Sam Andrews of Shawnee had to make due for several months when it came to his Russell Stover Candies cravings.
His favorite Russell Stover store, a decade-old Merriam location, was torn down in May 2012. But a new, much larger building went up on the same site and recently had a ribbon-cutting at 10100 W. 63rd St., just west of Interstate 35. It has a similar store design to the Fairway and Overland Park locations, a design that is now being rolled out to some other Russell Stover Candies stores across the country. New stores also will have this design. The new 5,787-square-foot store is nearly double the size of the former store with more products and more parking spaces.
“It’s a lot bigger,” said Andrews, who was looking for chocolate-covered nuts. He’ll also soon buy chocolate-covered strawberries for his wife for Valentine’s Day, a tradition his son-in-law has now picked up for Andrews’ daughter.
At the new store, customers can scan the glass counter carrying such goodies as fudge, pecan delights, peanut butter cups, milk chocolate covered strawberries, candied red cinnamon apples, cupcakes, and white chocolate-covered “rice crispy” treats, some with hearts in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. On the back side of the counter is a case featuring 32 flavors of Blue Bell Ice Cream including mocha almond fudge, along frozen custard in two flavors — vanilla and chocolate.
The walls are stacked with packaged candy like fruit slices, French mints, dark chocolate cherries, a variety of Jelly Belly jelly beans. There are even candy bars with Jayhawks and Wildcat themes, as well as other area and regional teams. The new shop also has an espresso bar and serves Starbucks coffee.
Along with the Russell Stover Candies brand, the shop carries sister company Whitman’s Sampler Chocolates and Pangburn’s Millionaires, a regional chocolatier mostly found in Texas and the Southwest.
Schools and nonprofits in the Merriam area also may participate in the store’s SweetShop fundraiser. A group day is selected and then 10 percent of purchases by the group’s supporters on that day are donated back to the organization.
Russell Stover Candies was founded in the Denver home of Russell and Clara Stover in 1923. Today, the Kansas City-based company is one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the country. It has 39 retail stores throughout the U.S. and its products also are sold in thousands of retailers in the U.S. and 20 other countries.
Special for soccer
A family-friendly grill and bar targeting the local soccer community plans to open in Overland Park in late spring.
Leap Hospitality, which oversees The Jacobson restaurant in the Crossroads Arts District, is representing a local investment group in the new concept. That group has signed a lease for a 6,087-square-foot space in Pinnacle Village, 12030 Blue Valley Parkway, a space which formerly housed W.J. McBride’s Irish Pub and then Nick’s Pizzeria and Ice Cream.
A name for the new grill and bar is still being determined but it will have soccer memorabilia in the décor, broadcast major soccer games and cater to local children’s soccer teams.
Romanelli Optix will have a ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday for its new 5,800-square-foot freestanding retail store in Parkway Plaza at 4756 W. 135th St., Leawood. The store first opened in Parkway Plaza in late 2006 and the company also has locations in Overland Park and in Waldo. It also plans to open Romanelli Sun Galleria, a luxury sunglasses and active sun wear store, in Leawood’s Park Place this spring.
Wendy’s has closed at 7721 W. 123rd St., Overland Park. A Wendy’s spokesman said the store opened when that area was in a growth phase, but current sales were not meeting expectations. The company said they offered the employees positions at the other area restaurants.
The Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe has lost another original tenant, the Hanes/L’eggs/Bali/Playtex store.
The former Waid’s building in The Village shopping center in Prairie Village has been demolished to make way for a new retail building holding two to four tenants.