Business Watch: Winery opens Topeka tasting room, local food store
Posted: September 26, 2015 – 2:25pm
By Megan Hart
Prairie Fire Winery has opened a store selling their vintages and other Kansas products in Topeka.
The Local Depot, in Brookwood shopping center, sells 17 Prairie Fire wines, with most available to taste. Much of the space, however, is devoted to nonalcoholic products from other Kansas companies, with options including Topeka-made Cashmere Popcorn, cheese, sausage, salsa, “artisanal” ketchups, jellies, seasoning and dip mixes, lavender lotions, barbecue sauce, coffee and tea blends, pickles and mixes for muffins and breads, including some with Wizard of Oz-themed names like Lost in the Poppy Fields muffin mix and Blue Gingham Dress blueberry pancake mix.
Owner Bob DesRuisseaux said he anticipates the store eventually will outgrow its current location. It takes time to create retail partnerships with small producers, he said, but everyone benefits when they can because the producer has a way to reach more customers, the customers get local products they want and the Local Depot can offer people a one-stop location for their wine and party food needs.
“We can bring it all together,” he said. “Here in Kansas, we literally grow and make everything that can go on a plate or in a glass.”
DesRuisseaux said many of the customers at their main winery in Paxico come from Topeka, but he doesn’t anticipate a second location will cut into business there. People typically go to the main location if they want to have a relaxing trip, he said, while they will stop at the Topeka one to pick up something to have with dinner.
“Our customers have really pulled us into this market,” he said.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit TheLocalDepot.com or call (785) 246-6500.