The owners of a new City Market wholesale company hope their customers will have as much fun eating their gourmet snacks as they do making them.
Hungry Monkey Party Bites has set up a kitchen at 106 E. Fifth St. with a goal of “transcending the bounds of the ordinary snack.”
The company’s specialty products include flavored popcorn such as Wedding Cake (white cake, white chocolate and pearlized sugar sprinkles), Peanut Butter Brownie Chow, Chicago-styled cheese and Unicorn Kisses (white-chocolate-covered popcorn with yellow cake flavoring), along with Chorizo Flavored Buttery Baked Cereal Mix and spicy or sweet candied nuts.
But only one cookie is offered — the Oat-Wal-Choc with oatmeal, walnuts and chocolate chips. Hungry Monkey’s owners, Tim Colley and Dillon Bond, said the cookie is so good, it will be their only one, at least for now.
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“We didn’t have a set plan of what we want to cook,” Bond said. “We can change things every week if we want.”
Colley previously launched the greeting card company Bird Sings, and he later owned and operated the Bird Sings retail shop on the Country Club Plaza for four years. Bond was Colley’s employee, and Colley also became Bond’s mentor.
After Bond graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2013, Colley encouraged him to take a FastTrac program for new entrepreneurs. Bond then considered opening an art gallery, but when Colley came up with the snack food idea this spring, they decided to become business partners.
“That was much better than my idea,” Bond said. “It is a consumable product that people will come back for, and it seemed like a lot of fun, and I like to have fun. We enjoy making these products, and we want people to see that and to know that.”
Framed prints of two famed chefs sit in the front window, offering inspirational quotations that guide their vision, including Julia Child’s “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Hungry Monkey will set up as a City Market vendor on Saturdays and Sundays. If all goes as planned, the owners will start this Saturday. They also are taking catering orders for weddings and other events and plan to soon sell their products in area grocery stores.
“I think people will like our products for what we put in them — fun and passion and love,” Colley said.