Oak Park Mall customers stopped shopping for a few minutes this week, watching in fascination as a gummy dinosaur candy was created layer by layer right in front of their eyes.
Katjes Magic Candy Factory opened a kiosk Wednesday inside Go Games & Toys in the mall at 95th Street and Quivira Road. It was the first of only 10 kiosks opening this month in such cities as Boston, Chicago, Denver and Seattle. Melissa Snover and Bastian Fassin founded the United Kingdom-based Katjes Magic Candy Factory in 2015.
The 3-D candy printer can make gummy selfies, school mascots, company designs, holiday shapes and even personalized messages using eight vegan flavors. Customers can watch their candy being printed in less than five minutes and then add glitter, fizzy or sour toppings. They also can select a gift container and personalized label. The candy sells for $14.99 per piece.
The candy kiosk hits several growing trends in retailing, including customizable orders and drawing consumers into stores with entertaining and memorable experiences that they can’t get through online ordering.
Crossroads Brioche bakery
In the wee hours of the morning, while most of the city sleeps, Brandon Kelley starts rolling out fresh dough at his new downtown bakery.
But for a man who has a passion for fresh-baked pastries, this is exactly where he wants to be.
“That’s the nature of a bakery. We work odd hours of the night for the product to be fresh enough,” said Kelley, who focused on baking and pastry at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., before opening a bakery in Jefferson City. In that bakery he had to add doughnuts to the menu to draw enough traffic. He hopes the new location, at 2000 Main St. in the Crossroads Arts District, will support a pastries-only operation.
His favorites to make — cinnamon rolls and sticky buns — also are favorites of Brioche’s customers. But the bakery also turns out cream cheese Danishes, raspberry jam Danishes, ham and cheese croissants, classic croissants, pain au chocolat, pecan molasses scones, and ham, cheddar and green onion scones. Prices range from $3.75 to $4.
It also will rotate in savory pastries, muffins, cookies and coffeecake.
Brioche gets its name from the dough used for its signature product, its cinnamon roll. Kelley said it is made from brioche dough that is laminated — combining the dough with the butter to create multiple layers.
Around 6:30 a.m., his wife, Ida Kelley, joins him to oversee the coffee side of the business — drip-brewed coffee, cappuccinos and espresso using Shortwave Coffee, a small batch roaster based in Columbia, as well as Gray Duck chai, hot tea and hot chocolate.