As a fellow family-owned business since 1950, we’re big supporters of local Kansas City families working hard to keep their dreams of first-generation or multi-generational businesses alive. When Reggie Gunter took over his cousin’s Kansas City pest control business in the early 1950s, the most likely never dreamed that his great-grandson would one day continue the tradition in 2022.
But, that’s where we are today as a 4th generation family-owned business. Reggie Gunter passed on the legacy of his business to his son-in-law Norman, Norman passed it on to his son (and Reggie’s grandson) Jay Besheer in 2000, and Jay’s son Noah is transitioning into his role as the new owner as we speak.
It takes a lot of hard work, determination, and communication between family members for a family-owned business to stay successful. We love all of our clients equally, but we have a special dose of respect for our family-owned business clients. In honor of encouraging Kansas Citians to keep our dollars in the pockets of local Kansas City family-owned businesses this holiday season, here are a few of our clients to support this season:
Unique Spots To Wine, Dine, And Impress Family Members In Town For The Holiday
Los Alamos Market y Cocina located at 17th and Summit in Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood originally opened in 2001 as a full-service grocery store and has since paired down grocery items to staple market essentials like beer, wine, limes, chips, guac.
They’re now known as the go-to place for the coolest pinatas and a full menu of authentic Mexican quick dishes featuring slow-roasted meats, made by mostly family members. Head here for a hefty dose of culture, authenticity, and the best breakfast tacos. The restaurant is owned and run by Agustin Juarez and his wife Blanca. Juarez’s son, Benito, will take over next.
Eric Flanagan is the first generation to start King G and deli from the ground up, but with over two years of build-outs, this start-up operation has been an all-hands-on-deck family affair and the type of special place that his kids may want to keep alive one day…Bring your cousins and siblings here for a smooth night out on the town in the Crossroads or grab a sandwich while you’re out shopping for gifts from the shops below!
The only five words you need to know are: Let’s break plates and dance. Tasso and Katina Kalliris moved from Greece to Kansas City and had a dream of opening a restaurant. About 15 years later, they made that dream happen, and have been a Kansas City multi-generational tradition since 1976. Today, Tasso’s son John manages the restaurant alongside his father.
This is the best place to bring in-town guests for a Kansas City experience. They’ve proudly been one of our longest commercial pest control customers, since at least 2004, at their restaurant in Waldo.
For Shopping Locally-Made Gifts In Kansas City
For locally-made Agave Spirit, bottled in different sizes check out Mean Mule.
The concept started from a family tradition, when owner Jeff’s grandma taught his dad how to use the still, taste it, and know when it’s right. Jeff and their family decided to turn this family tradition into a modern distillery and well-known Agave Spirit made right here in our city. What started out as a distillery (where owner Jeff Evans built the distillery tools himself), is now a full-service bar and lounge with an event space next door called the Agave Lounge in East Crossroads.
The most special thing about this brand is WHAT they make. Their 100% Blue Weber Agave is made by their family-owned and operated operation here in Kansas City. Meg and Jeff Evans – husband and wife duo – are the owners, but many of their family members contribute to the operations on a weekly basis. From running events to sealing the bottles in the distillery room, to even their dog Gabby helping spread a load of cuteness to customers, this is one business that has really taken effort from the whole family.
Check out MADI Apparel for locally-made sustainable womenswear, menswear, and home goods.
Owner Hayley Besheer Santell is the great-granddaughter of Reggie Gunter and the daughter of our current president, Jay Gunter Besheer. This mission-driven business is a first-generation start-up brand, but Santell’s mom Pam Besheer and husband Danny Santell are in on the operations’ action, too!
Although MADI Apparel sells online and their products are carried in a variety of brick-and-mortar locations nationwide (including the new KCI airport come 2023), their sole flagship store is proudly headquartered in Kansas City, in the KC Westside neighborhood.
Here, you’ll find their entire collection of made in Kansas City products. MADI Apparel makes menswear, womenswear, and home goods from sustainable fabrics right here in KC. For every item sold, the brand donates a pair of underwear to requesting organizations, and sewers are paid a living wage.
Laura Little’s Candies
For delicious stocking stuffers and host, gifts check out Laura Little’s Candies.
This candy shop has been making their own treats and proudly serving them “the old-fashioned way” since 1970! They’ve been one of our most regular commercial pest control customers since at least 1998. Stop in for fudge, chocolate-covered pretzels, popcorn, and gift baskets for everyone on your shopping list! Stop by their Prairie Village shop for locally-made candies and desserts that’ll make great holiday gifts for co-workers, stocking stuffers, or New Years’ Eve traditions.
Support Afterword, your local bookstore with gifts from this Kansas City bookstore bar.
The coolest Crossroads bookstore bar you’ve ever met! Snag a couple of book gifts for loved ones and enjoy beer, wine, spirits, and food while you’re shopping. This one isn’t technically a family-owned operation, but owners Christian Overgaard and Luke Pitz make it feel that way. This business is so local and so special that you’ll feel part of the “fam”!
Meats And Sweets For Your Holiday Meals
Bates City BBQ
If you’d rather spend more time relaxing with your family and less time cooking.
Push the “easy button” and order pre-made meats and sides from Bates City BBQ for your holiday meal! Another oldie but goodie, this establishment has been family-owned and operated since 1976! Grab beef, pork, ham, turkey, or ribs for your next holiday meal.
Where to buy the best coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, and other holiday favorites
With over 75 years in the cakery business, they have us beat by 25 years! Our Gunter family members have been eating treats from McLain’s since they opened their doors in Waldo at 75th and Wornall in 1945. The original McLain’s family had built an over 60 year, 3-generation legacy in Kansas City, and a new family decided to continue on the family-owned business tradition with the purchase in 2014.
Brother and sister team, Jeff Hirleman and Mollie Lothman are the new owners and have expanded into multiple locations across the Kansas City Area. Head to any of their Bakery and Market locations in Waldo, Lawrence, Overland Park, and Shawnee for holiday treats.
Family gatherings require coffee and tea, please! Lot’s of it! 🙂
Family members Miel Castagna-Herrera, Curtis Herrera, & Dulcinea Herrera are the owners and operators of this one-of-a-kind coffee house, specializing in classic and specialty Latinx coffee, espresso drinks, and South American inspired yerba mate tea. Café Corazón was largely inspired by Miel’s father Alberto José Castagna, who grew up in Buenos Aires and emigrated to the U.S. when he was 16.
Head to their Westport coffee house location and grab a jug of pre-made coffee for your next holiday gathering, or bring your crew here before a day of gift shopping. You’ll be welcomed with a warm greeting from staff members, Latinx music flowing through the speakers, and a “stay a while” vibe. They’re working on opening a new location in Crossroads Kansas City very soon.
Originally opened in 1998, this Waldo KC institution has seen a few closures and ownership changes over the last few years after 30+ year owner Leslie Stockard sold the business. New owners – husband and wife duo – Bryan and Hailey – recently purchased Classic Cookie and have been working on restaurant renovations for a fresh face before re-opening tentatively just before Christmas 2021.
Foos Fabulous Custard:
Grab a pint and save it for your post-holiday meal dessert! This Kansas City staple has been around for over 30 years when Joe Bremser opened the Brookside frozen custard spot in 1988. When Joe’s wife’s job took them to Charlotte, his sister Betty Bremser offered to buy it and has been the owner ever since! This local frozen custard spot holds the title for the oldest, most veteran local spot, holding its own next to big chains. Foos Fabulous Custard has provided a safe place and many jobs for teens in Kansas City, and it’s one of those spots you walk to with your dog on a Wednesday summer (or even winter) night.
Getting Your Home Ready For Guests
Gunter Pest and Lawn:
Contact us here at Gunter Pest & Lawn for keeping pests out of your perfect holiday home decor!
Sometimes, hosting family and friends around the holidays can feel stressful. We worry about making sure everything is clean and put together while balancing entertainment and relaxation. We’re here to help keep your home pest-free around the holidays.
With almost 70 years in a family-owned business, we have a lot of experience under our belts. 3 generations of the Gunter/Besheer family still work here on a weekly basis. Siblings Hayley and Noah in their 30s work alongside their dad Jay in his 60s who’s joined by his dad Norman in his 90s. Many of our staff have worked here for 20-30 years and feel like family. To schedule a pest control appointment to prep your home before or during the holidays, please call us at 816 523 0777 or click here.
Sutherlands is for Christmas trees, holiday decor, and anything you need to build!
They’re one of the oldest multi-generational Kansas City family-owned businesses still operating. We’re proud to regularly service their large Cimarron Lumber and Supply headquarters location in midtown Kansas City.
Head here before hitting those national chain lumber and home hardware stores. Sutherland’s is a local Kansas City family-owned business that believes in giving back to the community and has been in business for 100 years, founded by Robert R. Sutherland. Based right here in Kansas City, Missouri, Sutherlands® is one of the largest privately-owned home improvement center chains in the United States with 49 home improvement stores spread across 13 states.
We hope you’ll get creative and shop intentionally with local Kansas City family-owned businesses this season. Happy Holidays from the Gunter family!