At the beginning of the pandemic, chef Bryan Sparks found himself at a crossroads. His position as executive chef at Jax Fish House was on hold indefinitely, and with ongoing restaurant closures and layoffs across the city, Sparks recognized he needed to take his future into his own hands. He launched a chef-driven meal delivery service that uses locally sourced ingredients called Beloved on the Go with his partner, Hailey Allen. As the business grew, Sparks searched for a permanent kitchen location where he and Allen could grow the business. As fate would have it, The Classic Cookie in Waldo was up for sale. They jumped on the opportunity to take over the restaurant space to support the meal delivery business while also reopening and reinventing the cafe.
How do you plan to evolve the menu and concept at The Classic Cookie?
The Classic Cookie is a small but strong mainstay in KC. It’s been around since 1992, and it’s been a humbling experience trying to refresh the space while not losing its identity. We’ve given our pastry chef, Logan Goff (formerly of Banksia) free reign to create whatever he wants. To start, we’ll be offering fresh-made danishes, hand pies, a few different types of bread (our sourdough starter is named Henrietta), baklava, small cakes, muffins and, of course, cookies. The idea behind the menu is to not overcomplicate it. Nothing fancy, nothing that involves tweezers, just some really high-quality ingredients that we try not to fuck up. Everything on our menu is aimed at being the best of what it is in the city, and if it’s not the best, we’ll find a way to make it the best.
It looks like the interior of the space has changed quite a bit. What do you have in store for us?
The remodel started out small, but as most remodels go, it quickly expanded into almost a full gutting of the dining room. We are aiming to be lighter, brighter and fresher while still making it feel cozy. Local art, family pictures, recipes on the wall, real plants everywhere and small details like USB outlets all over the place.
What does this mean for your meal delivery service?
Beloved will still be operating out of the kitchen during the hours The Classic Cookie is closed, and we plan on ramping up the catering portion of Beloved as well. Future collaborations might include a rotating weekend dinner pop-up in the space and potentially a liquor license for all of the mimosa drinkers. Beloved was our first baby—it was what started all of this. There’s a lot we can do with The Classic Cookie, but at the end of the day, we still have to stay within a framework that was established over the past thirty years. With Beloved, we have the ability to really do whatever our client base wants us to do. We also have the “Food for All” initiative, where we partner with local nonprofits to feed as many people as we can to try to put a dent into food insecurity in our community. That’s still important to us.
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A Flawless Dinner
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