WICHITA — The YouTube video "Death Comes to the Mall" has created more than just curious customers for 'Til We Meet Again, the custom casket store that opened at Towne West Square in March 2010.
It's also leading to a second store, this one in Hutchinson, in what owners Nathan Smith and Traci Cone hope will be a franchised chain.
"This whole thing has just taken . . . off and just taken us all by storm," Smith says.
"I expected us to be open at least two years before we started putting (more) stores in."
Hutchinson residents James and Robin McComas are two of the more than 120,000 people who have seen one of the videos that customers have made about the unique store.
"We actually drove down to take a look and see what it was," James McComas says.
Then, Robin McComas' father died, and her family ordered an urn from 'Til We Meet Again that was customized to look like her father's Harley-Davidson.
"It was a wonderful experience in the sense of closure for so many people," James McComas says.
"Right after that, I kept hounding Nathan. 'Hey, we'd really like to be partners with you.' "
He says the biggest trigger to open the store was when he lost his job as vice president for operations at Promise Regional Medical Center due to restructuring.
"It opened the door to this," McComas says.
The Hutchinson store will open at 306 N. Main St. on May 19.
"I'm calling mine the Main Street model," McComas says. "It's designed for rural America. It's a little bit different market niche."