KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oddly Correct has brought coffee lovers to the corner of Westport Road and Main street for the past eight years. But in the coming months, the owners hope to brew new business on Troost Avenue.
"We’ve always been more of a destination shop," Mike Schroeder, co-owner and general manager at Oddly Correct, said.
He also said they have been looking to combine the company's cafe - which now serves cream and sweetener after previously not doing so - and roasting operation under one roof. Recently, they found a spot at 4141 Troost Avenue.
"I live right in that neighborhood, so I drive by it every day," Schroeder said, "and just one day it occurred to me, like, I've never seen anything in there."
Many consider Troost Avenue the dividing line between the haves and the have nots. For years, there have been efforts to bridge the gap between the east side and the west side of the avenue.
Entrepreneurs are working with community leaders to be thoughtful in their move to become part of the neighborhood.
And when Oddly Correct announced its planned move on social media, not everyone was happy.
"We're 100% receptive to criticism and suggestion," Schroeder said.
Since then, the owners have met with neighboring businesses and community leaders.
"They could have just been a corporation that had said, 'Nope, we're buying it. Here we are. You just kind of take it as it is, that's what you get'," Alana Parrish, president of the Historic Manheim Park Association, said. "But they're willing to help out."
"Being able to buy local from Manheim and knowing that the money from Manheim goes straight back into that same garden means feeding more companies, means feeding more families that we have, right there strictly in Manheim," Parrish said.
When it comes hiring, the roaster is prioritizing those who live in Manheim Park.
"We want to create a place where everyone feels welcome, particularly long-term residents of the neighborhood," Schroeder said. "But if you don't see people who look like you, working somewhere, that's the first signal that like, is this a place for you?"
The opening date for Oddly Correct's new space is still a moving target. Renovations are underway, but the owners hope sometime in May.
"I know there's probably going to be backlash from some older members of the community that don't like the idea of different communities, different companies moving in it," Parrish said. "But at the end of the day, having a building that has a business -- that hasn't been anything in the 25 years that I've been there -- it’s always going to be a benefit."
Editor's Note: An earlier version of the story contained an error. It has been corrected to reflect that Oddly Correct does offer cream and sugar.