A day in the life with food, work and fun

Lee's Summit JournalJune 13, 2014 

Neighborhood Cafe

A day in the life at Neighborhood Cafe starts at 9 or 10 p.m. the night before, when bakers at the downtown restaurant start fixin’ those sumptuous cinnamon rolls.

The place is never alone.

As bakers finish, other cooks and servers begin arriving early in the morning, to get ready for the breakfast rush. Grandparents and babies, veterans, regular but informal gatherings, like the Oatmeal Group from Longview Chapel, stop in for omelets, pancakes or other fare that are staples at the eatery.

A warm buzz of chatter, mixed with clinking of spoons, cups and platters, fills the dining rooms, also heavy with the scent of coffee, syrups and pastry.

Under different owners, and slightly different names, the restaurant has served generations of Lee’s Summit with home-style American food for decades.

Bennett Packaging

Underground, in former rock mine in north Lee’s Summit, Bennett Packaging is busy rolling out cardboard boxes and displays by the thousands.

Most residents are unaware, but the company in many ways touches them on this day in their life as they shop.

Displays at Walmart or groceries and pharmacies, the kid who is looking at a colorful array of toys, or that bright-orange kiosk for allergy medicine, or Hostess cakes, displays for duck calls from Duck Commander, all produced in Lee’s Summit at Bennett Packaging.

Altogether between 400-600 clients nationwide are served each year by the locally-owned company in its 432,000 square-foot-plant at 220 NW Space Center, owned by Doug and Kathy Bennett.

It is a “turn-key” operation with a broad spectrum of services, from a basic cardboard box to a store display preloaded with product. Workers engineer the displays, test them, cut and print, assemble cardboard displays and load them for shipping on 25 to 60 trucks every day.

Happy Tails dog park

Many folks wind down this day in their life taking a jaunt at Happy Tails Park on Ranson Road.

It was hot just after business hours, with only a handful of owners and their pets at the four-acre dog park where dogs can run without leashes in the enclosed park.

The dog drinking fountain is a busy spot for animals to refresh themselves, lapping up cool water after chasing balls or running through a tunnel on the obstacle course. Owners exercise too, doing laps on the asphalt trail surrounding the grassy play area.

As dogs greet each other, nose to nose, sniffing, owners talk.

They watch their pets gambol and chase on the lawn.


– Russ Pulley

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