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Woman-owned restaurants take center stage during KC Restaurant Week

Two restaurant owners in Kansas City open up about running a woman-owned business
Posted at 8:29 AM, Jan 19, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Minority and women-owned restaurants say foot traffic is noticeably up thanks to Kansas City Restaurant Week.

Enjoy Pure Food + Drink opened in 2016, becoming one of the first clean eats restaurants in Leawood. Owner Staci Cross came up with the concept after noticing a lack of healthy food options in the area.

“There’s health-driven people everywhere, and it’s just a matter of making it accessible and easy to find," Cross said.

Cross takes pride in ensuring each ingredient featured on her menu is carefully sourced to provide options for every diet.

"I want it to be inclusive of all stages of where people are in their health journey,” she said.

Up north inside Trago Bar and Tapas, owner/chef Kandi Kearns and her daughter Alexandria Snavely cook with recipes passed on by their abuelita.

“We are fourth-generation Spaniards, so when she taught me how to cook, it was great. So my flavor is her flavor,” Kearns said.

Menu options at Trago vary with an emphasis on Latin cuisine.

From puffy tacos stuffed with carnitas to churros dipped in dulce de leche and flavorful margaritas, the mother-daughter duo says their goal is to push Kansas Citians out of their comfort zone.

“If you like Mexican food, then you will understand the basis of my pallet — don’t be afraid of it, try something new," Kearns said.

In both Kansas and Missouri, only 32% of restaurants are majority-owned by women, but both Kearns and Cross agree hard work pays off.

“I just believe you can do anything you want to do — it’s all about finding the right support,” Cross said.