On a recent Monday, Todd Schulte is wondering where he can find a school desk or an undersized metal desk. Something that he can squeeze an employee behind, his knees bumping up against the lip. Schulte is mostly kidding. He’s just envisioning what customers would see when they walk into Uncommon Stock’s spartan new space at 1000 W. 25th St.
“It’s like something out of the Matrix,” Schulte jokes. “There’s a guy behind the desk and then he disappears through the door and comes back with your soup.”
Schulte’s first business in Kansas City was the Happy Soup Eater, a soup delivery service which evolved into a brick and mortar establishment in 2008: Happy Gillis Cafe & Hangout in Columbus Park (husband and wife team Josh and Abbey-Jo Eans purchased the sandwich shop at the end of last year). He and his wife, Tracy Zinn, opened their second restaurant, the Genessee Royale (where his latest venture, Nice Sausage, is now selling links) in the West Bottoms in December 2010.
After selling Happy Gillis — Uncommon Stock (which he runs with Bill Haw Jr.) had been using the adjacent garage as its base of operations since September 2012 — Schulte needed a new spot to make soup. He took possession of the Westside space last September, but only opened the storefront three weeks ago.
“We have a much larger space and a lot more room to grow,” Schulte says. “We’ve got a bunch of 20-quart pots and a two 10-gallon tilt kettles. It feels big boy and grown up for a soup-maker.”
The soup, sold by the quart, changes weekly [there’s a newsletter to tell you what’s available]. The current offerings are a posole verde (Mexican chicken and hominy with green chili), cream of broccoli and roasted sweet potato and kale with garlicky sausage.
Schulte is also exploring the world of stocks. He’s looking into the possibility of creating a frozen line of stocks and broths, as well as a stock fashioned around specific dietary or medicinal needs. In the spring and summer months, they’ll have salads at the Westside shop.
“We only branch out to keep the wheels on in summer and because it gives us a chance to flex our culinary muscle in different directions. It will always be Uncommon Stock,” Schulte promises. “You won’t see Uncommon Salad or Uncommon Paninos.”
Packaged soup is currently available at Nature’s Own Health Market (4301 Main Street), McGonigle’s Market (1307 West 79th Street), Dolce Bakery (3930 W. 69th Terrace, Prairie Village) and Hy-Vee (7620 State Line Road, Prairie Village). Uncommon Stock also began selling its soups at Cosentino’s Downtown Market (10 E 13th St.) this Monday.
Uncommon Stock is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The phone number is 816-510-7790. You can reserve the soup of the week up until Friday morning.[View image via Facebook: Uncommon Stock]