Michelle’s Ranch Café moves to new location from Raymore
by Mary Wilson
Having been at the Benjamin Ranch Café for 21 years, Michelle Reynolds opened the first Michelle’s Ranch Café 10 years ago in Raymore when Cerner announced their plans to purchase the properties and redevelop the former Bannister site.
“Of course, it took another 10 years after we moved out of there for anything to start happening,” said Reynolds. “We were told they were coming right in and so we did what we thought was best.”
More recently, the 10-year lease on the café in Raymore was up and Reynolds made the choice to move her restaurant to a new location.
“The people in Raymore were really good to me,” said Reynolds. “My restaurant there was off the beaten path a bit, so it’s nice to open up again and see all these familiar faces.”
Reynolds closed her restaurant in Raymore on Monday, July 25. On Tuesday, July 26, all of her furniture and supplies were moved to her new location in Grandview. With a team of help and assistance from local company JC Love, Reynolds was ready to serve breakfast in Grandview’s Ranch Café on Friday, July 29.
“We got in a lot faster and it went a lot smoother than I thought it would,” said Reynolds. “Everybody here is so awesome. The city, my staff and our vendors have really bent over backwards to help get us up and going again. They all worked their butts off.”
Visible from the highway, Reynolds pointed out that the new location is close enough for her former Raymore customers to visit, as well as for those who remember her from Benjamin Ranch.
“When I drove by and saw it was empty, I knew that was where I wanted to be. I couldn’t have picked a better location,” said Reynolds.
Her success at Benjamin Ranch was due a lot to current construction at the time, including the Walmart and Montgomery Ward stores going in. The entire operation was strictly word-of-mouth; no advertising was done in the 21 years the restaurant was open.
“It was mostly the construction guys who would eat there and then go back and tell their families and friends about us,” said Reynolds.
The restaurant business runs in the family. Reynolds’ daughter, Katie, owns and operates a restaurant in Peculiar, and she considers her son her left-hand-man.
“If I’m not here, my son will be,” said Reynolds. “We’re truly a family business. My other half, Mike, does all of my errand running for me.”
Visible from I-49, Michelle’s Ranch Café is located at 12704 E Frontage Road, in the former Livingston’s and Shirley’s restaurants. Open daily from 6-2 for breakfast and lunch, the Ranch serves home-style, comfort foods, ranging from biscuits and gravy to meatloaf and tenderloins.
“We’re excited and really happy to be here in Grandview,” said Reynolds.