Carrie Rengers

Office building at Kellogg and Rock nearly full

There are a few new leases to report at Equity Financial Center at Kellogg and Rock Road.

There's only about 3,000 square feet left to lease in the 100,000-square-foot building.

"That'll put us at 97 percent occupied," says Joe Verbeckmoes , who handles leasing for property owner Market Parking Inc.

The leases include:

* Rep. Mike Pompeo's future office.

The Wichita Republican's temporary office is in former Rep. Todd Tiahrt's old space at 155 N. Market. As an incoming freshman representative, it was a requirement for Pompeo to have an office there during the transition.

The new Pompeo office, which will open sometime in March, will be in not quite 3,000 square feet.

"It's a much more cost-effective space for us and the taxpayers," says Rachel Taylor , director of communications.

Helping the selection, she says, is the building's free parking and location at what she calls the crossroads of the 4th Congressional District .

* Key Management , which handles multifamily residential and some commercial management, also is moving into the building near the end of March or the first of April.

The office will locate in approximately 5,000 square feet, which is about what it has now downtown.

"Over there, it will give us an opportunity to grow, and also we'll be able to use the space that we have a little more efficiently," says Key Management president Tony Catanese .

He's been working downtown since 1977, so moving is with "kind of mixed feelings."

"Moving is absolutely never fun, but I think in this case it's kind of exciting," Catanese says. There's "kind of a renewed sense of spirit or freshness. I think moving tends to do that. You know, putting yourself in a new environment."

While downtown is a hub, Catanese says, "The (new) location there is going to be pretty convenient for us."

* ComfortCare Homes and Comfort Keepers are expanding at the building, where they've been for 14 years.

At the start of this week, Comfort Keepers, a home companion care business, moved from 600 square feet to 1,100 square feet down the hall.

"It's a much larger space, but in particular we built in a training center for both ComfortCare Homes and Comfort Keepers," says president Doug Stark .

The center is equipped with audiovisual equipment and computer access for classes for caregivers. Stark says other businesses at Equity Financial Center also can use the space, which is unlike anything else available at the building.

ComfortCare Homes, which operates eight homes for people with dementia, is taking the 600 square feet Comfort Keepers used to have for a total of 1,900 square feet.

Stark says the moves are pretty easy.

"The building management ... they're just really great to work with."

Tea time

Donut Whole owners Angela Mallory and Michael Carmody are working on a new venture next to their original one at 1720 E. Douglas.

They plan to open a tea bar in April.

"We don't have anything like that here," Mallory says.

She says tea bars are all the rage across the country.

Mallory and Carmody opened the Donut Whole in early 2009.

"We've kind of hit our stride here and (are) looking to stretch out a little bit," Carmody says.

He says they'll sell "every sort of tea that we can lay our hands on."

That includes chai, boba and loose-leaf teas.

The tea bar, which hasn't been named yet, won't have retail sales.

Though the bar will be connected to the Donut Whole, it will be separate.

"It'll have its own personality," Carmody says.

The new business will be in 1,800 square feet, which is smaller than the Donut Whole's 3,000 square feet.

Mallory says the interior will have more of a "Zen-type decor," with a streamlined, calming atmosphere.

Though the tea bar will primarily focus on tea, it also will serve cereal, toast, artisan breads and lots of toppings, such as "fancy jam," as Mallory says.

"It'll be our first kind of savory offering really," Carmody says.

While the two are focused on opening the tea bar, they eventually plan to turn their focus back to doughnuts.

"We'd really like to eventually open a shop in Lawrence," Carmody says.

Manhattan also is a possibility one day. Carmody says neither city has a downtown doughnut shop.

Future doughnut shops will have to wait, though, until the tea bar is firmly established, Carmody says.

"We try to make sure we get all our ducks in a row before we move on to something else."

Breaking the Egg

Jimmy's Egg managing partner Whitney VinZant issued a joint statement with investment partner Wink Hartman Sr. in response to Have You Heard? inquiries about the partnership possibly dissolving.

Hartman is in the due-diligence phase of buying the remaining interest of five Jimmy's Egg franchises in Wichita and one in Houston.

VinZant, who is a partner in Mike's Wine Dive and the Gaslamp Grille & Lounge , among other restaurants, will no longer be a part of the Jimmy's Egg franchises here if and when the deal is complete.

"I am excited that Wink is focused on taking this concept to the next level by further expanding into Wichita and surrounding areas," VinZant said in the statement.

Jimmy's Egg, a breakfast franchise based in Oklahoma City, has more than 125 employees in Wichita.

You don't say

"Maybe one day our business acumen will be as sharp as one of our knives!"

M & M Sharpening Services owner Mark Madden's note attached to his first news release, which he admits he didn't know how to write