Friday, March 5, 2010

I Love You Shop opens at Hammerpress

Posted By on Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge hammerpress.JPG

The I Love You Shop at Hammerpress debuts at tonight's First Friday in the Crossroads. Inside the old-timey card shop, I Love You is a modern take on a general store attached to the two-chair hair studio that is being run by Amber Hodgson. It features small-batch products that aren't likely to be stocked anywhere else in Kansas City.

Fat City caught up with Brady Vest of Hammerpress to talk about the new shop and how a letterpress and design studio got into the business of selling dry goods. 

When you first started thinking about the spot, did you envision selling foodstuffs?

click to enlarge hammerpress.interior.JPG

Not at all. When we first moved Hammerpress to this spot two years ago, we had no plans of carrying food items. We did, however, try selling fresh cut flowers for a total of two weeks -- that was

kind of difficult due to the extremely short shelf life of flowers. We

just liked the idea of having some other kind of unexpected product in

the shop.


What food items will be featured this Friday?

The

list of products will evolve but currently

includes: Maison Bouche Chocolates, Smith Tea

products and one-pound bags of coffee from Oddly Correct Coffee Roasters

based here in Kansas City. These are particularly cool because it's great

coffee and the owner, Gregory, hand prints all of the bags.

Smith Tea's Lord Bergamot -- a take on Earl Grey -- is one of five green, herbal and black tea flavors available.
  • Smith Tea's Lord Bergamot -- a take on Earl Grey -- is one of five green, herbal and black tea flavors available.
Can you talk a bit about what led you to select those products?

The selection of products is designed to be a collaboration between myself and Amber Hodgson, who runs the I Love You hair studio and shop.

Our main criteria is quality but we tried to select products that are

aesthetically pleasing and designed well and not available in many

other Kansas City shops, if any. 

The Oddly Correct Coffee by the register is a different kind of impulse purchase.
  • The Oddly Correct Coffee by the register is a different kind of impulse purchase.

You'll have coffee from Oddly Correct in stock. Do you have plans to try and feature more local producers?

It would really just depend on the product. I

think there is a lot of support for local products in Kansas City

and that is always increasing. Our goal with the selection up to this

point has always been to enhance what Hammerpress offers as well as

things that are not available in other shops in the city. The goal is

the same with I Love You at Hammerpress -- to offer things that we enjoy and appreciate that may not be available elsewhere.


click to enlarge beekman.soap.JPG
Is there a mood or connection you're attempting to create with customers, such as nostalgia or curiosity?

I think more curiosity than nostalgia. I've

always shied away from overly nostalgic approaches to things even

though we use presses from the early 20th century and we have two

vintage barber chairs in the space. Our interest lies more in authentic

products, food and otherwise, that may spark curiosity in people, even

if it is just a bag of coffee. It's more about the mix of things.

We

like the absurdity of selling authentic horse shoes that can be hung

above your door for good luck -- which it seems everyone could use these

days -- next to a high-end chocolate bar from Maison Bouche or perfumes

from D.S. and Durga. These things make perfect sense to us because they

are beautiful and strike some imaginative or romantic interest. We

think of it as a strange and lovely twist on the General Store -- imagine a feed and seed shop that would offer everyday utilitarian items as well as bulk food items and candy but with a twist.


What hours will the shop be open on this First Friday?

Our hours on First Friday are always "until people stop coming in." We usually don't close until around 9:30 or 10 p.m.

*One additional product -- Bee Raw Artisanal Honey -- is expected to be in stock on Monday.

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