Local businesses offer variety in KC Metro

More stories from Megan McConnell


Photo by Megan McConnell

A Betty Rae’s employee scoops ice cream for a customer. Betty Rae’s is located in the Waldo area.

There are many places to explore around the Kansas City metro area with an abundance of rising businesses. From local restaurants, ice cream shops and entertainment spots, Kansas City has a lot to offer when it comes to homemade.

With these budding businesses, Kansas City has ushered a new era of unconventionalism. Social media has played, and continues to play, a major part in the growth of new startups.

When it comes to marketing, platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter give businesses a solid foundation. With use in brand awareness, audience targeting, search engine rankings, loyalty, authority and leadership, social media has played a major role in helping startup businesses find their feet by offering a cheap platform of advertising due to its quick accessibility.

The Selfie Boutique provides customers with colorful backgrounds for Instagram-worthy pictures. Starting as a popup experience, its use of social media for free marketing has allowed its idea to take hold of the Kansas City area. The business includes several rooms with a range of different colors and materials for backdrops that change throughout the year. After a couple months, the backgrounds alternate so customers can return for more original photos. Some of the backdrops offered in the past couple of months have included an arrangement of balloons, black and white striped walls and a room covered in pennies.

The Selfie Boutique isn’t the only KC business that’s found its mark on Instagram and Snapchat. Freezing Moo, a growing chain of ice cream shops, also presents customers with its quirky use of rolled ice cream that is prepared in front of consumers to record and share. The use of social media has allowed an abundance of growing Kansas City businesses to reach for their newfound popularity. With its success, Freezing Moo has expanded from one storefront to three.

Like Freezing Moo, Betty Rae’s Ice Cream is one of the many growing and ever prominent locations for ice cream. With unique homemade flavors, Betty Rae’s offers a homegrown Kansas experience. New flavors like lavender honey or goat cheese, apricots, and candied walnuts, are seasonally rotated so something new is always offered.

“Shopping Small” is a movement that extends beyond the growing, social media endorsed businesses. It helps support local business and fellow citizens trying to make their mark, along with boosting the local economy and stimulating business.

Shopping local provides both advantages and disadvantages to a city with a growing sense of community. The shopping small movement supports small business leaders by putting money toward handmade and local projects. Not all businesses use social media for their promotion, yet they are still able to flourish with the sense of personal identity, individuality and community. Big corporations offer many advantages of their own: providing jobs, cheap goods and accessibility.

Many shops reside in singular store fronts throughout the metro area and can be found throughout the Crossroads, Greater Downtown, Plaza, Westport and Waldo areas.

Antique stores and farmers markets also provide closely grown objects and produce to people searching for a taste of Kansas. Areas like the West Bottoms, Rivermarket, and the City Market provide for a chance to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foods, while offering old and reused goods searching for another lifetime. The City Market includes food stalls and vintage sales on Saturdays and Sundays year round (though hours differ).

Kansas City has a lot to offer in the area, and shopping local allows a growing sense of community with advantages offered to the metro. From ice cream shops to local restaurants and novelty goods, such as T-shirts and prints, local shopping helps stimulate the economy and support fellow Kansans.