Carrie Rengers

Ben Arnold starts Coastal Cafe & Mini Market concept

Ben Arnold, shown at his AVI Seabar & Chophouse, is expanding his cafe offerings around Wichita with a new Coastal Cafe & Mini Market concept.
Ben Arnold, shown at his AVI Seabar & Chophouse, is expanding his cafe offerings around Wichita with a new Coastal Cafe & Mini Market concept. The Wichita Eagle

Ben Arnold is expanding his Corporate Caterers of Wichita with a new concept called Coastal Cafe & Mini Market.

“What we’re doing is we’re combining the cafes with a mini market,” Arnold says. “It allows us to operate … 24 hours a day.”

The first opened at Cafe 151 in the Cargill building downtown.

The markets have snacks and grab-and-go entrees that are available when the cafes aren’t.

“We have been targeting companies with a large number of employees who want to provide something more than a three-day-old sandwich out of a vending machine,” Arnold says. “The biggest thing is … we stock them seven days a week.”

He says that guarantees freshness and is a good alternative to the cafes, which are open for breakfast and lunch only.

“It’s a combination of both worlds,” Arnold says.

He also has cafes at the Cox building, though the company already has its own market, and Intrust Bank, although Arnold says there aren’t enough employees there to make the market work.

Arnold says he’s close to contracts for Coastal Cafe & Mini Markets at a call center with more than 1,000 employees and a manufacturing company with about 500 employees.

He also put in a bid for a cafe at the new Cargill building when it moves to Old Town next year. He says the company is going to select a vendor by Aug. 1.

Also, Arnold hopes to keep a cafe at the current Cargill building when Meritrust Credit Union moves there, but he says he isn’t going to negotiate until the company closes on the building.

“We don’t know yet.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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