Very few business owners say they don’t care whether they make money or not, but that’s what Cliff Bragg says.
“I don’t care if I ever make any money doing it as long as I can keep the doors open and do what I love.”
What he loves is dessert. Bragg is opening a dessert restaurant called Milkfloat in Delano this fall.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Why do you want to open a restaurant?’ I don’t.”
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Bragg was formerly in health care administration. He says he’s always thought Wichita could use a dessert-only restaurant, and he says he figures Milkfloat can serve that need and be a vehicle for his core values.
“It’s to flesh out my values. It’s to provide an example for my kids.”
Bragg says it’s about providing value to the community, providing a dignifying place for employees and being sustainable with the earth.
Milkfloat will use all-organic ingredients that are locally and regionally sourced. Bragg says everything will be made from scratch daily.
“We’re going to sell out our kitchen every day.”
Bragg says it helps that his wife is a physician and that he doesn’t need the business to make money.
The restaurant will open in early fall in the 4,000 square feet Material Girls is vacating at 535 W. Douglas.
Milkfloat’s tagline is “celebrate dessert.”
“Our entire approach to this is celebratory, joyful, happy, communal,” Bragg says. “We’re setting a table and inviting our community around.”
He says as grim news follows grim news nationally and internationally every day, a place to celebrate life and friends and family is even more important.
“We absolutely desperately need it. I feel even more compelled to do this now than I ever have.”
Milkfloat will focus exclusively on American desserts – not the popular French and Italian desserts found at many restaurants.
“We think there’s a narrative to be told in the American dessert category,” Bragg says.
Think pies and cakes.
“It’s the idea of … Americana,” he says.
There also will be soft-serve ice cream Bragg will sell by the pint along with cold-pressed nut milks, hand-crafted soda and “beautiful and amazing” espresso towers with 15-hour slow-dripped espresso.
Initially, Milkfloat will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
There will be about 60 seats and an open-kitchen concept.
Michigan transplant Kaitlyn Huber will be the executive pastry chef.
Bragg says she’s been testing dishes for the restaurant. That includes breakfast desserts such as sweet potato cinnamon rolls.
“It’s like worlds colliding,” Bragg says of breakfast and dessert coming together.
He says he wanted to open in the city’s core to attract diners from the east and west sides.
“There’s a lot of energy down here,” Bragg says of Delano.
Michael Madden of Occidental Management handled the deal.
Bragg says he named Milkfloat for the milk floats of old, which were fresh dairy delivery vehicles.
“That’s what we are,” he says. “We’re fresh. … We’re delivering it right to our community.”