Owners of new health food store mix business with friendship

07/29/2014 2:59 PM

07/29/2014 2:59 PM

Their combined friendship totals 68 years.

So when one of the trio of friends said she wanted to open a bulk health food store in Lenexa, the other two came on as partners, even though one now lives a half a continent away.

Nancy Baum and Mandy Stuke, who live in Johnson County, and their long-time friend Vicki McIntosh, now a California resident, recently opened Bulk-It, at 13444 Santa Fe Trail Drive in Old Town Lenexa.

The space, which once housed a neighborhood grocery store, is now a bright electric lime with white trim and lots of natural light. Bulk items include rice, trail mixes, beans, flour, granola, spices, teas, and herbs, milk chocolate malt balls, and multi-colored popcorn.

But Bulk-It also promotes many local products, including Kansas City’s Mohamed’s Hummus; rubs from Lenexa’s Belly Up BBQ; Shawnee’s Soy-Sen-Zay Edamame Dips (low sodium, dairy and gluten free with no preservatives); organic prepared meals from Kansas City’s Conveniently Natural; fresh produce and herbs from Shawnee’s Ladybug Farm; and gluten-free baked goods from Lee’s Summit’s Kneaded Specialties.

Bulk-It also offers freshly ground almond butter and peanut butter, as well as organic juices and smoothies.

The owners are committed to sustainability so they use Greenware cold drink cups and lids, straws, napkins, and utensils, and BioBags for bulk sales.

“The landfills are filled with plastic bags so we wanted something that would break down,” Baum said.

Retail openings

L'Occitane en Provence plans a Friday grand opening for its new boutique in Oak Park Mall, at 95th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park.

The company was founded in France in 1976 and uses natural ingredients and traditional Provence techniques to create its products, which include fragrances, cleansers, toners and moisturizers, scrubs and masks, foot creams, shampoos, shower gels, soaps and more.

Soma Intimates, a division of Chico’s, is now open in Oak Park Mall, but plans a grand opening celebration on Friday and Saturday that will include a 20 percent discount on purchases. The shops sell lingerie, loungewear and beauty products.

Bath & Body Works is scheduled to open in the Legends Outlets Kansas City, at 1803 Village West Parkway, M-129, Kansas City, Kan., on Monday. Bath & Body Works offers shower gels, lotions, fragrance mists, perfumes, candles and home fragrances.

Paper Source has opened in Town Center Crossing, 4541 W. 119th St., Leawood. The retailer offers a unique selection of fine and artisanal papers, invitations and announcements, personalized gifts, greeting cards, gift wrap, and custom stamps, envelopes and cards.

Sephora, a leading chain of perfume and cosmetics stores, is in negotiations to open a store in Leawood’s Town Center Plaza. Officials with Town Center Plaza declined to comment. Sephora officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to jsmith@kcstar.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC

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