Computer programmer David Keeton discovered a love of wine three years ago and now wants to combine it with his longtime passion for technology.
Keeton is one of the founders of Callcap , a 10-year-old Wichita company that helps businesses track and analyze customer calls.
Now, he's opening Extremo Vino , a liquor store at the Collective , which is J.V. Johnston's development at 21st and K-96.
"Basically, it was born out of my own frustration," Keeton says.
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He's developed software to help customers keep track of wines they've enjoyed and then offer recommendations based on those.
"I never could remember what wines I liked and what wines I didn't like," Keeton says.
With his system, customers can track their tastes on their home computers or use it in the store with a key chain bar code tag.
Keeton also plans iPhone and iPad apps.
Based on what customers enter, he says, "Then we can make some suggestions about what else (they) might like in the store."
Extremo Vino is going in the former PS Designs space on the west end of the Collective's retail center along 21st Street.
PS Designs left for Towne East Square last year.
Keeton hopes to open Extremo Vino by Oct. 15. He plans more locations in the future.
"I don't necessarily have any big dreams to have a liquor store empire or anything like that, but ... I would like to brand this software," he says.
That way, he could sell the software to other stores.
Johnston says Keeton's store brings the Collective to 100 percent occupancy.
Even though Wild at Heart closed there earlier this year, owner Marissa Marklewitz's lease isn't up for another year and a half. Johnston says Marklewitz is trying to sublease the space.
"There's been some interest, so hopefully she will."
Grandma knows best
Longtime Newton shop owners Ken and Vicki Stobbe and their daughter, Tina , are opening their first store in Wichita next month.
"We've always wanted to expand to Wichita," Tina Stobbe says. "We debated a long time whether to go east (or) go west."
The family has chosen Cambridge Market on the southeast corner of 21st Street and Webb Road to open Redbird Boutique .
They've owned High Street Co. , a home decor and gift store, for 25 years in Newton.
That's where they also have the 15-year-old boutique Main Street Co. and the 9-year-old Kitchen Corner , a gourmet kitchen store.
The Stobbes considered a kitchen store for Wichita, but they though that would require more space, so they decided to open a boutique in 1,750 square feet instead.
Don Piros with Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.
"We're going to have clothing and purses and jewelry and fun girly stuff," Tina Stobbe says.
That includes scarves and accessories.
Tina Stobbe lives in Wichita and that's part of her interest in this store.
"It's my dream to have a store of my own some day," she says. "This is maybe just a step in that direction."
She looked to her late grandmother —"a phenomenal businesswoman" — for inspiration on choosing the redbird name.
Her grandmother used to own Adrian's A-Z in Buhler.
"My mom and I, I don't think would be where we are today without her," Stobbe says.
She wanted to honor her grandmother with the store name. However, Stobbe says, "Her first name was Lovella , and that didn't really work for a boutique name."
On Aug. 14, Stobbe and her boyfriend were brainstorming possible store names, including the name Redbird, but Stobbe wasn't convinced that should be it.
It happened to be her grandmother's birthday.
"She loved to sit on her back porch and watch the birds, and redbirds were her favorite," Stobbe says.
"I look up, and on the back fence is a redbird sitting there. I was like, OK, that's it. It has to be. It was just one of those moments. It was like, OK, Grandma, you're telling me what to do here, aren't you?"
Stobbe calls it a surreal moment.
"That's how Redbird came to be."
You don't say
"We are going for the Industrial look."
—An e-mail from Ben Arnold of Corporate Caterers of Wichita on what he tells people taking tours of the future (and far from being ready to open Oct. 17) A.V.I. restaurant at the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview