Today we are going to discuss 20 local small businesses in Kansas City to support this Holiday season.

If you haven’t heard the exciting news, we were named Kansas City’s favorite local pest control company in Kansas City Star’s list of “Kansas City Favorites.” 

And last year, Gunter Pest & Lawn made Kansas City Business Journal’s Top 100 Family-Owned Businesses in Kansas City!

We’ve been around since 1950 when our current president Noah Gunter Besheer’s great-grandfather Reggie Gunter started the business. We’re a 4th generation family-owned and operated local Kansas City pest control company, and we want to recognize other family-owned and small businesses in our community who work hard every day to bring us products, food, and drinks that we love! We’re highlighting twenty of our amazing clients below, and we’d love to encourage you to dine and shop at small businesses in Kansas City this holiday season!

local small business restaurants to eat In Kansas City This Holiday

Luna’s Chicken & Seafood

Serving the Kansas City metropolitan area with delicious fried chicken, seafood, and more with locations all over the city in Kansas City Kansas, off Blue Ridge Boulevard and Troost!


At Chingu, guests will enjoy a fun, interactive, learning experience as the owner and team bring their childhood favorites to life on the menu. Choose from popular Korean street foods, elements of Korean BBQ, and Korean homestyle cooking. Cocktails include highlights of soju (rice spirit), makgeoli (rice wine), and cocktails inspired by Korean and Asian flavors.

The team at Chingu.
The team at Chingu. Photos taken from Chingu’s website

Drinks from chingu. 20 local small businesses.

French Custard

Owners (and couple) Alex and Jess started French Custard™ as a love letter to ice cream made right: with just milk, cream, eggs, and sugar. Their lifelong obsession with ice cream took them on a journey to create ice cream the old-fashioned way. They make ice cream without the stabilizers and additives that give modern ice cream its taffy-like texture.

20 local small businesses. Morningside Shop.
Located in the cutest Morningside shop, right next to the iconic Rydell Tailors!

Buffalo State

Did you say New York Pizza in Kansas City?! With two locations in the Kansas City Crossroads and Overland Park (ranked Best Places to Live by Money Magazine), enjoy mouth-watering large pizza slices you’ll want to go back for!

Los Alamos Cocina

This is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Kansas City, an authentic staple for Mexican cuisine since 2002. Los Alamos, founded by owner Agustin “Gus” Juarez, has been located in Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood since it first opened, and is about as “family owned and operated” as it gets! Gus’ son and daughter and wife Blanca all work here and cooperate in the restaurant, too, and various family members have joined in on the family operation over the years. Gus’ son Benito plans to take over as the 2nd generation owner one day. Originally a popular Kansas City breakfast and lunch staple with regulars crowding the tables, they’re now open for dinner on the weekends!


Known for being locally owned and using locally sourced plus farm fresh ingredients. Their seasonally rotating breakfast, brunch, and lunch menus are full of healthy, savory, and fresh home-cooked meals!

The Borough

The Borough is Kansas City’s first Neighborhood Food Hall, located in the historic Marlborough Village on Paseo. Conceived by long-time Marlborough residents and activists, Rodger Kube and Diane Hershberger, The Borough is all about community in our truly diverse, sometimes quirky, neighborhood.

best local bars and coffee shops In Kansas City to support This Holiday

Chingu Coffee 

Chingu Coffee Co. is a locally-owned coffee roaster and cafe in West Plaza, brought to you by Chingu Collective – the same owner and operator of Chingu the restaurant! “Chingu” means “friend” in Korean, and friendship is woven through all aspects of the company—from coffee farmers to importers, to staff and our guests. Enjoy coffee, tea, and Korean-inspired pastries and breakfast.

King G. And Jim’s Alley Bar

Owner Eric Flanagan owns both bars, and he named Jim’s after his late maternal grandfather, Jim Pagliocco, “A veteran of World War II. Working class, family man, the rock of our family. Always there, very steady”, Flanagan said. I just thought this bar would speak to people who have people like that in their lives. Or if they are that person. Jim’s Alley Bar is a neighborhood bar in the Crossroads that doesn’t even have a sign – you may miss it walking by, but that’s kind of the point! It makes you feel nostalgic and very homey.

Mean Mule Distilling Co. And Bar

A barista at mean mule distilling company. 20 local small businesses.
Photo from meanmuledistilling.com, inside of Mean Mule’s Kansas City Crossroads location

The family-owned business started in 1920 when the prohibition began and owner Jeff’s great-great grandma and her son built a still to make moonshine and found a hiding place to keep the booze a secret. Jeff’s great-grandpa Fritz drove from mid-Missouri to Saint Louis where he sold the hooch for cash. Years later, Jeff Evans and his wife Meg decided to leave their careers as a teacher and mechanical engineers and follow in their family’s footsteps to breathe life back into their history as Kansas City distillers.

Uniquely and very rare in this industry, Jeff built their still by hand – all of the piping, everything. Meg’s brother Tyler moved his family from Arizona to join the team as a fifth-generation brewer, and Meg’s mom also joined the crew. A few years ago, you’d catch Meg and Jeff’s whole family bottling Agave spirits in the distilling room as one family unit.

Other Great Coffee Shops in Kansas City

1. Strange Days

2. Casual Animal

3. Ph Coffee


local shops to buy holiday Gifts In Kansas City


Two women dressed in MERSEA attire
Owners Mel and Lina. We do not own the rights to this photo from mersea.com

We’re lucky to have MERSEA as a KC-headquartered small business. “Small” business isn’t always so literal, though. They’re carried in over 50 retail stores all over the US – coast to coast and everywhere in between! MERSEA’s story began in 2013 with singular passion in mind: Travel, and the nostalgic scents that come along with it. Fascinated by scent’s ability to transport the body and soul to places old and new, this led our founders to uncover the creations of artisans found in corners around the world. Now, MERSEA is no longer exclusively a destination for scents and self-care, but a curated collection of travel essentials crafted entirely for your journey—wherever you may go. MERSEA is partnering with Water.org, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to safe water and sanitation to the millions affected by the global water crisis.

Geo’s Cheese

They’re our neighbors on Gregory in Waldo, right next to our other clients Mclain’s Bakery! We recommend going here for cheeses and meats to make a charcuterie board for your holiday guests! Their goal is to provide a large variety of cheeses which cannot be found elsewhere in Kansas City like Wisconsin Cheddar which ranges from 1 to 15 years in age, and cherrywood smoked havarti.

MADI Apparel

MADI Apparel founder Hayley Santell and her mom Pam Besheer (president of MADI Donations and head of PR) in front of their Kansas City International Airport shop
MADI Apparel founder Hayley Santell and her mom Pam Besheer (president of MADI Donations and head of PR) in front of their Kansas City International Airport shop

As local as shopping gets, 4th generation Kansas City native Hayley Besheer Santell founded MADI Apparel in 2013 after learning that underwear is the most needed and under-donated item of clothing in organizations serving women and youth all over the world. She decided to form a business that would help fulfill that need and make a difference in every other way, too. For every item you buy, a pair of underwear is donated to requesting non-profits all over the world.

Just mentioned as one of Heidi Gardner’s favorite places in Kansas City in New York Magazine, these ethically made forever staples make the perfect local gift that gives back.

Their everyday basics like comfy loungewear, sustainable pajamas, bamboo underwear, and travel bag products are made from sustainable fabrics and materials like plastic-free vegan leather, bamboo, and organic cotton. All products are made in KC, and sewers are paid a living wage, making the company part of 3% of the world’s fashion brands to pay a living wage. When you shop at this local Kansas City small business, your dollars stay with the local economy. MADI Apparel’s home base is within Slow Motion Goods (more below) in the Kansas City Westside and in the locally made shop within the Kansas City International Airport.

Slow Motion Goods

A shop in kansas city called slow motion goods
Slow Motion Goods in Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood at 16th and Summit

Located right next door to small business Westside Local, Slow Motion Goods is an ethical concept store by MADI Apparel – a home for conscious consumers. In February of 2023, MADI Apparel founder Hayley decided to re-brand the name of their Kansas City Westside flagship store to Slow Motion Goods. The reason for this is to further their sustainability model and open up the opportunity for more conversation surrounding conscious consumerism. All products in the store are locally and ethically made (by MADI Apparel) OR locally reclaimed from used. The Kansas City shop carries used vinyl records, modern acrylic paintings painted over old unwanted thrifted ones, and lots of gifts like leather notebooks and leather card holders made from leather waste, plus watercolor prints made from paint and paper waste and even coffee table books on ethical fashion. Slow Motion Goods is the first and only store in Kansas City to offer only 100% locally and ethically + sustainably made and reclaimed goods.

Clothz Minded

Clothz Minded is a sustainable collection boutique located in Westport Kansas City. They buy, sell and trade name brand and designer clothing and accessories for women! Recently they expanded their shop to online and will soon be adding Mens and Kids!

local salons, spaS to visit In Kansas City this holiday

Posh KC

As a resident of downtown KC, owner Ashley recognized a need for hair and makeup services in her own neighborhood. After months of extensive industry research all over the United States, they decided to make their idea a reality by opening Posh KC in the Kansas City Power and Light district in April 2015. Founded on the values of prioritizing customer service and unsurpassed quality, Posh KC has become the premier beauty and bridal provider in all of Kansas City.


We do not own the rights to this photo

Our neighbors in Waldo! Owner Krista has been a stylist for 30 years and a salon owner for 19.  She trained in New York at the L’ Oreal academy in Soho and Jacques Dessange salon on Park Ave. The team of just under 10 stylists would love to take care of your cheveux :).

Woodside KC

Views of the indoor pool, steam room and sauna at Woodside.
Views of the indoor pool, steam room and sauna at Woodside. We do not own the rights to this photo.

Looking for a health and fitness club to burn off those holiday calories and lean into a healthier 2024? With multiple outdoor pools, an indoor pool, sauna, hot tub, cold plunge, steam room, fireplace, and spa, what more could you want and need to get through a Kansas City winter? A membership (or gift card toward one) would be a great holiday gift. Or, if you’re already a member – check out the local small business vendor gifts featured in the spa gift shop, like jewelry from Sierra Winter.

Want to learn about more local shops and restaurants in our three most cultural and historic Kansas City neighborhoods? Go block by block and see everything these three vibrant districts—the Westside, 18th & Vine, and the River Market—have in store through Visit KC’s Block by Block Series, filmed by Emmy-award-winning Nico Giles.