A few weeks ago, our team packed up and flew out to meet our Dreamstaurant contest winners – Snow & Co. Of course, the flight was a short one from Denver to Kansas City, but the anticipation of seeing what the new building looked like, what the existing building looked like, and being able to meet the winners face-to-face seemed to last much longer than the plane ride.
When we landed in Kansas City, our first stop was in Gladstone. Gladstone is a beautiful city that is working to redevelop their entire downtown area. As of now, there are a few outdated buildings, but in recent years they’ve added a new natatorium and community center, ice skating and hockey rink (that turns into an amphitheater in the summer), new doctor offices, prestigious grade schools, and new living spaces for future residents. As we met with the people from the town hall, they were very excited to share more information about their quaint, yet fast growing town, and even more excited to see that Snow & Co was going to part of the towns future. They spoke of Gladstone as the “environment to live, because it’s stable.” A bedroom community that was almost maxed out on living space, but working hard to build new homes for future residents. They were also working to bring the entire community a place to gather – the new downtown area.
Before we headed down to the new Snow & Co location, Andy Talbert and Jerry Nevins, the Snow & Co founders, talked with our VP of Design, Jeff Katz, about what they’re doing now and what direction they want to see the next Snow & Co take. Talbert and Nevins both had a lot of passion and energy about their business, that we could tell that there was a lot they brought to the business that could ensure the success of the 2nd location. We learned about their equipment needs – lots of frozen drink machines, of course – and that the new space would be much larger than the 1st location, which meant plenty of room for new opportunities. The feel and aesthetics were to remain the same in the new location – lounge feel, encourage guests to have conversations, comfortable, and inviting (think coffee shop meets bar). There were possibilities to offer more food (lunch and dinner), but in keeping with the bar environment. There was also possibility of offering meeting space or private areas for events such as work meetings and bachelorette parties. The drinks were to remain a specialty item on the list – not just frozen drinks sloshed together, but higher-end, hand-crafted cocktails. As I quickly scribbled down my notes, Katz and our VP of eCommerce, Jeff Day, were able to fully soak in the business behind the Snow & Co brand and what they foresee in the future.
However, to pull it all together and get a full picture of what we were going to be working with, we had to start with what the current building looked like. Without a vision, it’s hard to see the potential here, but what we saw was a big open box that could be completely remodeled into something beautiful. There was plenty of lawn area for outside seating and plenty of inside square footage (of the 5,600 sq ft, Snow & Co would be using 4,400 sq ft) to really build-out the new restaurant. Of course, at first glance, it looks a little rough around the edges, but when you get Katz into the mix, there are always possibilities at hand.
After we concluded our meeting with the city of Gladstone, it was time to visit the current location in downtown Kansas City.
Set in the beautiful art district, the existing Snow & Co has an audience of young entrepreneurs and art connoisseurs that visit Snow & Co for a sip of a cocktail between intermission from the close by opera house and to sit and relax after work for happy hour. When we walked in, you got the vibe that this place was a place for mixing and mingling. There were minimal tables, and tons of chairs meant to be portable so guests could create their own personal circle if they’d like. The colors were bright, but still aesthetically pleasing, and the natural lighting helped to bring out those beautiful colors, as soon as you walked in. As Talbert served up yummy cocktail samplers of the frozen concoctions, Nevins walked us through the FOH and BOH operations of Snow & Co. We learned that they mainly served local product, but wouldn’t sacrifice taste simply for staying local – if there was better vodka elsewhere, well, it’s best to make sure those cocktails keep that high-end flavor the guests expected. Their menu was detailed enough to let you learn more about each of the cocktails, but splashed in with some creative writing to let guests know it was still laid back and fun.
I walked around and took numerous pictures, trying to take in the overall feel of the place. I started noticing people coming in and sitting at the tables. They would open their laptops, order a drink, laugh, mingle, and have a simple end of the day closing – much like you’d expect to see at a coffee shop. It felt very comfortable, yet still keeping to the trendy style the local art district brought to the community.
As we closed our day with Snow & Co, we had to say our goodbyes and return back to Colorado, but rest assured, there will be more updates as Snow & Co continues to move forward. The architect they are working with, Yaeger Architecture, has already sent over initial sketches on layout, and is beginning to work with our team to ensure the flow is spot on for the guests and staff.See More Pictures