Coffee Shop


Some of Common Ground Coffee Company’s employees from left to right: Sutton Shelden, Heidi Shrakes, Suzanne Griffin, Sam Burenheide, and Ellen Maher.
Suzanne Griffen, former owner of Twigs and Berries Catering, became a part of the Common Ground Coffee Co. team on March 25
 as a baker.
Suzanne Griffin. Submitted photo.
“Suzanne will help keep our pastry cabinet full, along with doing any catering and special events,” according to Stacy Racy, a Common Ground volunteer. “We are excited to fill our calendar with fun events for our community.”
A creation of Griffin, cookie butter cake. I submitted photo.
“You’re welcome to contact Suzanne directly for any of your catering needs or contact Common Grounds at 620-223-2499, according to Racy. “We are excited to see what God has in store for Common Ground over the next year.”
A creation of Griffin, a circus animal cake. Submitted photo.
“I do not have any set hours, but find myself going in almost daily,” Griffin said. “We are combining each of our specialties to work together.”
A dessert by Griffin, ham and cheddar quiche. Submitted photo.
She said her beginning at the coffee shop is bad news/good news story.
She had been working in her catering business from home and wasn’t licensed to do so.
” I knew I was taking a risk, but I really just wanted to be home,” she said. ” I’ve always been a stay-at-home mom.  On March 12th, we were served a notice to cease from the Kansas Department of Agriculture.  It was disheartening because it was part of the income we relied upon.  It was frustrating that whoever felt strong enough to report us, did so and anonymously.  It was confusing because everyone who picked up food from me, knew I was working from my home kitchen and didn’t care.”
A chocolate dessert by Griffin., chocolate bundt cake with a shot of expresso. Submitted photo.
Some of her clients in that business were widows who didn’t want to go out to eat alone,  families fighting cancer,  older couples who didn’t want to cook for just two people, moms who worked and wanted home-cooked meals but were exhausted after working all day, according to Griffin.
“It felt like we were doing more than feeding,” she said.  “We were helping fill a gap, building friendships, caring in a way I know how.  I really didn’t know what I would do next.  Take a job? But I didn’t want to be gone all day.  We have two kids homeschooling.  Convert the house next door? But then we have additional overhead also.”
 ” The very next day, Stacy Racy and Heidi Shrakes (the manager)from Common Ground and I chatted,” she said.
“We attend church together at Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene which owns Common Ground and our hearts for the coffee shop align to have a place of ministry and outreach by way of serving our customers and providing a peaceful and encouraging environment to others to gather, study, hang out.  For me, to hug as many necks as possible in a day.  To put prayers on the prayer wall, to serve delicious food.”
She prays daily for the prayer requests left  on the wall in the coffee shop and , “for our foods to stretch, for the calendar to fill up with activites, that God will meet each of our customer’s needs and they will feel loved as they come and go.”
A Griffin charcuterie tray. Submitted photo.
Hours the shop is open: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturday from  8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The shop serves coffee, teas, lemonade, drinks, smoothies, and dozens of different syrups which makes the flavor options unlimited, she said.
“You could try something different every day,” she said.  “We also have amazing cookies,  breakfast sandwiches, wraps, salad, chicken salad, and a mixture of pastries and desserts.”

There are approximately nine employees.

“There are also several that completely volunteer their time,” Griffin said.

Shead Farm Homestead Festival: Learning To Produce What You Need AND More

Since the pandemic, many people have been looking at a lifestyle that includes purchasing local products and growing their food, or at the least, knowing nearby local producers.
The fourth annual Shead Farm Homestead Festival event will happen on May 18, southeast of Fort Scott. This educational and family-fun event has attempted to help those people.
Photo opportunities will be available at the festival. Submitted photo.
Homesteading is moving towards food security by means of producing one’s own animals and gardens.
Larry and Vickie Shead and their extended family have provided people with an event where people can gather tips on gardening, homesteading,  grafting fruit trees, beekeeping,  orchard care, and soap-making, and many others.
Vickie and Larry Shead, 2020, from her Facebook page.
This year over 50 vendors related to homesteading, along with family activities are scheduled.
Besides new vendors and activities, there will be a speakers’ tent where people can listen to a question and answer time on various homestead topics.
“A chapel is provided for those who may need prayer or just want some  Biblical insight,” Vickie said.
Over 150 volunteers have been working to create a memorable time, on Saturday, May 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Tickets are $5.00 each or $25.00 for a family of five or more.
“There will be good old fashion and exciting, memory-making events that young and old will not want to miss,” Vickie said.  “There are plenty of places to sit down and relax for a good visit with old friends and neighbors while watching the exciting activities taking place.”
Historical demonstrations to view: blacksmithing, broom making, butter making, wooden spoon making, leather working, rock wall building, and a weaver who demonstrates on an 1864 old barn wood loom, as well as showing how to spin. There will be a Model T Ford and a Model A Ford for viewing with early 1900s music playing on a Victrola nearby.
Educational vendors will share information on growing microgreens, making butter, washing clothes without electricity, creating with macrame, making goat milk soap, milking a cow, making jams and jellies, and creating pictures with pastels.  One can also learn about making pottery, sourdough bread, and how to harvest maple syrup.  And many beautiful quilts will be on display, she said.
“Children can enjoy the Children’s Center’s huge tent full of new, fun, educational, and exciting activities,” Vickie said.  “The little children can gather bugs in their bag and turn them in for a prize.  Face painting and a Story Station give a moment of rest for children. New this year will be a huge sand pile with treasures to find.  New, also a Kids’ Corner Store with many farm and educational toys.”
An Animal Arena displays donkeys, goats, dogs, cows, sheep, and a pig. Poultry will be roaming the area with peacocks, chickens, guineas, ducks, turkeys, and quail. Children and adults can learn the techniques of roping along with other fun animal activities, and additionally, there will be kittens, rabbits, and quail.
The Food Court has expanded to include pulled pork sandwiches, as well as the festival’s famous Walking Tacos, she said. Snacks are in abundance with kettle corn and homemade potato chips, cotton candy, and bakery bargains. Snack Shack items are dried candy fruits, and many other snacks.
“A variety of refreshing drinks will be available such as hot and cold coffees, cocoa; lemonade, and homemade refreshing root beer,” she said.
“Hope to see you all for this wonderful family and friend’s event,” she said.
An aerial view of the Shead Farm Homestead Festival. Submitted photo.

Kelly Perry: Kansas State Food Fellow Offers Free Workshop For Local Food Sellers

Kelly Perry. Sumbitted photo.

Kelly Perry answered a job ad from the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team posting in October, 2023 for a local food fellow position.

“I was so excited and quickly applied and in January was interviewed by Amanda Lindahl, Local Food System Program Coordinator with Kansas State, and Rachel Carpenter with HBCAT,” she said. ” I love food, small business, and local so this was right up my alley.  The duties were pretty vast for an 18-week program that is brand new across the state…and I landed this awesome opportunity!”
“As part of my job duties, I am required to hold an educational workshop,” she said. “I wanted to focus on food labeling at the farmers market. I know our local Fort Scott Farmers Market is growing like crazy, pun intended. I figured it would be a great topic for people to learn what the state requires at pop-up shops, festivals, bake sales, and farmers’ markets. I also wanted to cover the proper food licenses required by the state.”
“The main reason for this is that I receive about three calls, texts, or messages a week asking food-related questions from everyday people who own, run, or are thinking of starting a business full-time, part-time, or occasionally,” she said.
Kelly and her husband Thadeus Perry own Perry’s Pork Rinds and Country Store in Bronson.

“People know me and know I’m willing to help if I can,” she said. “Sometimes people get intimidated or scared of the inspectors or do not know who to contact to ask the questions so that leads them to me. I, for one, have had to attend countless seminars, online Zoom meetings, and hours of reading to learn about my family’s business Perry’s Pork Rinds, and our food laws and regulations.”

“I remember having the state Inspector show up at our front door needing to look over our home-based business back in 2018,” Perry said. “I remember the federal meat inspector showing up as well, due to the product we make being a meat product. I cried each time someone would flash their badge at the front door and I’d panic. After years of visits, and our yearly renewal inspections I came to realize food inspection, safety, and visits were not intimidating or anything to be scared of.”
“They had a job to do and if we were doing something wrong they would answer questions and tell us what to do to fix it and be in compliance,” she said. ” It’s in the state’s best interest to HAVE business in operation and to generate revenue. They want the businesses but they also have standards and regulations to help keep us all safe, both the consumer as well as the producer.”
“I figured a food license discussion would help so many who were just unsure, curious or didn’t know where to start,” she said.
The workshop is FREE to anyone from any part of the state, from 6-8 p.m. at the HBCAT offices, 104 N. National Avenue on Monday, April 15.
“We ask that you register so we can make sure to have enough handouts and packets created,” she said.
“We are so fortunate to have From the Land of Kansas’s very own Robyn Dolby attend and present a slide show and answer questions,” Perry said. “We will also have the K-State Local Food System Program Coordinator Amanda Lindahl coming to discuss the Local Food Fellow Program as well.”
Robin Dolby, From the Land of Kansas Marketing Coordinator, Kansas Dept. of Agriculture. Submitted photo.
Amanda Lindahl from her LinkedIn page.
“My goal with this Local Food Fellow position and HBCAT goal is to provide knowledge, access to resources, and networking,” she said. “We can then grow as producers, growers, suppliers, and a community! HBCAT always has the saying  Stronger Together and it is just that simple.”
 A description for the position she accepted is
– Update the Bourbon County Wholesale Food Directory
– Create a storytelling campaign on food-related business.
– Organize an Educational Workshop in Bourbon County.
– Complete the final report to be submitted to the K-State Research and Extension Local Food Systems Program Coordinator

The Farmers Market Vendors Meeting Starts the 2024 Season This Evening

Tomatoes for sale at Fort Scott Farmers Market in 2018.

After several years of planning and execution, the Fort Scott Farmers Market will be under the new pavilion on North National Avenue on May 4.

Tonight is the first vendor’s meeting of the season. This meeting is for returning vendors and anyone interested in becoming a vendor in 2024, Teri Hamilton, president of Fort Scott Farmers Market said.

Teri Hamilton. Submitted photo.

The meeting is at the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team office at 104 N. National Avenue,  across the street from the pavilion, from 6-8 p.m.

At tonight’s meeting, there will be introductions,  information about market guidelines, applications, and fees “and a time to get to know each other a little better,” she said.

Vendors are not just farmers, “but we give preference to farmers and agriculture businesses,” Hamilton said.

“There are also baked goods and craft vendors,” she said. “We have 15 returning vendors.”

“We have space for up to 24 under the pavilion,” Hamilton said.

“The vendors will park in the parking spaces under the pavilion and the customers will go around to each vendor in the parking stall,” she said.

If more than that number of vendors want to be a part of the market, the vendor spaces will have to be reconfigured, and will be thoroughly discussed, she said.

The Farmers Market Committee comprises Hamilton, owner of Hamilton’s Artisan Bakery, as president; Ethan Holly, treasurer,  of Still Waters Farm; and Leanna Cain, secretary, of Sweet County Farms.

Vendors pay $5 a week for a vendor space, and if payment is given for the whole year, it is $4 a week, she said.

The market is open on Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, starting on May 4 and continuing until the end of October.

There is a Healthy Bourbon County Action Team workshop on April 15 that will focus on how to get a license to sell at a farmers market, food laws and food safety.

“We want our vendors to have access to that resource,” she said.

Hamilton said the group is so thankful for the new space.

“The pavilion is so wonderful,” she said. “We are so thankful for the project and all the fundraising that took place and they didn’t have to give us the priority,” she said.

On opening day, May 4, there will be a ribbon cutting, live music and speakers for the pavilion’s first farmers market, Hamilton said. The Bourbon County Garden Club always has a live plant sale on the first day of the market season as well.

For more information, call Hamilton at 816-491-7884.

To see the latest on the Fort Scott Farmers Market:

A view of a 2017 Fort Scott Farmers Market on Skubitz Plaza.

Easter Egg Hunters Are Invited To Gunn Park This Saturday

Egg hunters begin their search at the Fort Scott Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt, on April 1, 2023. Submitted photo.

The Fort Scott Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt is this Saturday, March 23 at 11 a.m. sharp at Gunn Park Shelter #2. The event is for children preschool through fifth grade, with participants bringing their own Easter baskets to gather the goodies in.

The Kiwanis-sponsored event is always the Saturday before the Easter weekend.

“We recommend people get there at 10:30 a.m.,” Kiwanis President John Crain said. There is always a crowd and it may take a while to get to the child’s age-designated area.

“It’s over at 11:07,” said event coordinator Bob Eckles with a chuckle.

The Easter bunny in the 2009 egg hunt.

The Easter Bunny will be there, so parents can get a snapshot of their children with him.

“Kiwanis packs the goodies on Thursday at 6 p.m. before the event,” Eckles said. “We get help from the Key Club at the high school.”

They usually spend several hundred dollars on candy, but this year “Candy is more expensive, especially chocolate,” Eckles said.

In some of the eggs are coupons from local businesses: Hedgehog Book Store, Dairy Queen Restaurant, McDonalds Restaurant, NuGrille and Flowers By Leanna.

Cash donations for the event are from: R and R Equipment; Diehl, Fletcher and Banwart CPA;Don’s Spirits and Wines; Merle Humphrey Insurance and Photography; Iron Star Antiques; Big Sugar Lumber; Bids and Dibs Consignment and Walmart.


Florida Strawberries Are Coming To Bronson

Sending on behalf of Chamber Member Perry’s Pork Rinds & Country Store…


Perry Pork Rinds is partnering with Hill Top Farmz to bring you the PERFECT treat! These strawberries are picked at the perfect time placed in an open flat, immediately put into a refrigerator truck and brought to their store directly from Florida!

Reserve your flat just in time for Easter!

Each flat is $25 and approximately 12lbs each.

Click here to fill out the form and to reserve your spot. They accept payment upon pick up.

Thank you to our Chamber Champion members below!
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Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Cooking for One or Two

Clara Misenhelter (Wicoff) Submitted photo 2023

By Clara Misenhelter

Southwind Extension District


Cooking for one or two people can sometimes feel like a burden. While it can be tempting to skip meals, opt for convenience foods, or go out to eat instead of cooking for one or two people, preparing meals at home can be good for your health and for your wallet.


Here are some tips to consider when cooking for two or just for you:

  • Start with MyPlate to create balanced meals. Before you plan a meal, imagine what your plate will look like. The MyPlate recommendations encourage us to make half of our plate fruits and vegetables, focus on whole fruits, vary our veggies, make half of our grains whole grains, vary our protein routine, and move to low-fat or fat-free dairy options. To learn more, visit
  • Create “planned-overs” to repurpose leftovers. One of the burdens to cooking for one or two people is the amount of time required to prepare, cook, and clean up from meals. To reduce this burden, think about how you can plan meals that will use the same ingredients so that you can cook once and eat twice. (Make sure you use the item within the next 3-4 days.) For example, if you are cooking ground beef to make chili, consider cooking additional meat that can be used on baked potatoes for another meal.
  • Use leftovers safely. The USDA reports that leftovers can be safely kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you have leftovers, they should be placed in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours (or within one hour if the temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit). When reheating leftovers, they should be reheated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit as measured by a food thermometer.
  • Become friends with your freezer. Tape a piece of paper to the outside of your freezer to keep an inventory of what you stored in the freezer. List the item and the date to remind yourself to consume it within 3-4 months. It can also be helpful to freeze leftovers in smaller portion sizes.


For more information, please contact me at [email protected] or 620-365-2242. To learn even more about this topic, consider attending the “Cooking for One or Two” program I will be hosting at the Chanute Library on March 13th at 5:30 PM. This program is free, but an RSVP is required by calling 620-365-2242.


Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Mi Ranchito Mexican Restaurant Will Open in May at 17 S. Main

17 S. Main is being remodeled into Mi Ranchita Mexican Restaurant.

The Historic Downtown Fort Scott building at 17 S. Main has seen many different businesses but is known by the residents as the Kress Building.

A new restaurant is slated for opening there whose most recent business was the Pizza Republic, which closed in January 2024.

Mi Ranchito Mexican Restaurant is anticipating an opening  in May, said Robert Coon, who along with his wife, Kim, are the Coon Rentals LLC owners of the building,

Robert and Kimberly Coon. Submitted photo.

There is 5,000 square feet of restaurant, 4,000 square feet of seating space, and a 1,000 square feet kitchen.

“They are remodeling to suit themselves,” Coon said. “They are adding a bathroom and  redoing the kitchen.”

“I want to see the business succeed,” Coon said. “I would say Mr. De La Torre ‘s (the restaurant owner) restaurant background is superior.”

The owner of Mi Ranchito is Rulber De La Torre, from the Kansas City area. He has two restaurants in Olathe, two in Overland Park, one in Lenexa, one in Mound City, and one in Gladstone, MO. according to the business’s Facebook page.


Rulber and wife,  Ana Lilian De La Torre. Submitted photo.
Rulber and his children: Teresa, Yareli, Rulber Jr., Nicolas, Rulber, Samantha, and Nereyda De La Torre. Submitted photo.

“We will employ 20-30 people,” De La Torre said. “We are a full-service restaurant. I will hire all of them from Fort Scott and bring trainers to train for 2-3 months to our standard.”

“There will be a full-service bar,” De La Torre said. “My margaritas are exclusive to Mi Ranchito, a flavor you won’t find anywhere.”

His most sought-after dish is his cream cheese chicken enchilada, he said. But he will also serve American fare: hamburgers and a Kansas City Strip Steak Plate.

To view the menu from Mound City’s Mi Ranchita:

Mi Ranchito Mound City Menu 2023

De La Torre will be celebrating 20 years in the business this year in August.

Hours of operation will be Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. (depending on the business flow he said). Friday and Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m., depending on the business.

De La Torre said he chose Fort Scott because it’s close to Mound City where he opened a restaurant two years ago.

“I have people come from Fort Scott to that restaurant and wished they had one here,” he said.

Robert Coon contacted him about opening his restaurant here in Fort Scott, he said.

Some of the equipment left from the last restaurant will be utilized by De La Torre,  “but he has an astronomical amount of equipment he is bringing,” Coon said.


Looking through the kitchen to the southwest door of 17 S. Main on February 26. Remodel work was going in the kitchen and bathrooms.

The second floor of 17 S. Main has been renovated for professional space, Coon said. “It has 2,500 square feet in space.  With two offices, a board room, and a huge foyer.”