When I graduated from high school in 1996, I was ready to explore the world and say goodbye to DeWitt. However, after thousands of miles on my car, 6 different cities in 3 states over 15 years, I finally realized what I was longing for was my hometown. I wasn’t just missing my family, but missing the sense of community and support that I felt when I was growing up that I wasn’t finding any other place I had lived.
Besides being homesick, I was also looking for a place to begin my next adventure. I had switched careers discovering a passion for the culinary arts while working as a graphic designer for The Kansas City Star newspaper. After attending culinary school in Arizona and working at various restaurants, I decided I wanted to open my own restaurant.
I thought about how I was raised in a family that had run a small business, the Operahouse, in DeWitt for almost 30 years. In that time I’ve seen the community rise up when help was needed, I’ve seen how residents fill the seats each night and I couldn’t think of a better community to support my restaurant. So I took the leap and moved back to DeWitt to open Whisk Away Café and Bakery. I was able to secure just about everything I needed to start my business, from a business loan to a contractor, within the community.
Whisk Away is now in its fourth year of business and it’s because of the opportunities DeWitt provides for businesses. Not only are customers loyal and supportive, but so are the other businesses in DeWitt. The Marketers of DeWitt, an organization of local business owners, work endlessly to create great events and promotions to draw people to DeWitt. The DeWitt Chamber and Development Company provides multiple resources to help businesses succeed. There are several community events to participate in and help promote businesses such as Tunes ‘N’ Town, Autumnfest, Hometown Christmas, Sweetheart Stroll, and many others.
It’s comforting to know that the community genuinely cares about our success as a business. I am so proud to see our town thriving and that I get to be a part of that success.
Laura Prichard, Owner of Whisk Away Café and Bakery