“Yesterday, my uncle asked me what my dream was or is. I answered him that Maggie’s was my dream. But owning a restaurant made me realize that I had bigger aspirations; my family. Being a better husband and father was now my dream. I can’t wait to take my daughters to dance class or soccer or whatever. I can’t wait for the next step in life.” – Former Maggie’s Authentic Mexican Foods owner Ryan Schnabel’s Facebook post dated July 27, 2013.
Ryan Schnabel is probably somewhere today flying high as a member of the Air Force Reserve.
For the past few years Schnabel spent most of his time grounded as owner and operator of Maggie’s Authentic Mexican Foods in downtown Lee’s Summit.
Earlier this summer, Schnabel sold the business named after his mother to devote more time to being a husband and father. After the new owners took over July 29, Schnabel talked about the impetus for selling the restaurant and embarking on a new journey with wife Lindsey and their two small children, ages 3 and nine months.
“I had always wanted to do the restaurant; that was my dream to open the restaurant and get it going,” Schnabel said shortly after handing over the keys to culinary expert Jeff Qualls and sister and business partner Tracy Allen. “To build something that I could run for awhile. Obviously, when I opened it, I didn’t expect to close it after four years, but at the time when I opened I didn’t have any children. I’d been married for two years, so life at that point was basically all work and my wife.
“When I opened, I could focus primarily on the restaurant. When we had children, my focus obviously changed, which is OK with me. We just didn’t realize how much time it would consume at first. We thought we could run the restaurant, come home, and forget about it. It was more of a 24/7 kind of a job. When children got added into that, it became more of a I rather be with my family type of thing.”
Schnabel, who has lived in Lee’s Summit for the past six years, is now a member of the Air Force Reserve, where he had 13 years of service before he opened the restaurant.
“I think the day we signed the paperwork to sale the restaurant, I was back in St. Joseph signing up to rejoin the Air Force within a week,” he said. “It was just something I always really, really enjoyed doing. I really missed it when I was doing the restaurant. That’s what I am going to be doing full time as of now. I’m back on active duty orders and I will be driving back and forth between St. Joseph and Lee’s Summit everyday.”
As part of the deal to sale to Qualls and Allen, Maggie’s kept the name and the menu basically intact, with Qualls adding some of his culinary expertise to the mix.
“He keeps the name, keeps the food,” Schnabel said. “As part of the deal I sold him all of the recipes, the name everything. The only thing that didn’t stay was the family photos that were inside.”
Allen said the duo’s first month or so as the new owners has went quite well.
“It’s been busy, but something new to learn,” she said. “I guess it’s kind of great, kind of different. (Schnabel) left everything set and ready to go.”