Local entrepreneur and ICT advocate Maggie Gilmore has invented a product that should help answer one of history's toughest questions: "Where should we go for dinner?"
They're custom made dice — ICT Dice, to be specific — and with a quick roll, the dice will do the dining deciding for you, regardless of whether you want to eat out in Old Town, downtown, Delano, College Hill or Riverside.
It all started around Christmas 2016, when Gilmore was trying to come up with a Secret Santa gift for her friend and Espresso to Go Go co-worker Delilah Reed, who just never quite knows what coffee drink she's in the mood for. Using dice-sized wooden cubes from the craft store and custom-made stickers, Gilmore made her friend some "Drink Decider Dice."
"It kind of percolated for a while, and it kind of hit me that a lot of times, we can't decide where to go to eat," Gilmore said. "I wanted to use it as a way to support local business in an active way and in a fun way."
In November 2017, Gilmore decided to launch a package of dice that would help indecisive Wichitans choose which local restaurant they should patronize. She got her first sets ready for Small Business Saturday, and she stocked them in local coffee shops and gift stores.
The inaugural "starter pack" comes with 13 dice, and all sides of each dice list different local restaurants. The starter pack has two downtown dice, three Old Town dice, two for Douglas Design District, two for Delano and one each for Riverside, College Hill and Midtown. There's also a single "lunch" dice.
You'll recognize several of the restaurants on the dice, including Ziggy's in the Douglas Design District, Bite Me BBQ and Cafe Bel Ami downtown, and The Hill and Livingston's Cafe in College Hill. Rollers can use the dice however they see fit. They can roll just the neighborhood dice. They can choose a dice at random and roll it. They can roll several to help them narrow down their choices.
"We sold quite a few before Christmas," Gilmore said. "It's kind of fun, especially if you have a foodie fried who doesn’t know where to eat. It helps solve arguments in the house."
Gilmore, who also produces a "Date Night" pack, said the dice are pretty time consuming to make. She has the stickers printed locally, then meticulously adheres them to the dice. Still, she's dreaming up other versions already. She wants to make a set for the east side and one for the west side. She's also considering a brewery set and a coffee shop set.
There is one problem that she's struggled with: what to do when a restaurant on her dice closes, When Chiquita's Corner in Riverside recently closed, she suggested on Facebook that she might make a replacement sticker for those who have purchased the dice. In the meantime, people could just roll again, she said.
"There's been really positive feedback," she said. "Everyone kind of likes the idea. It's a common issue of not being able to decide where to eat."
Want your own set? Gilmore's ICT Dice are available at Lucinda's, 239 N. Mead; The Workroom, 150 N. Cleveland; Vortex Souvenir, 1640 E. Second; Reverie, 2202 E. Douglas; and Sente, 132 E. Douglas. They're also available on the ICT Dice Facebook page.
The date-night set is $12, and the starter pack is $20.