By Wally Kennedy
JOPLIN, Mo. —
At one time, the City Pointe Shopping Center, 501 S. Madison St. in Webb City, was virtually empty. That’s not the case now. It’s hopping with activity.
Two businesses — Superior Bakery & Bistro and Get Real! Whole Foods — have had recent ribbon cuttings. The bakery just opened. The whole foods store has been open for about three months.
The bakery/bistro, which is in a former Quizno’s, is owned by Penny and Stewart Johnson, and Breanna Gibson. What’s interesting about this place is that there appears to be an ongoing debate between Penny and Stewart about whether the bakery or the bistro is top dog.
Said Penny: “I’m over the bakery. He’s over the bistro. We’re having this ongoing debate. You can tell we’re married.’’
I think Penny might hold the trump card since she is a former bakery manager of a King’s Sooper in Denver.
“Everything from here is made from scratch. None of it is frozen,’’ she said. “We have a phenomenal baker. His name is Ed Baker, and he has been at it for 25 years — a baker since birth. He lives up to his name.’’
Identity issues aside, this business offers breakfast, lunch and dinner at reasonable prices, and a full selection of bakery items. We’re talking bagels, breads, cakes, customized birthday cakes, regular doughnuts and gluten-free doughnuts, cinnamon rolls — even hot dog and hamburger buns.
I’ve been told the devil dogs are just plain sinful. It’s a chocolate cake with a creme filling covered with a chocolate ganache frosting.
While you’re there, check out the art by Kelli Zellner, a server.
One of the neat things that customers do not see is in the food preparation area. There you will see a 60-quart mixer from Joplin High School that survived the tornado. It features the date — 5-22-11.
The bakery/bistro is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Just a couple of doors south is Get Real! Whole Foods. This shop is owned by Jason and Linda Spangler. It features organic salads and sandwich wraps, and several types of coffee, including organic and fair trade brands. You can also get smoothies, vitamins and organic foods and vegetables.
The store also carries a line of holistic and organic pet products.
“We’re here to support various diet needs,’’ said Linda. “Different people need different things. As an example, we can provide educational help for someone with digestive issues.’’
Linda will become a certified health coach next month. She intends to offer cooking classes and other nutritional guidance to small groups.
“These are common sense things that can help people,’’ she said.
After years of struggling with bouts of depression, Linda figured out that she could regulate how she felt by what she consumed in terms of food and supplements. It changed her life.
The store is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Details: 417-673-7778.
These two shops show the value of shopping centers such as City Pointe. Small businesses can be started in them that impact lives, provide jobs and improve the quality of life in a community.
That heavy equipment in front of Academy Sports and Outdoors is preparing the site for the new Five Guys Burgers. That site was formerly a Sonic Drive-In.
Apparently Panda Express, an Asian restaurant chain, is looking at Joplin. The company is advertising for employees. No confirmation yet from the company.
I have it from a reliable source that a grocery store that specializes in organic foods, including fruits and vegetables, is looking for a site in the south part of Joplin. It would include a health food cafe. Simply put, this is a home run — make that a grand slam — waiting to happen.
If you have news about something happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, dial 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; or send an e-mail to email@example.com; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.