Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita couple starting new food business with pop ups. A restaurant could be next

Making a king cake in two minutes

This timelapse video by John Fitzhugh shows how South Mississippi bakers make a king cake. (Feb. 9, 2016)
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This timelapse video by John Fitzhugh shows how South Mississippi bakers make a king cake. (Feb. 9, 2016)

Their goal is to eventually open a restaurant or a food truck.

But in the meantime, Kinta and Zach McGhee’s food business will just pop up in various places all over town.

The two are the founders of Pee Wee + Sweet’s, a new pop-up food business in Wichita that has been serving sweets at some of Wichita’s most hip hangouts.

Their first gig was late last month at the Wave venue at 650 E. Second St., where the McGhees debuted their business at the Chubby Carrier & Bayou Swamp Band concert selling individual-sized King Cakes, complete with plastic babies inside. They’ll be back in action on Tuesday, when they’ll set up from 5 to 8 p.m. at Central Standard Brewing’s Fat Tuesday party selling King Cakes, Moon Pies, doughnuts and more.

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Kinta and Zach McGhee are the founders of Pee Wee + Sweet’s, a new pop-up food business that could become a restaurant. Courtesy photo

Both Kinta and Zach have worked in several restaurants over the years, and her husband now works at Nitro Joe’s. She’s been making cakes at home for the last year, but she’s been dreaming about a food business that would pay homage to her late grandparents, George and Rita Mader, whose nicknames for each other were Pee Wee and Sweets.

Rita “Sweets” Mader was born on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and Kinta describes her as a “firecracker.” She wasn’t the best cook, Kinta said with a laugh, but she made amazing sandwiches. Kinta spent her summers with her grandmother and ate her sandwiches every day.

The McGhees want to start slow with pop ups around town, and their hope is to expand into serving baked goods and possibly sandwiches at a farmers market this summer.

After that, they may look for a brick and mortar space or a food truck, where they’d focus on baked goods and grab-and-go sandwiches with a menu that also would include gluten-free and vegan options. In the meantime, they’re trying to find a commercial kitchen to continue cooking out of.

“We kind of want to see what Wichita wants,” she said.

The couple has some more pop-ups planned at Wave. Follow along with their progress on their Facebook page, and I’ll update you when they decide they’re ready to expand the business.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.

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