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The Emporia Gazette

EMPORIA, KS (April 3, 2024) – Emporia-based chocolatier Sweet Granada is set to make its mark in the Kansas City market with a new location in the Red Bridge Shopping Center in South Kansas City as early as next month, owner Kim Redeker told The Gazette Monday evening. The expansion has been in the works for over a year, with plans solidifying after finding the perfect spot shortly after the start of the year.

“We are very excited,” Redeker said. She highlighted the vibrant atmosphere of the Red Bridge Shopping Center as a key factor in the decision, noting its appeal as a community hub with independently owned businesses and active neighborhood events. “It just felt like a little downtown.”

The Red Bridge Shopping Center is located at 519 E. Red Bridge Road, in Kansas City, Missouri, and is home to more than 20 businesses. Almost 100% of those businesses are locally owned.

“They host neighborhood events at the shopping center. There’s just really great unique destination businesses,” Redeker said. “We have loved being a part of the downtown community here, and that was maybe kind of my biggest struggle or challenge when looking to expand into a larger market, is how we kept that focus. We’ve always had to be really involved in the community we’re in and Red Bridge just was a really solid fit for that.”

Sweet Granada, now in its 20th year of business, has been a sought after business over the years, with different communities and entities reaching out about possible expansions and partnerships. None of those opportunities felt right until now, Redeker said.

The new location, expected to open in early May, will be led by experienced manager Derek Krause, who has been with Sweet Granada for years and is relocating to the Kansas City area. Redeker emphasized the importance of having someone familiar with the company’s ethos and operations to spearhead the expansion.

“It’s a huge piece to the expansion puzzle,” Redeker said regarding Krause’s role in the venture. “Derek was kind of that final puzzle piece in how can we successfully introduce ourselves in a community with someone who knows us and loves our business concept. It just all started to click after that.”

One of the unique aspects of the expansion is Sweet Granada’s plan to keep production in Emporia while transporting goods to the Kansas City store regularly.

“I think that is one of the best parts about the expansion is, and I think it’s gonna be a great thing for Emporia, because our plan is for the production to stay here,” Redeker confirmed, ensuring that customers in both locations can enjoy fresh, handmade chocolates and treats. “They’ll be doing a little bit of onsite things like dipping strawberries and they’ll make the caramel apples up there in the fall — you know, things that we make fresh every morning. But other than that, all the peanut clusters, the fudge, all those things will be made in Emporia then transferred to our location in Kansas City.”

As the company prepares for this exciting new chapter, Redeker reassured the Emporia community that the expansion is a positive development that will strengthen the company’s foundation in its hometown.

“I hope that it’s going to just be an amazing thing for Emporia,” Redeker said. “I don’t want anyone thinking, ‘oh, my gosh, they’re going to Kansas City. We are expanding into Kansas City. As we grow into the future, it’ll only lead to more great things, and hopefully more jobs right here in Emporia.”

Emporians are encouraged to follow Sweet Granada KC on social media to keep up with happenings at the new location.

Read more from the Emporia Gazette here.