The week leading up to the AFC Championship is a time of celebration for local businesses in Kansas City. KC stores are stocking their shelves with Chiefs merchandise in anticipation of the big game, and customers are lining up to get their hands on items that will help them join in the festivities.
Robert Duensing, the Best Regards Bakery and Cafe owner in Overland Park, knows that his business is always busy this season. They specialize in making cookies decorated as Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and Isiah Pacheco jerseys, which fly off the shelves before each game. Last year, however, there was a bit of a dip in sales during the later stages of playoffs until they reached the AFC Championships – an effect Duensing jokingly refers to as “the New England effect,” believing fans got so used to them reaching this point that it became taken for granted. He encourages fans to remain engaged in the present instead; as Duensing puts it himself: “As a fan, I’m excited about the prospect [of going to the Super Bowl], but as a business, we don’t give it one ounce of thought” – their focus lies completely on getting through this week’s demand first! This weekend he expects sales between 2000-3000 cookies alone – no doubt an impressive figure!
On top of bakeries celebrating this season’s success, local boutiques such as Shop Local KC have also seen a spike in demand. Owner Katie Mabry van Dieren has her shop in two locations (one in Leawood and one in Midtown), which stock everything from Chief-themed earrings and hats to stickers and shirts – all made by Kansas City locals! These items have been her best sellers by far, proving her belief that when Kansas City does well, everyone does well. Katie has also commented on how she never expected sports to have such an effect on her business: “I never thought sports would have such a big effect on us…Kansas City loves Kansas City, so everything with Kansas City written on it always does well because I think we just have pride here”.
So while we wait with bated breath for Sunday’s game against Tennessee Titans, let us not forget that all those delicious snacks at our Superbowl parties are thanks to small businesses like Best Regards Bakery and Cafe and Shop Local KC who put so much hard work into supplying us with our Chiefs memorabilia!