A local manufacturer and local restaurant have teamed up to supply the ingredients for new ventures at both companies.
The partnership between Fuller Industries and Great Bend Coffee has resulted in the re-opening of the cafeteria at the manufacturer’s facility, 10thand Airport Road.
Great Bend Coffee will provide the manpower and the meals for breakfast and lunch at Fuller Café, which opened Monday, Nov. 7.
Scott Evans, Fuller vice president of business development, said the cafeteria had closed about 18 months ago, and the new chief executive officer and management team wanted to remedy the situation.
“The Fuller team wanted to offer this as an added benefit to our valued workforce of almost 200 employees,” Evans said. “We are extremely excited about offering great home-cooked meals at an affordable price, right here within our 600,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
“We look forward to members of the community stopping in for breakfast and lunch on Fridays,” Evans added. “Our first goal is to invite the Great Bend police and fire departments over for a home-cooked meal. This is a small way for us to show our appreciation for their efforts and sacrifices, and all they do to provide a safer community.”
Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, teachers, active military personnel and veterans will receive a 10 percent discount at Fuller Café and the Fuller Company Store.
The public may try the menu from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays.
“This will be the schedule for now but we are willing to consider changes as we go along,” Evans commented. “We will listen to feedback from our employees and local residents. If they decide we need to make some changes, we will try to accommodate.”
In the months leading up to the opening, Fuller embarked on a major renovation to the approximately 4,200-square-foot cafeteria. In addition to new paint, ceiling tiles and LED lighting upgrades, Fuller installed four big-screen TVs and a wireless speaker system, and re-upholstered the booths and chairs.
“The goal was to provide an inviting dining environment for our loyal employees,” Evans said. “Although the capital investment was substantial, it was well worth it. This was an investment back into the people on the Fuller team.”
Evans noted that Fuller Café resembles a sports-bar-themed atmosphere because of the TVs, and sports memorabilia from college and professional teams in Kansas and elsewhere that are already on the walls.”
LaResa Likes, Great Bend Coffee owner, said she and her husband, Eugene, have been eager to take on this new challenge. So far, they have hired three new employees who will rotate between the downtown location at 2015 Lakin and Fuller Café.
“I was astounded when Fuller contacted us,” LaResa said, noting nothing is changing at the company’s downtown location. “It is gratifying that Fuller even thought of us as an option. We are ready for this new experience, this new challenge.
“We certainly are willing to listen to suggestions too,” she added. “We need to know what our customers want.”
A month’s menu will be available in advance to Fuller employees so they can plan ahead. There are soup and entree specials every day, along with salads and hamburgers.
Specials this month include chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes; pulled pork sandwiches; turkey and the trimmings; bacon-wrapped meatloaf; and spaghetti and meatballs.
Breakfast options include biscuits and gravy; omelets; bacon and sausage; burritos; oatmeal; and turnovers, muffins and cinnamon rolls.
Evans also noted that the remodeled room is available for Fuller’s safety-training sessions and seminars, as well as civic meetings and community functions.
Fuller Industries LLC, formerly known as The Fuller Brush Company, manufactures commercial cleaning supplies, custom brushes and private-label chemicals. It was founded in 1906.