Pastry chef Deepal Patel and 15-year food and beverage industry veteran Joanna Young plan to open The Pantry KC in Lenexa, Kansas, on July 2. The pastry and bake shop will carry classic pastries, breakfast and lunch sandwiches such as paninis, cookies, cakes and cupcakes.

Patel, formerly the senior pastry chef at the Sheraton and Westin Crown Center Hotels in Downtown Kansas City, met Young at the hotel.

“I’ve worked for Marriott for 14 years in Colorado and San Francisco,” Young says. “I moved to Kansas City a year ago. My background is in restaurant and resort management and events.”

Patel was ready for the new challenge of launching a pastry business. Earlier this spring, Patel competed for a $50,000 grand prize on Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship, but didn’t advance to the final round.

“I’ve always wanted to open my own place,” Patel says. “I have enjoyed working in hotels and resorts on a big scale for banquets and events. Now, I’m baking on an artisanal, small scale at a slower pace. There will be time to experiment and for research and development.”

After meeting and working together, Patel and Young discussed plans to open The Pantry KC. They scouted many locations until deciding on a spot in Lenexa near established restaurants. Frontera Mexican Restaurant, a Peruvian restaurant and Marlen’s Tropical Catracho are located in the same plaza.

“The landlord connected us with this possible location,” Patel says. “We had looked at various units and fell in love with this space in a dynamic plaza.”

In addition to its regular fare, the shop will prepare special orders for French macarons, cakes and cupcakes. Patel plans to introduce some ideas and influences from her native England, such as Victorian sponge cake traditionally served with tea. When the business has capacity, Patel plans to add fresh-baked breads.

“We will also focus on good coffee,” Young says. “We’re teaming up with Maps Coffee Roasters. We’re looking at bringing in local vendors for lemonade, soda and cheese.”

The Pantry KC will also cater to dietary needs for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free customers by special order.

“These dietary restrictions have grown so common,” Patel says. “Today, everyone should be able to eat cake. We’ll work with any diet. Challenge accepted.

The Pantry KC, 7769 Quivira Road, Lenexa, Kansas,

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Writer Pete Dulin is the author of Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland, KC Ale Trail, and Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Across Central Kansas and Missouri.

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