There’s a kind of delicious irony when a venue devoted to fresh, healthy meals is replaced by a store that specializes in handmade chocolates, caramel apples and glazed cinnamon rolls.
Earlier this year, cook, Pilates instructor and writer Kathy Hale moved out of her combination kitchen and retail space at 8011 Wornall and began looking for new quarters for her healthy-eating catering and carryout business, Can I Have a Bite.
She still hasn’t found the perfect location (although Hale says she’s doing just as well without a physical retail space), but her former venue is currently being prepared for a new culinary tenant, Garza’s Goodies: Chocolates and Confections, slated to open to the public in mid-November. The owners of that confectionery business, Heather and Richard Garza, moved out of their previous shop, in the shopping strip at 85th Street and Wornall that is anchored by the Corner Cocktail lounge and Chelly’s Cafe. The original Garza’s Goodies was over three years old and had built a steady following, but the Garzas were never happy with either the size or the visibility of the candy shop.
Now, even before Heather and Richard have put the first truffle in their refrigerated candy cases, people keep stopping by and asking if they’re open.
“We’re not open yet,” Heather Garza says, “and we’re thrilled.”
When Hale operated Can I Have a Bite, she shared part of her L-shaped storefront with the Red Headed Philosopher coffee shop. Now that both of those businesses are gone, when Garza’s Goodies opens, the owners will be selling their own coffee beverages every morning — they plan to be open each day at 6 a.m. — including espresso and lattes. “We’re reaching out to different local coffee roasters about having our own brew,” Heather Garza says.
The new confectionery, located in a historic Waldo building that was home, for many years, to a nightclub called Mary’s (the incised concrete sign is just to the right of Garza’s front door), is considerably larger than the 85th Street location and will more than double the amount of seating inside the shop for patrons who want to sit down with a cup of coffee and a biscotti or sit close to the display cases where they can actually watch chocolates being created. The former Can I Have a Bite Kitchen in the back will be used exclusively for baking and creating caramels.
Heather Garza says she wants the new shop to be open “before the Royals go to the World Series” because she has always done a brisk business in chocolate-dipped caramel apples sprinkled with blue and white candies. “We’ll have caramel apples in Chiefs colors, too,” she says.
Heather Garza also plans to begin selling her own loaves of homemade breads, cookies and fruit turnovers. When the shop opens, it will serve its array of delicacies (including ice cream) from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.