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Speedy Cash moves in to call center’s old spot

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2012, at 9:39 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2012, at 9:39 p.m.

Speedy Cash is a new tenant in the former KGB call center space at 8400 E. 32nd St. North, which is along K-96 just east of Rock Road.

“It was a great option for having space to grow from a call center standpoint,” says Bill Baker, Speedy Cash’s chief marketing officer.

“We’ve been growing … really steadily the last number of years.”

Previously, the company’s call center had been at its corporate headquarters at 3527 N. Ridge Road. This month, it moved to the former KGB space.

“There’s a lot of room to continue growing,” Baker says. “It supports both our domestic and international operations.”

Speedy Cash has 311 locations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. It has Internet lending services in 22 states and the United Kingdom and is working on Canada.

Internet sales are a big part of the company’s growth, but Baker says, “We’ve continued to add more store locations and plan to continue to do so.”

Speedy Cash is leasing part of the 40,000-square-foot building. Baker says it’s hard to say how much space the company currently is taking. In addition to the call center space, it has other rooms as well, including space for training. Baker says approximately 200 employees work there.

“It’s a nice work environment for a contact center,” he says. “We felt like that sort of fit with our corporate philosophy … of treating customers right and treating our people right.”

Baker says Speedy Cash has a reputation of providing the best customer service, and this expansion is part of that.

“We want to be able to make sure we continue to scale with the growth.”

Gobi, Gobi, gone

If you’re a fan of Gobi Grille, you’d better go quick for one last meal. The restaurant, which is in the former Victory Sports Grille space on Ridge Road near 21st Street, is closing after this weekend.

“We hope to make it to Sunday,” says general manager Mary Dinino-Emmerson.

She says she didn’t order new food shipments this week.

“Corporate America got another locally owned andoperated (business), I guess,” Dinino-Emmerson says.

She says Gobi, which opened in March 2009, had been doing well until Genghis Grill opened in the former Krispy Kreme space at 8512 W. Central in 2010.

Gobi owner Jeff Lucke didn’t return a call for comment.

Cover boy

More than a year ago, Justin McClure thought he was doing a favor for a friend of a friend when he designed his first book cover.

McClure has Justin McClure Creative in Delano, but he wasn’t looking to start designing for the publishing world.

“It was an artist helping another artist,” McClure says.

The author was self publishing her book.

“We were really doing a lot of, we thought, helping out.”

Now that book is getting a lot of attention. It’s Jamie McGuire’s bestselling “ Beautiful Disaster.”

“We kind of knew it had been taking off,” McClure says of the book. He started receiving requests from international outlets for artwork of the cover.

Then, last week, a colleague was in an airport in Chicago when he saw the book next to a sign for New York Times bestsellers.

“He took a picture with his cell phone,” McClure says.

“Does this look familiar?” the employee texted.

“That’s how we found out.”

The cover shows a butterfly trapped in a jar.

“I kept thinking of a butterfly, this very beautiful creature, that was trapped in a glass jar,” he says. “That was a beautiful disaster right there.”

Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, is now publishing the book. And McClure is now getting calls about doing other book covers.

“We’ve been approached now by several people,” he says.

McClure charged what he calls a “small amount” for the “Beautiful Disaster” cover. So is he thinking of raising his rates?

Amid laughter, he says, “No comment.”

You don’t say

“We just think these young people that are tackling this project are kind of awesome and wanting to save what we consider a treasure of Wichita’s past … instead of tearing something down.”

Food For Thought owner Melinda Foley on why she’s holding a Sept. 22 fundraiser (with carnival games and a silent auction) for the Joyland Restoration Project

Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.

Got a hot tip or a quirky story? Call Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or e-mail crengers@wichitaeagle.com.

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