News & Events
Discover Mid-America March 2005
2005 Best of
Like always in a special project like Best Of, changes
in approach and tinkering with the process are needed from year to year.
Our main challenge remains one to expand the involvement in Best Of.
Best Mall for General Antiques (tie)
Since that time, Sandra said, I grew to love the place and I learned
everything about antiques (while) I knew nothing before.
Pam was known for decorating talent, using various themes to convey a special message, said Sandra. My challenge is to keep things interesting and fresh.
Sandra calls her management approach a get it done philosophy. I want to be successful and I want it fun, she said. I want to inspire people to get going again. Theres been a lull because of the economy and I want to jump start everything.
Yet, Greenwood continues to be a popular destination for antiquers. Sandra credits word-of-mouth and that fact that when people come to Greenwood, theyre not just going to one shop but going to a destination.
Everybody knows someone who likes antiques, Sandra continued. And girls just want to have fun. Greenwood Antique Mall& Country Tea Room is known for its high-quality items, particularly furniture. But with 65 dealers, theres lots of expertise available in a lot of areas, said Sandra.
One of those areas is the Country Tea Room inside the mall. Not surprising, the Tea Rooms owner, Shari Groh, won first in Best Café or Tea Room in a Mall or Shop in this years voting.
Best Mall or Shop for General Collectibles (tie)
Ive got the best dealers in town, she said. Theres dealers in here every day working their booths. Thats dedication.
As for the customers, Susie said, Thats the surprise. Weve got daily customers, devoted and dedicated customers that love particular dealers.
Take the two dealers and customers and Susie has her basic approach to continuing to make the mall successful.
My biggest challenge is a combination of trying to make the dealers have sales and the customers happy. If the dealers arent comfortable, theyre not happy and we dont have anything to sell to customers I have to keep the dealers happy so they have a wide variety of things to offer the customers.
Balancing the needs of dealers and customers underscores Susies philosophy of: Treat people the right way, respect them, and, hopefully, youll get them back. Susie adds that having a local mall owner with Larry Lester also helps out.
Besides offering the best in antiques shes particularly proud of the malls old U.S. of A-made furniture and restoration work adapting and offering a large mix of items are what Susie thinks are vital for success.
Our variety makes us successful, she said. We have everything from Fenton glass to brand new candles.
Theres more. Include gifts, home décor and what Susie calls collect-iques not that old yet but they will be worth something, she explained.
But it isnt just the offering of things for sale. Country Meadows will hold another Estate Auction Sale, April 24-May 1, and plans to bring in more appraisal-related events to the mall.
The work, the challenge, the fun all has Susie saying, My God, I love it here.
Best Mall or Shop for Crafts (tie)
I had four great aunts, known as the Chiles Sisters,
in Independence. I remember going to their house on White Oak street.
It was full of antiques and old linens.
We specialize in vintage linens. My mother makes handmade gift bags and wall items out of vintage linens. Those are the things we are most proud of.
She says linens are her biggest draw but The Shabby Flea also offers primitives, shabby chic and furniture.
Susan also helps organize and work at a couple area shows a few times a year. That involvement originally got her interested in owning her own shop.
Susan credits being on Independence Square as helping her business. Its that and the frequent influx of new items from her three dealers.
Generally, we turn our inventory over at least every month but there are new things every day, she said.
She anticipates that her business will continue to grow, and she plans on remaining on the Square. I love being on the Square, said Susan.
Best Mall or Shop for Classic Cars, Automobilia
A self-professed A-type personality and owner of Weird Stuff
Antiques in Kansas City, MO, Terrys love of antiques grew into a
concentration of classic cars and automobile memorabilia. And hes
nurtured that love for quite a while.
Terry still has the long hair, and a narrow, vertical goatee, but the
knowing whereabouts of the 51 Chevy wasnt asked.
From swap meets, Terry evolved his business into storefronts with names
like Rags Vintage Clothing and Flipped Out Antiques. About nine years
ago he began Weird Antiques and three years later moved the business to
his current location in what is called the eastern leg of the Crossroads
District in KC.
Terry contends he doesnt have much competition because his prices are low. Im on the low-end; everybody can afford a $1,000 classic.
The priority he says is the automobile memorabilia, particularly vintage gas and oil-related signs with prices from $50 to $500. A rare find, he said, would be a sign from the Gargoyle Oil Co.
Terry also dabbles in real estate. He once bought an old Conoco gas station and sold it to a buyer who converted it into a single residence.
Right now, hes attracted to the art deco style. He thinks art deco is coming back. Just the way things cycle around, he said.
But his love of cars will never leave. Its the reason I got into this business, he said. It pays the bills plus keeps me excited.
Established in 1847, the winery grew to be the second largest in the
United States. In the later 1800s, Stone Hill dazzled the wine world by
winning gold medal in eight worlds fairs. By the turn of the century,
the winery was shipping over a million gallons of wine per year.
Then came Prohibition in 1920. The law destroyed the wine industry in Missouri and across the country. Stone Hills underground cellars became home for growing mushrooms.
When Jim and Betty Held bought the winery in 1965, there was no way to go but up. Today, Stone Hill is recognized nationwide to date, the winery has won 264 medals for its wine having produced 200,000 gallons of wine in 2004, in addition to being listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a major tourist attraction in the state.
Im most proud of my parents who were pioneers in the Missouri wine industry, said daughter and director of public relations and special events, Patty Held-Uthlaut.
Like most wineries, Stone Hill is family-owned. Patty said that might be due to the agricultural roots of the industry along with its time-honored traditions for seeking quality in its product.
Yet, said Patty, Wine is more than a product. Along with its rich heritage, Its also a value-added product. Not only do we produce grapes but we turn those grapes into wine. And we promote tourism selling an agricultural product but promoting tourism at the same time.
Of course, the wine should taste good, said Patty. And going to a winery should be a memorable experience, something beyond the product on the shelf.
Of the 19 different wines, Patty praises their Vidal Blanc as something not found on the vaulted West Coast. Its a European and American hybrid, unique to the states climate and soil. Patty should know she is much in demand as an expert wine judge and has a reputation for a sensitive nose and discriminating palate.
Stone Hill continues to work on quality and following Jim Helds dictum of: Once you get the customers to your winery and let them taste the wine, youve got them.
Stone Hill also has wineries in New Florence and Branson, MO. The Vintage Restaurant in Hermann specializes in German cuisine.
Discover Mid-America founder and Senior Contributing Editor Ken Weyand files regular reports on notable Midwest destinations. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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