Made in KC is intentionally growing where local demand takes it, said Keith Bradley, detailing the brand’s expansion plans that hinge on customer convenience and include a new store in a prominent Northland shopping center.
“We realized that we don’t have a strong presence in the Northland,” said Bradley, a co-owner of Made in KC alongside founders Tyler Enders and Thomas McIntyre. “The Northland is large and diverse, and we want to help ensure shopping local is convenient and a habit for everyone in the community. We’ve heard a lot of excitement for our [new] Barrywoods’ location as we’ve been more public about it.”
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Made in KC is set to open one of its neighborhood shops in early April at Barrywoods Center, if not sooner, Bradley teased. It will be Made in KC’s sixth neighborhood shop since debuting the locally-sourced retail store in 2015.
“Our smaller [neighborhood shops] are how we started as a company and are really our bread and butter,” Bradley shared. “This expansion into the Northland goes back to the core of our business: making sure that we are allowing Kansas Citians to have convenient access to local goods. It may look like we are expanding fast, but we feel we’ve been very intentional about each move we’ve made in order to maintain our identity as a company.”
Visitors to the soon-to-open neighborhood shop in Barrywoods Center can anticipate seeing local favorites and staples in stock, with the possibility of Northland-branded goods, Bradley added.
“Occasionally what we’ll do is have a company, say Sandlot Goods, make more neighborhood-specific goods; for example, we may explore them doing a Northland hat to represent that part of Kansas City,” Bradley said. “But overall, it’ll be a lot of those products you see in our other locations.”
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Under the Made in KC brand, the founders have opened neighborhood shops, marketplaces and Made in KC Cafés. Made in KC’s neighborhood shops and marketplaces differ in size, business model and experience, Bradley explained.
“With our neighborhood shops, we are purchasing those goods wholesale from 250 local Kansas City businesses, and it’s on us to sell them,” Bradley noted. “Those shops are smaller and about convenience.
“The marketplaces are much larger and have not only the wholesale product, but we also rent our space to different vendors to have their own shop within the shop,” he continued. “… What’s really fun about the marketplace experience is that it is anchored by the cafe and bar experience. So it’s a place you’re spending 20 minutes or more; it’s a place you’re going to meet a friend for a drink or shop; it’s a place where you’re going to see a pop-up event on any given weekend.”
Made in KC’s three marketplace locations include: Country Club Plaza, Lenexa City Center and Lee’s Summit. Its neighborhood shop locations include: Red Bridge, Corinth Square, Briarcliff, Prairiefire and Martini Corner. Made in KC Cafés can be found at: lightwell, downtown, River Market Trolley and Martini Corner.
Made in KC also recently opened a shop at the new terminal within the Kansas City International Airport.
“We have our other concepts — Ludo’s, Front Range, Out of the Blue — as well that are spin-off concepts owned and operated by us and Made in KC, but not branded Made in KC,” Bradley added.
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Later this year, Made in KC has plans to open a neighborhood shop in Downtown Overland Park, Bradley teased.
“That’s the last thing we have in motion at this time,” he said.
Between the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl and the new airport terminal opening, the Made in KC team has been as busy as they are around the holiday shopping season, Bradley said, noting that a good team is crucial as a business expands.
For Made in KC’s neighborhood shop in Barrywoods Center, they are currently hiring lead and sales associates.
“We are looking for people who love Kansas City just as much as we do and want to celebrate that with every customer interaction they have,” Bradley said. “Whether a customer is visiting for the first time or the 50th time — whether they are coming in from out of town or from down the street — we are looking for a team who treats every customer like they are your neighbor. That is what we’re looking for in anybody in our company.”
Click here to apply to join the Made in KC team.