T. Loft opened quietly Sunday in south Kansas City. But it already is racking up some best-sellers.
By JOYCE SMITH
The Kansas City Star
So far thats the Mean and Clean detox fresh juice drink (orange, ginger, carrot, apple, lemon and parsley) and the coconut almond tea latte. And the owners can hardly stock enough of the sweet potato brownies.
Jill and Brandon Minton own the shop at 8025 State Line Road. Jill Minton has Celiac disease, as does her daughter, father and sister. So the family became focused on a healthier lifestyle that included eating healthy items and drinking tea and juice.
T. Loft sells more than 30 blends of teas served hot or cold gourmet fresh brewed tea drinks (like coconut tea mixed with house-made almond milk) and fusion tea (tea, fruit juice and whole fruit). It also has a fresh juice bar - detox, immune support, energy, mental boost, and relax/recovery - and an all-natural/gluten-free bakery case (including cocoa protein bars).
There are salad boxes with such ingredients as brie, aged cheddar and fruit, and for kids a Veggie Bouquet with cheddar cheese cut in bunny head shapes and cucumbers and carrots shaped like flowers. Other menu items include apple nachos (apples, peanut butter and Nutella) and create-your-own fruit and yogurt parfaits, currently with such toppings as strawberries, blueberries, coconut yogurt and honey dairy yogurt. It also has dairy-free options.
The shop sells some tea blends to take home, like organic apricot escape and organic white tangerine.
The gray and white decor - with comfy seating, glittering chandelier and custom-made galvanized metal wash basin hanging lamps - sets the shop apart on bustling State Line with its quick service shops.
It is fast, quick, healthy option for food and drink. Fresh, quick, easy and fun, said Jill Minton.
The shop also is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
New pizza concept
Pie Five Pizza Co. is coming to the metro.
The restaurant sells individual pizzas made-to-order and cooked in five minutes.
Instead of four predetermined pizzas to choose from you can customize them, said Dave Goebel, former president and chief executive officer of Applebees, who signed a 10-unit franchise agreement with two of his triplet sons, Kerry and Kevin. The Goebels are zeroing in on their first location but havent signed a lease yet.
Although their agreement is for 10 units in a market stretching into Manhattan, Kan., they could eventually open as many as a dozen Pie Five restaurants just in the Kansas City area.
Customers can select from a variety of choices in crust, sauce, cheese, greens, meats and vegetables. Pie Five also has several 9-inch specialty pizzas, including chicken carbonara, barbecue pulled pork, vegetarian and the Athenian, and serves salads. The Pie Five name comes from the five minutes it takes to make the pizzas.
The first Pie Five opened in Fort Worth in 2011, combining handcrafted pizzas with fresh ingredients and the latest high-speed baking techniques. In 2012 it was named a Hot Concept of the Year by Nations Restaurant News.
Dave Goebel said he is an advocate of having a diversified restaurant portfolio of complimentary concepts. He also owns Prime Catering and Y-Leave Cafe operations in the Kansas City area, as well as six Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs.
I looked at all the fast casual pizza concepts that are emerging and it was the quality of the management team at Pie Five and their deep understanding of the value of the franchisor/franchisee relationships that was attractive, Goebel said.
Franchisors have to be good stewards of the brand and protect the brand and sometimes that takes tough love, he said.
But they have to realize that the franchisee has invested a lot of capital and they have to listen well to franchisees and be a good team together, Goebel said. That served us very well at Applebees. It serves us very well at Goodcents.
To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.