Foo’s fabulous fate


by Bridget Jones, Social Media Manager

 photos by Maddy Medina. alternate coverage by Mackenzie O’Guin


A woman from north of Warrensburg, MO drove an hour just to see what was so great about this place.


A girl from St. Peter’s Catholic School came in saying she wrote a letter.


37,000 people liked a Facebook page.


All of this to save a local business.


Since 1988, Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard has brought “Kansas City’s Best and Original Custard” to the neighborhood of Brookside. Foo’s was opened by Joe Bremser, who was nicknamed Foo, in 1988, according to their website. In 1996, Joe and his family moved to North Carolina and his sister, Betty Bremser, bought Foo’s.


In August, she received a call from the her property manager telling her that her lease would not be renewed.


“I was pretty taken back,” Bremser said. “Over the next week, I did some inquiring about whether or not I could go into negotiations.”


Bremser claimed that it was the first time she had ever had to negotiate a lease in Brookside and that it was a “learning experience for her.”


First Washington Realty, Inc., the new company that owns Brookside, agreed to negotiate; Bremser believes the reason to be the support she received from the neighborhood.


A Facebook campaign was started and gained 37,000 likes in 48 hours. It is unknown to Bremser who started the page, but she has some ideas. People wrote emails and sent calls to the company that owns the neighborhood of Brookside.


“I think the company was inundated with comments about this crazy place in Kansas City, far away [from their headquarters],” Bremser said.


All the support and responses from far and wide gave Bremser many emotions. She called it “overwhelming” and “amazing.”



Former employee of Foo’s, STA junior Meg Sweeny, agrees.


“[My favorite part about Foo’s] was my co-workers and the [customers],” Sweeny said.


Sweeny recalls on memories of extraordinary customers coming into the shop, such as Sporting KC player Matt Besler and a man with a snake around his neck.


“I completely embarrassed myself in front of [Besler] but I didn’t care because I had finally met him,” Sweeny said. “[Another time,] right as I went to take [a customer’s] order, I nearly had a heart attack because he had a huge snake around his neck.”


Sweeny encourages STA students to support local businesses like Foo’s.


“As long as we don’t stop going to [local businesses] and keep telling people how awesome they are, I think we can keep [the local businesses] for a long time,” Sweeny said.


Bremser plans to close Foo’s for a little bit during the cold season to do some updates such as new flooring, ceiling, counters and colors.


“It’s really time for an update,” Bremser said. “It’s not the 80s anymore.”


Until the updates this upcoming winter, the neighborhood of Brookside can expect Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard to stay.


“I was humbled every day and I just couldn’t believe it, this all came out of nowhere,” Bremser said with tears in her eyes. “Brookside is a special place.”






Brookside Toy & Science

330 W 63rd St, Kansas City, MO 64113


Upon first glance, Brookside Toy & Science is your average cutesy suburban toy store- a predictable supply of toy cars, building blocks and stuffed animals. However, upon journeying further into the shop, one finds stuffed animals of a slightly more macabre variety. Hung upon walls and advertised in glass display cases are hundreds of cringe-worthy, yet fascinating, oddities such as two-headed snakes and exotic bugs in shadow boxes.


And, yes, they’re all for sale.


“I think [owner Jim Ward] wanted it to be something to make it unique,” STA sophomore and Brookside Toy & Science employee Allison Nagle said. “He wanted to spark interests of people from everywhere, not just parents who are looking for toys or kids who are looking for toys, or interested scientists or engineers. [He wanted] something to branch out to everybody.”


Bella Napoli

6229 Brookside Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64113


With a “rustic, welcoming” vibe and “familial atmosphere,” according to STA sophomore Eleanor Grever, the remarkably multi-purpose Bella Napoli is an authentic Italian coffee shop, market, deli and restaurant.


“It’s just one of those neighborhood junctions,” Grever said. “There’s Saturday groups, there’s morning groups, there are definite groups that go there. Some people go there just to see people. It’s one of those places that’s really nice because you know you’ll see someone you know.”


Reading Reptile

328 W 63 St, Kansas City, MO 64113


Owned by STA’s own Cowdin family, the Reading Reptile offers anything from fairy tales to mystery novels. Last year, the local bookstore gained quite a bit of fame from hosting a John Green book signing while The Fault in Our Stars was filming.


“It’s really nice [to be involved in the Brookside community],” STA junior Violet Cowdin said. “I feel like I have an entire network of people I trust and love that are always there for me, from shop employees to frequent customers. The Brookside community is very unique because it’s a very small yet mighty landmark in KC.”