Earlier this week, Ross Reed thought he was going to close his Mid-America Powersports. Since he began telling customers, though, there’s now a chance he could sell the business.
“It’s kind of one of those fluid situations,” Reed says.
The store, which opened in 1988 and is in four buildings at 333 N. West St., is “a mixture of several businesses that I purchased over the years,” Reed says.
He sells motorcycles, ATVs, watercraft and power products, such as lawnmowers.
“It’s a huge deal here, and it’s very rare in this industry unless you’re on one of the coasts,” Reed says of the variety of merchandise he offers. “We’re a destination store.”
Though Reed says the business is financially solid, the economy is behind his decision to close.
“My wife and I didn’t take this decision lightly,” he says. The struggle is too much, Reed says.
“We’re just tired.”
Reed hasn’t been successful in marketing the business for the last four years, so his plan was to close shop and sell his buildings. Marlin Penner of John T. Arnold is helping him sell the property, which has more than four acres and could be divided. The buildings have a combined total of more than 40,000 square feet.
Now, Reed says there are four potential buyers, one of whom seems especially interested, and he says he’s willing to sell or lease his property.
If he’s forced to close, Reed says he hopes it might make people think twice before buying products that aren’t local.
“If you don’t support your local business, this is what happens.”
Reed says sometimes people shop out of state to avoid paying more in sales tax.
“Those taxes are collected for a purpose,” he says.
As a businessman, Reed says he’s purchased real estate and built buildings and paid to support schools, police and other services through taxes.
“At one time we had 50 people working here. This was not a small business.”
Today, there are 21 employees.
“I’m a little bit of a politician these days,” Reed says of sharing his thoughts. He hesitates to talk freely about how he feels about shopping local, but he says, “Maybe it’ll help … some other businesses.”
Or, it may help someone who buys his business, which Reed hopes is what happens.
“It would be good for my customers and employees. I think it would be good for the city.”
No more Medicine
After two decades in business, the Medicine Shoppe on West 21st Street a half mile west of 21st and Amidon is closing.
“It really was such perfect timing because I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete against the big three there,” owner Ricky Tejeda says of Dillons and Walmart, which are already at the intersection, and the new CVS that opens on the northwest corner on Sunday.
“The piece of the pie is just getting smaller and smaller.”
Tejeda says CVS bought his business.
“Yeah, they did because they didn’t want to open up with zero prescriptions,” he says.
CVS also offered him a job, which he’ll take, though Tejeda isn’t sure how long he’ll stay.
“Really, really the bottom line, I think I owe it to the patients that I service,” he says. “It would be worth the effort.”
Friday is the last day to fill a prescription at the Medicine Shoppe before it closes. Tejeda says Saturday will be an inventory day, and then customers can pick up their prescriptions at CVS on Sunday.
“We’re going to transfer everything that’s waiting for them right over there,” Tejeda says.
After that one day off, he says, “We’re ready to rock and roll.”
Rustic room to grow
Candid outdoor shots have long been the pictures that photographers Ashley Burbank and Ashley Knolla prefer, but now they’re taking their business inside for some shots with a new Old Town studio.
The two, who have worked on their own for the last five years with Knolla’s Stellar Photography and Burbank’s Jean Snaps photography business, have formed Kay & Bee Studios. They’re moving into part of the loft space at 914 E. Douglas, which is where New Earth Journey also is opening a few doors east of Larkspur.
“We can definitely grow into it as we get more into indoor studio work,” Knolla says of the 550-square-foot space.
“We love the wood floors and the brick,” she says. “It looks all original, and it’s really rustic in there. It has a lot of character.”
Knolla says there’s also a lot of light from the space’s large windows.
The company will offer wedding and lifestyle photography, which Burbank describes as their take on more traditional portrait photography.
“We like to capture them in their element,” she says of clients.
To avoid confusion with their first names, Knolla and Burback named Kay & Bee Studios for the initials of their last names.
“We’re definitely something fresh for Wichita,” Knolla says.
She says she and Burbank each bring something different to the business.
“We’re both so different from each other, and we meet right in the middle.”
You don’t say
“We can rule out Matt Damon and Vladimir Putin.”
– Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Angie Prather on how this year’s annual speaker, who will be announced on Friday, isn’t a celebrity or politician but is an inquisitive businessman who’s going to “gallop” to town on Nov. 5
Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.