Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Show Must Go On: GHS Theatre Goes Virtual


by Mary K. King

Likely for the first time in Grandview High School’s Theatre Department history, Director Molly Mokler is leading the charge for a digital production, She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms.

Originally a stage performance, Mokler saw the show at the 2018 Missouri Thespian Conference and fell in love with the production.

“It’s super girl power and feminist,” said Mokler. “It has all these amazing fighting scenes and is based off of the game, Dungeons and Dragons, which I play.”

Back in the spring of 2020, at the beginning of COVID-19 quarantine, all shows shut down. Mokler said that, for high schoolers in particular who had been preparing for shows, it was a real bummer. The author of She Kills Monsters, Qui Nguyen, decided at that time to rewrite his script for a Zoom production.

“He turned his script around really fast, and the first virtual performance of his show was on May 7 of this year,” said Mokler. “I had heard through the theatre community that he was one of the first to really put a virtual script out there. When I watched it, while it wasn’t as amazing as the in-person version, it was something.”

Mokler didn’t decide on this script right away, as there were too many unknown factors to consider: whether Grandview schools would be in-person or virtual, or what the district would allow her to do as far as a show goes.

“I kind of had to wait around for the school to make some decisions, but I decided pretty early on that I wanted to do a fully-virtual show,” said Mokler. “I didn’t want to risk having students put their heart and soul into something that could get canceled.”

She read many different virtual shows looking for the right fit. She initially was looking at other productions because two other schools in the area were already committed to doing She Kills Monsters. However, those schools were planning an in-person show. She circled back to the digital script for the show, and it occurred to her that some of the scenes could be animated.

“That would really amp up the production value; and it would be a cool opportunity for our students to do voice-over work for their characters,” said Mokler. “And, it could really get more students involved because we could pull in the art department.”

She contacted a friend who does animation, and when he signed on to help, she knew this was her show. Her students, she says, are excited that they get to do theatre at all, thinking that the season would likely be canceled.

“The kids were super on board with the very unique way we were going to go about filming this,” said Mokler. “They have adapted overall very well, and I think they’re really proud of it. They’re going to just be thrilled with the final product.”

She has three students who worked on the art and the animation who sought Mokler out to be a part of the show. Trying to stick to a familiar process for her students, Mokler worked to make the show theatrical when possible. Auditions were all online, and the students had three weeks of rehearsal before anything was recorded. They also worked on filming etiquette, like how to make their Zoom frames look theatrical.

“We spent, I think, two full days of figuring out where in the students’ bedrooms would be the best lighting, the best angles and backgrounds,” said Mokler. “Where we could, we used natural light, but we also ended up buying several ring lights for those who didn’t have good lighting in their rooms.”

One scene was recorded using a green screen. A select group of students were allowed into the school to film the scene. Costuming was also a different experience, she said, because the students weren’t able to come in for fittings all at once. When in person, costuming isn’t a big deal, she said, but because of COVID-19, it was more difficult.

“We hired this costumer who created some amazing costumes, but it was such a challenge because we couldn’t have the kids come up to the school,” said Mokler. “I had to drive around to their homes and measure them in their driveway to get appropriate measurements for our costumer.”

Students also had to learn how to apply their own makeup for the show. Filming wrapped up last week, and the animation is being produced now.

“The kids will get to see themselves perform; and in a lot of cases, for the very first time,” said Mokler. “Very few shows allow you to record anything. Before the pandemic, it was very rare that you would even get the rights to film any portion of a show. The students will have the opportunity to celebrate their work with their families. The other cool part of this is that nobody has to travel.

“It’s going to be a truly amazing production,” said Mokler. “We’ve certainly never done anything like this, especially at a high school level. We’ve done something incredibly creative here, and their talents really shine.”

She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms will be available through streaming tickets on November 19, 20 and 21, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 per one streaming device, and are only available online at

Friday, October 16, 2020

Candidates for Missouri Governor Debate at Historic Missouri Theater in Columbia

by Mary K. King

Missouri’s next Governor will be determined by voters on Tuesday, November 3. In order to help with that decision, the Missouri Press Association, in conjunction with newspapers across the state and KOMU-8 in Columbia, held a gubernatorial debate on Friday, October 9.

Originally scheduled for Friday, September 25, the debate was postponed due to Governor Mike Parson’s diagnosis with COVID-19 that week. He, along with his wife, First Lady Teresa Parson, were quarantined after discovering they were positive for the virus. The Governor experienced no symptoms, while the First Lady’s symptoms were mild.

Invited to speak at the debate were Auditor Nicole Galloway (D), Rik Combs (L), Parson (R), and Jerome Bauer (G). Each candidate was provided an opportunity at the beginning and end to offer remarks based on their respective campaign’s platform, while questions were asked by panelists from KOMU, the Columbia Missourian, the Jefferson City News Tribune, and the Washington Missourian. The forum was moderated by David Lieb of The Associated Press.

With Missouri listed in the red zone for COVID-19, the state is among the top 10 nationally for cases. Galloway, the democratic candidate, stated that she feels Missouri needs a reset on the coronavirus response and strategy. She said the four-pillar plan that Parson has laid out is crumbling, and called it a failed test of leadership.

“I have outlined a plan based on data, on containment, on mitigation, on masks,” Galloway said. “Science-backed, data-proven ways to get this virus under control and prevent community spread.”

However, Parson, the republican incumbent, said his response was balanced from day one. His office consulted with leading healthcare experts in Missouri for the COVID-19 response plan, and he says the state is now testing over 125,000 Missourians each week.

“That data that we’ve got from 10 of the most expert infectious disease doctors in Missouri has helped guide our state,” said Parson. “We are on the right track in this state, but we have to do a combination of fighting a virus, fighting the economy, and getting our kids back in school.”

Libertarian Combs said that he would not have agreed to the stay-at-home orders. He also said that deeming workers essential or nonessential is not up to the state government to decide.

“I think it’s not the government’s position and I don’t think that the government has the authority to make people stay home,” said Combs. “I think what we could do is open the state up fully, and I believe that herd immunity would take control.”

Bauer, the Green party candidate, stressed the importance of mask-wearing in Missouri to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. He said that it is important for him to wear the mask when out in public in order to set a good example.

“Let’s have a mask mandate,” Bauer said. “We can’t enforce a law if people don’t voluntarily follow it.”

The impact of COVID-19 has created an economic downturn across the state. Bauer said that, if elected, he would instill a universal basic income for all citizens, and will look beyond Medicaid expansion efforts, to help combat the dwindling economy in Missouri.

“We need a single-payer system,” Bauer said. “This is an idea that’s been floating around for quite a while. We can do much better than Medicaid expansion and we can do much better than Obamacare. Those are stop-gap measures, and we really need to recognize that healthcare is a human right.”

Galloway said that state and local budgets are hurting due to the economic impact of COVID-19. She said her plan is to take action to contain the spread of the virus in order to jumpstart the economy again.

“We’ve seen an increase in jobless claims even this week,” Galloway said. “We’re continuing to slide backwards. We also have hundreds of millions of dollars of CARES Act money that is just stuck at the state. As Governor, I would be much more engaged in deploying these resources to help our local communities.”

As a Libertarian, Combs is a proponent of free enterprise, and he feels there is currently an over-reliance on government to control and run the lives of the citizens. He said he puts his trust and faith in Missouri businesses and people to overturn the economy for the better.

“I think the free enterprise system needs to be unleashed,” said Combs. “We need fewer regulations, fewer rules. We need to get the government out of healthcare and other aspects of the economy as much as possible.”

Parson said that Missouri is 12th in the country for getting people back to work. He added that Chewy Pet Food just opened a facility in Belton, creating 1,200 new jobs in the state. That, along with other new businesses, he says are part of his balanced approach to mitigating the virus and stimulating the economy.

“We left our businesses open,” Parson said. “We got our economy going back. As of last month, consumer spending was up 6.3 percent. We continue to bring businesses to our state. We continue to move forward in this state.”

Missouri as a whole has seen a surge in crime, especially in the state’s more urban areas. Governor Parson called a special session devoted specifically to addressing the violent crime across the state. The question was asked of the candidates if they would propose anything additional to help combat crime, and whether or not the special session was effective.

Parson touted his 22 years in law enforcement, saying that he doesn’t believe there has been another Governor to take more interest in the issue of crime in the state. He said that he has helped to obtain a grant to combat crime, and is working hand-in-hand with metro police on both sides of the state.

“(We need) to meet people in the streets; boots on the ground,” said Parson. “We need more police officers. We need to be able to do that to fight violent crime. We need to partner with the federal, the state and the locals, which is exactly what we’ve done.”

He added that the number-one issue seen across the state from mayors dealing with violent crime in their cities has been the establishment of a witness protection program, which was the reason for his special session. However, Combs doesn’t agree that Parson had the right idea with calling the special session.

“I don’t think our emphasis is in the right place,” said Combs. “Our emphasis needs to be on drugs and gangs. I think that’s a big part of what we’re seeing in our metro areas. What I would like to do is get together a big task force involving federal agents, and for the state police and locals to go in and start working on some of these gang issues and some of these drug cartel trafficking routes.”

Bauer said he would like to see a different approach that doesn’t involve over-policing the communities, which he feels exacerbates the issue. Galloway said that as a mom, she feels that nothing is more important than the safety of the state’s communities.

“I have introduced a comprehensive plan to get to the root causes of crime,” said Galloway. “I stand with 90 percent of Missourians who want to see some common-sense gun safety rules like background checks. Violent crime has been rising for years under Governor Parson’s watch, and last year as communities were begging for action, he called a special session to give tax breaks for used car and boat trade-ins.

“When we needed him to step up to the plate,” she added, “he didn’t hit a homerun, he struck out. The witness protection fund doesn’t even have funding.”

Parson disagreed with Galloway’s assessment on the special session, however, saying that the state gave the police departments the protections they needed to fight crime.

Ultimately, the voters in Missouri will decide on the state’s next Governor on Tuesday, November 3.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Gubernatorial Forum - Rescheduled

Republican Governor Mike Parson and Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway, along with third party candidates Libertarian Rik Combs and Green Party Jerome Bauer, Missouri candidates for Governor, will face off for the first time on Friday, October 9, at 2 p.m. It was originally scheduled for September, but was postponed due to Parson’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

The Gubernatorial forum, sponsored by the Missouri Press Association and KIMU-8, will be televised and streamed live. The event, produced in cooperation with the Missouri School of Journalism, will be held at the University of Missouri’s historic Missouri Theatre.

The candidates will share a common stage to discuss their positions on issues affecting Missouri. David Lieb, the Associated Press’ chief correspondent in Jefferson City, will moderate the debate. Candidates will be questioned by media members representing KOMU, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the
Missouri Press Association.

The livestream will be available on the Jackson County Advocate’s website, under the NEWS tab, or on Facebook at

For a recap of the debate, look for the story in next week’s issue of the Advocate.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Quarantine restrictions cause Governor to miss Friday's Gubernatorial Forum

Following reports of a positive COVID-19 test for the Governor and First Lady Teresa Parson, and due to quarantine restrictions, Gov. Mike Parson’s campaign staff has confirmed he will not be able to attend the Missouri Press Association/KOMU-8 gubernatorial forum scheduled for Friday, Sept. 25.

Plans are to reschedule the forum to a later date. More information about the rescheduled forum will be announced when details are finalized.

COVID-19: Up Close and Personal

Putting a Familiar Face on the Pandemic

By Mary King

Sandy Kessinger is a healthy middle-aged woman who leads an active lifestyle. A former Grandview alderman, Kessinger works for Bank of Blue Valley and volunteers her spare time to many different organizations. She most recently became president of the Grandview Education Foundation. Even through the pandemic, she remained focused on her work and her volunteer efforts as much as possible.

“It’s hard to believe that a week ago I was in the hospital,” said Kessinger. “I never thought COVID was a hoax. I knew it was real, I just never thought it would affect me. Personally, I was more worried about the collapse of the economy than I was about contracting COVID. I didn’t think I would catch it.”

Wearing a mask when required in public, working from home, and washing her hands more often than usual, Kessinger felt as though she was doing everything she needed to be doing in order to remain healthy and clear from the virus. However, mid-week before Labor Day, she started to not feel well. After several days of worsening symptoms, on Labor Day, Monday, September 7, Kessinger and her husband, Don, went to get her tested for COVID-19.

“I can’t even really describe how I felt,” she said. “It wasn’t a cold. I’ve had bronchitis before and all kinds of other respiratory illnesses, and this wasn’t like any of those. It didn’t feel like anything I’ve had before. I just felt off. I was really fatigued and the body aches were the worst. But, you know your body, and when something doesn’t feel right. I knew something was really wrong when I didn’t have the energy to even walk from the bedroom to the couch.”

With no underlying health conditions she’s aware of, Kessinger wasn’t convinced that what she had was COVID-19. The couple headed to an urgent care clinic, where with a limited number of tests available each day, they were given an allotted time to be tested.

“I had heard that they dig practically to the back of the brain for the test, but at the urgent care it wasn’t like that,” said Kessinger. “She just swirled a Q-tip looking thing around real fast in my nose, and that was it.”

While at the urgent care, the nurse practitioner also checked Kessinger’s vital signs. Attaching the blood oxygen monitor to her pointer finger, the nurse thought maybe something was wrong with the monitor and tried another of Kessinger’s fingers. The readings on her blood oxygen levels were dangerously low. Still not convinced it wasn’t a technicality, the nurse attached it to Kessinger’s husband’s finger, then her own, just to be sure.

“She told me my oxygen level was under 90 and asked me if I had a hard time breathing,” said Kessinger. “I didn’t realize until she mentioned it that I was shallow breathing to keep from coughing.”

The physician on call at the urgent care clinic sent Kessinger straight to the emergency room due to her critical oxygen levels.

“I was thinking, ‘I just came to get a test, I didn’t sign up for this,’” she said.

The clinic sent her medical paperwork over immediately to the hospital, and the Kessingers made their way to the ER.

“I was planning on going to get a COVID test and then going home,” she said.

Kessinger’s Labor Day plans changed quickly, as she was ushered into isolation immediately upon arrival, while her husband waited outside in the parking lot for updates. The COVID-19 test Kessinger received upon admission into the emergency room at the hospital, unlike that at the clinic, was like everything she had read about previously.

“It was almost like a straw that they stuck in there, and I literally saw stars,” said Kessinger. “My eyes teared up and it was horrible. The test is no joke.”

They had Kessinger dress into a gown, and when she met with the first attending physician and nurses, she noticed they were suited up from head-to-toe in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“It kind of took me off guard,” she said. “They each had on three masks, a shield, every piece of hair is covered, gloves, plastic disposable gowns, and even shoe covers. Every time someone came in my room, they would get rid of it all when they left. They would have to put a fresh set on every time. Knowing that I was the one there potentially exposing everybody was kind of surreal.”

While there, she found out there was a shortage of housekeeping staff due to fear of working in the hospital during the pandemic. Kessinger discovered that the one who was there most consistently cleaning her room was working 16-hour days to keep up with the cleaning because her coworkers were no longer coming in.

Kessinger was fully admitted to the hospital on the evening of September 7. She spent six full days in the hospital, and was finally released to go home on Sunday, September 13. While there, she received a number of treatments, including intravenous antiviral medicines, oxygen, steroids, blood thinners, and two plasma transfusions from recovered COVID-19 patients. Preliminary tests have shown that the plasma antibodies have proven to strengthen the body’s ability to fight the virus quicker.

“It’s overwhelming. To have to listen to a doctor tell you that they have to wait on your test results before they can treat you because nothing has been approved yet - though there are treatments the FDA has authorized for those with a positive result - to not even have Don there to help make those decisions with me was probably the hardest,” said Kessinger. “The practical side of me wondered if insurance would pay for this. Am I going to even be able to afford to live my life after this hospital bill?

“I looked it up while there, and the makers of Remdesivir (the antiviral medication she was given) are charging something like $3,500 for the five doses,” Kessinger added. “Though I will say, I feel fortunate that I became a patient six months after this came to light, because there was so little data for those people who were in the hospital in March or April. The doctors have learned a lot more since then.”

Though she’s grateful for the care she received while in the care of her physicians and nurses, she was ready to go home. Being in hospital isolation took its toll on her mental health.

“Just being by myself was the worst part,” said Kessinger. “The days were just so long. When you find yourself living this, it becomes so real. It’s more than just news stories you’re reading.”

Kessinger said in a few months, the blood bank will likely call her to donate her own plasma and pay it forward to another patient suffering from the virus.

“Of course I’ll say yes,” she said. “It seemed to work, though. I remember when they were taking me to my room in the hospital, if we had turned right, I would have been in the ICU. There were COVID patients there in the ICU on ventilators, and I’m very thankful that I wasn’t one of them.”

As much as she said she felt sorry for herself while in the hospital, she was grateful that it wasn’t worse. Upon going home, Kessinger no longer needed the oxygen, and was feeling much better already; though she was told to quarantine for 10 days. Her husband’s test that he received on Labor Day came back negative. She continued the steroid treatment for another five days at home.

“Not knowing where I got it, I’m a little freaked out about venturing out in public again,” said Kessinger. “I don’t know who I got it from or when that moment was that coronavirus entered my body. It freaks me out because I don’t know if I have any immunity. They’re not sure yet, and the thought of getting it again knowing that I’ve already been hospitalized once is scary.”

She said she is going to be more mindful in asking questions while out in public going forward. Having a first-hand experience with COVID-19, she plans to speak up when someone near her is coughing or showing other symptoms.

“Unfortunately, we’re coming up on the flu season, and people have seasonal allergies, but I don’t think it’s inappropriate to ask people if their coughing is normal for them,” said Kessinger. “I have a whole lot more hand sanitizer that I’m ready to put in my purse and my car. I don’t want to live my life in a bubble, but I want to be careful too.”

She is also concerned about how other people, her friends and family, will feel about being around her.

“Until it happened to me, I didn’t really know anyone who had it,” she said. “I don’t know what my reaction to someone else with it would have been. It feels as though there’s a stigma attached to a positive result, like I’ve turned into a pariah.

“I’ve had mixed feelings about sharing my COVID diagnosis publicly,” Kessinger said in a social media post to her friends. “Not sure why, as if there is some kind of shame in catching a virus during a pandemic. There’s no protocol for this.”

Throughout her experience with COVID-19, Kessinger learned that she’s not bulletproof, and that things that stressed her out before coronavirus don’t seem to matter as much anymore.

“That’s the lesson I hope I remember once I’m well,” she said. “It’s the little things, after all.”

For up-to-date COVID-19 data and information in Grandview and Jackson County, visit the Jackson County Health Department website at

Friday, September 18, 2020

GreenLight Brings $1.7 Million Investment to Hickman Mills Youth

By Mary King



No, there’s not a new superhero in town, although Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and the administration at Hickman Mills School District might call this a hero project. Following a year-long process, GreenLight Fund Kansas City announced on Monday, September 14, that the organization is investing $1.7 million in Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (BAM) and Working on Womanhood (WOW) school-based group counseling and mentoring programs.

“The GreenLight Fund is one of those things, almost like manna from the heavens, that starts to build up what is, in some ways, an answer to so many of the challenges we have in Kansas City each day,” said Lucas. “When we talk about things and issues ranging from housing and crime to economic activity and job development, we realize that it’s not a solution necessarily that somebody who is a mayor or city councilman addresses, it’s people who start from day one; starting with our young people and building mentoring opportunities… building hope, really, for young people in Kansas City and around our region.”

The BAM and WOW programs work to improve the social-emotional and behavioral competencies of students in grades 7-12, who have been exposed to traumatic stressors and face social, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional challenges. In partnership with the Hickman Mills School District, BAM and WOW counselors will serve more than 100 students at Smith-Hale Middle School and Ruskin High School, beginning in January 2021, with plans to expand to eight schools across the metro by 2025.

“What BAM and WOW have meant in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles and many others is making sure that true mentoring activities that tells our young people that not only do we care about them one week, one month, one activity, one event, but for a lifetime,” said Lucas. “This investment is one of many in Kansas City that is making sure that people know that it’s not just a one-year fix for how we address some of our challenges, it is a multi-year fix and a multi-year investment in our young people.”

GreenLight launched its model locally in 2019, forming an inclusive Selection Advisory Council made up of leaders from across the community to guide its five-step process, which seeks the most effective social innovations to address the needs that matter most to residents facing barriers to prosperity. The result of this was a focus on identifying programs that could counter the impact of violence and trauma young people have experienced. GreenLight worked with the advisory council and identified the BAM and WOW programs as leading evidence-based initiatives supporting the unique mental health needs of adolescents. 

“Too often we don’t get out here to southeast Kansas City,” added Lucas. “Too often we don’t get to our neighborhoods in the Hickman Mills School District. We care about you. We care about the future here in Hickman Mills. We care about the future of Kansas City and for all of our young people in Kansas City, and I thank the GreenLight Fund for helping us make that investment.”

GreenLight Fund Kansas City Executive Director Sarah Haberberger shared her passion for the investment the organization has made in Hickman Mills.

“We heard directly from Kansas City youth that they are looking for safe spaces to share their feelings, know they are not alone, heal from trauma, find hope and feel empowered; needs that have only grown because of our nations’ current health and economic crises, as well as our ongoing fight against anti-Black racism,” said Haberberger. “BAM and WOW address those needs head on.”

BAM and WOW were selected as the first investment in a portfolio of solutions. Each year, GreenLight will lead a community-driven process to bring another proven solution to address gaps in services to families in Kansas City.

GreenLight has made a commitment to the success of BAM and WOW as they launch in Kansas City by providing financial and on-the-ground support for the next four years. A local executive director for BAM and WOW will begin this fall and will hire and train counselors from the community to embed in Smith-Hale Middle School and Ruskin High School, while also building relationships with other school districts to reach more students. Expansion efforts are aided by a $500,000 grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, which focuses on reform efforts within and outside of school systems that improve educational opportunities and outcomes for all students.

“Thank you for seeing that Hickman Mills will be the first district to start this initiative (in Kansas City),” said Hickman Mills Superintendent Yaw Obeng. “We have a strong commitment to inclusivity, equity, and providing our students with what they need in order to move forward. I believe that this program will provide the necessary wrap-around structure needed from many of our students with challenges from within the buildings or outside in the community.”

Mayor Lucas stated that there are a lot of people in the Kansas City region who approach him on a regular basis asking what can be done about violent crime and the current racial climate in the country.

“I think what we are seeing is what they can do,” said Lucas. “This investment in restorative justice, the investment in caring for our young people, is something that is going to be vital to changing so many of the things we see each day.

“We hear a lot of bad news, but nevertheless, what we see right now is an opportunity to build good news and good stories for our young people to address those issues,” Lucas added. “What are you doing about this or that in our neighborhood? Here’s the answer, and here’s the type of program that does it.”

Youth Guidance’s BAM program serves more than 13,000 youth across Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles and London. This will be the first expansion outside of Chicago for the WOW program.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Brewery and Café Readies for Grand Opening Weekend


by Mary K. King

A dream four years in the making is finally coming to fruition for a mother and son team in Grandview. The Chive: Simply Good Café and Market and Transparent Brewing Company will officially open their doors for business on Saturday, August 15.

Back in 2016, Grandview Mayor Leonard Jones publicly announced that he would like to see a microbrewery come to town, and the Brown family took notice. Michelle Brown was finishing up culinary school and her son, Nolan Brown, was getting hands-on experience in the craft brewing industry at the time.

“The Mayor communicated that to Jeff Teague, who knew that we were considering this endeavor, and that’s how it all started,” said Michelle Brown. “It’s been a long, long process, but we’re almost there.”

Over the last week, Brown and her family, and their new staff, held an open house and invite-only events to prepare for their grand opening this weekend. Visitors tasted Michelle’s food from The Chive and Nolan’s brews that will be on tap over at Transparent.

The menu for the restaurant will feature farm-to-table dishes sourced primarily from local suppliers. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night meals, The Chive: Simply Good Café menu will offer pancakes with homemade maple butter pecan syrup; fresh soups, salads and sandwiches; and pizzas, burgers and desserts. Items will likely change with the seasons, based on availability of fresh, local ingredients.

“An emphasis we have throughout the entire place is sustainability,” said Brown. “We’ve made an effort to use as much sustainable products as possible, and then instill that into our procedures. We are composting and recycling everything that we can.”

The market side of the café will have broths, soups, syrups and sauces from the kitchen, along with to-go menu items and products from local suppliers for purchase.

The building itself includes several refurbished or repurposed materials, like reclaimed lumber on the walls and tabletops and recycled plastic picnic tables. While the rain this spring and summer has slowed progress on the grounds surrounding the property, eventually plans are to incorporate outdoor games like bocce ball and four-legged-friendly spaces, including an enclosed dog park.

Over in the taproom, Nolan Brown has been busy working on several brews for the opening. Included are: Kickstand Kolsch, Lucent Galaxies Pale Ale, California Common, 4 C’s Session IPA, Tippin’ Session Stout, Dry Hopped Wheat, Lay Back Amber Ale, and Oui Bit Fancy. He’s brewing approximately 200 gallons of beer each week to offer thirsty customers.

The Browns have partnered with KC Food Hub, Redfearn Farm, Buttonwood Farms, Braggadocio, and many other area suppliers and farms for menu items at The Chive.

“The farmers we work with are so happy to come out, and it’s been so much better working with them than with food suppliers or wholesalers,” said Brown. “They’re local and small business people just like we are, and their products are superior.”

Inside the taproom, local artists will have the opportunity to showcase their work along the walls, which Brown says adds some color to the industrial and natural space.

“It’s been great to have the community’s support,” said Brown. “I mean, they’ve been waiting for years now. It just really took that long for everything to come together.”

The Chive: Simply Good Café and Market and Transparent Brewing Company are located at 14501 White Avenue in Grandview, just north of Gail’s Harley Davidson. Opening on August 15, their hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily for the café and market, and 7 p.m. to close for the taproom. Customers can order meals online at for pick-up, or visit to see what’s on tap.