Winter, 2006 Issue
The Clay Gourmet: A Special Place
If it is used on the Food Network, it can probably be purchased in Clay Center, Kansas.
Jason and Annette Smith opened The Clay Gourmet in October 2001 to carry cookware, bakeware, cookbooks, cutlery, tabletop items, seasonal items and more kitchen gadgets than one could ever imagine. Clay Center, population 4,564, may seem an unlikely location for such a specialized store, but the store’s customer base continues to grow. They also receive plenty of advice from Jason’s family. His mother has operated a successful gourmet kitchen shop in McPherson, Kansas, called The Cook’s Nook for the past 19 years. Customers who have been to the McPherson store will notice many similarities including the products carried, the checkerboard logo, and the attention to customer service.
Fleminy children feeding birds (from left to right) Kyle, Levi and Amanda
You can hear them early in the morning, cackling back and forth taking off just at daybreak: music to every upland hunter’s ears. That music means income to Mark Fleming, co-owner and co-operator of Fleming Farm Game Birds in Formosa. And Fleming wouldn’t have life any other way.
You can straddle the fence, fence yourself in, drool over the grass that’s greener on the other side, jump the fence and whack the ball over the fence to bring the fans to their feet.
It has been said, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Never has this proven truer than for The Community Marketplace, a second-hand store in Osborne that also reflects the strength in inter-community cooperation.
Walk downtown Osborne and it is hard to miss the giant Christmas displays in several of the store windows. But one window, in particular, catches the eye: B&B Jewelry and Gifts. The store recently celebrated their 15th anniversary this fall, and how they got to this point is just as interesting as the inventory that they carry.
Sit down for a chat with a top Madison Avenue marketing/advertising professional and it’s a good chance you’ll end up talking about image. Or in PR speak – brand image marketing.
In a world where small towns are struggling to survive economically, image can mean the difference between lights out and issuing building permits. At least one small Kansas town is well aware of this and is building an artsy identity that is drawing newcomers.
When Rex Waggoner began working at James Clothing in downtown Beloit as a freshman in High School in 1964, he had no idea he would stay for good.
James Clothing was new to town in 1964, although owner Calvin James had been operating his original store in nearby Jewell, Kansas, since 1950. The store carried only men’s clothing when Rex began as a freshman.