Bizz & Weezy Confections readies for an August 7 opening in the Crossroads

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Jonathan Pitcher has his fingers crossed, he says. He and his wife, Amy, want their candy retail shop, Bizz & Weezy Confections, at 1800 Baltimore to be open in time for the First Friday crowd in the Crossroads on August  7. “If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be open on that date,” he says. “Or maybe a day or two later.”

Located in the former Kim Weinberger Art Gallery, the shop is set to offer, among other treats, six kinds of caramels: bourbon, bacon, chocolate, raspberry, sea salt, and root-beer float. They’re buttery, creamy and very satisfying. 

But that’s just the start, Jonathan Pitcher says: “We’ve developed recipes for over 40 caramels. We’ll have quite an assortment.”

About that name: Bizz & Weezy is an affectionate nod to Jonathan and Amy’s gamer handles; they’re avid World of Warcraft players. Not that there’s been time for that lately. It’s been a long, stressful and expensive journey for the Pitchers to arrive at this point.

“We’ve been saving for five years to open this store,” Jonathan Pitcher says. “And we’ve probably spent $150,000 to put it together.”
Neither Pitcher trained as a confectioner. Jonathan is an IT consultant who, as he tells it, baked some chocolate-chip cookies for an office party and, when there was demand for more, began to educate himself on making sweets. Amy Pitcher, meanwhile, has quit her job as a graphic-image technician to work full time at Bizz & Weezy. The two live in Olathe with their 3-year-old daughter but are looking at homes in Kansas City to be closer to the shop.

The Pitchers source their chocolate from “an American company outside of Kansas City,” Jonathan tells me, but plan to use as many regional products as they can. “All of our candies are handmade, hand-cut and hand-dipped,” he says. “We’ll be a little expensive, but our customers want the highest-quality ingredients.” Inside the shop’s refrigerated cases will be hand-dipped caramel apples, chocolate-dipped Oreo cookies, truffles, turtles and a variety of pastries, all made in-house (the latter by pastry chef Krysten Wentzal). The coffee is by Kaldi; a new espresso machine was one of the biggest expenses in the build-out. 

The Pitchers had been selling their confections at local coffee shops and Hy-Vee stores, but shut down those accounts as they prepared to open their own store. “We may still deliver to some of our coffee shops, but we’ll now do our retail in our own shop,” Pitcher says.

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink