Inside Columbia Magazine - March/April 2024

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I'm extremely pleased with the services provided by Anthony and Heartland Homes. They were prompt, professional, and efficient throughout the entire process. The quality of their work exceeded my expectations, and my new roof looks fantastic. I highly recommend Heartland for anyone in need of roofing!

Alan Murphy was incredible to work with. Responded very quickly to my request and finished the job in record time. I super appreciate him and the company!! Definitely will use again in the future.

Heartland Homes Remodeling & Roofing did an amazing job on the interior remodeling of my house. From start to finish they were amazing with communication, and timing on everything. I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out!

Heartland took on a HUGE project with our gut and remodel. We interviewed several contractors and from day 1, Heartland was the most impressive contractor….They took a structure from 1963 and turned it into a home. Due to the scope of the project, there were several hurdles to overcome. Yet, the team found reasonable solutions with minimal cost….Their work ethic and quality of craftsmanship is unmatched. If we could give them 6 stars we would!

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Ann M Echelmeier Financial Advisor 1729 W Broadway, Suite 3 Columbia, MO 65203 573-446-2770 Will Echelmeier Financial Advisor 1729 W Broadway, Suite 3 Columbia, MO 65203 573-446-2770 Columbia: Partnering throughout the Let’s plan your future together.

You might be wondering whether you still have and you do. One productive action to consider is “maxing out ” on your individual retirement account (IR A)

You have until April 15, 2024, to con- tribute to your IRA for the 2023 tax year. But if you can and get it working for you as soon as possible?

For 2023, you can put up to $6, 500 into an IRA , plus an additional $1,000 catch- up contribution if you’re 50 or older. ( This limit rises to $7,000, plus the $1,000 catch-up amount, in 2024.) If you already have a traditional or Roth IRA , you may here’s a quick summar y:

Traditional IRA – When you invest in a traditional IR A, your earnings grow tax deferred and your contributions may qualif y for a tax deduction. If you and your spouse don’t par ticipate in a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored pla n, you can deduct the full amount of your IRA contributions , up to the contribution limit. But if you or your spouse invest in an employersponsored plan , you may be able to take a full

And because you’re investing with after- tax dollars, you can withdraw contribu- tions — not the earnings — at any time , for any purpose, without taxes or penalties. You may be eligible

adjust- ed gross income is less than $228,000

are less than $240,000 if you’re married and

Roth IRA – By investing in a Roth IRA , your contributions are not tax d educt- ible, but your earnings can grow tax free provided you’ve held with- drawing the earnings until you’re 591 ⁄2

These tax advantages provide a strong incentive to fully fund an IRA each year. Fur thermore, you can put almost any in- vestment — stock s, bonds, mutual funds andsoon—intoanIR A,soyoucan create a portfolio that matches your goals and risk tolerance

You can still fully fund your IRA for the 2023 tax

as set ting a si de a regular amount each month . To make it as stress-free as possible, you can have the money automatically moved from your savings

to come up with these amounts every month, you other funds, such as a year-end bonus or a tax refund, when you receive them.

Any time you contribute to your IRA is a good time—but if you can do it early, or have a savings strategy throughout the year, you can avoid the last-minute dash to put in the cash.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jone s, Member SIPC

> | Member SIPC




INSIDE COLUMBIA MARCH/APRIL 2024 17 features features Inside Columbia CONTENTS
WORLDWIDE EATS Go on a Flavorful Journey in Columbia PAWSITIVELY ADORABLE Unleashing the Fur-tastic Pets of Columbia SERVE UP STYLE Ace Your Wardrobe with Activewear Essentials

The bank of finally finding

Do you ever wonder “Why am I even with this bank?”

It’s too easy to accept a mediocre experience when banking is just a part of life. Before, it seemed like I had to jump through every hoop for my bank. I wanted a bank that would actually work for me. Look, switching banks is a big decision. I never made the e ort before, because I assumed I’d just get the same thing. After switching to The Bank of Missouri, I’ll never wonder if my bank can do more.

The bank of not settling. The Bank of Missouri.

Switch to better.





30 ENC OUNTERS Growing Flowers to Power the Community

32 BOOK SHELF Honoring Historic Homes

34 SPOTLIGHT Mustaches, Muscles and More


39 HEALTH & WELLNESS Making Healthy Meals

41 R OBINSON’S RAMBLINGS A Restroom Remodel

42 ULTIMATE PLAYLIST Songs to Listen to on the Water


Creating a Color Palette for Spring FLAVOR

97 DINING OUT Baking Memories

99 F OUGERE’S FAVORITES   Simple Salmon Creation

101 C OOKING WITH BROOK More Than Meatballs


Making a Multi-Color Cocktail VIEWS







from the editors

Spring Spruce Up

Meet Levis! He’s named after the poet Larry Levis who taught at MU back in the day. This boy has beaten cancer and is currently managing heart disease. He is the most loving and resilient boy. I never grew up with pets and didn’t think I cared for them much until I met him, and then our other cat, Kitty, and our dog, Holly. It’s the best thing being loved unconditionally by a pet. Second best just might be our annual 2024 Cutest Pets Contest, the winners of which can be found on pages 44 – 49. In this issue, we also discuss many helpful housing tips. On pages 32-33 we dive into the pages of “Historic Style” and its author bringing a pop-punk edge to historic homes and interior design. Additionally, be sure to check out an up-and-coming spring color palette to consider for your home on page 43. In the words of Levis (Larry, not the cat), “…the roads kept thawing between snows/In the first spring sun, & it was all, like spring.”

While I love winter, well I should say I love Christmas, I am excited to finally feel the sunshine again as we welcome spring with more than open arms. One thing that I love about spring is the colors, as flowers begin to bloom again and we can finally see the sunrise and sunset. There is something about it that brings joy into my heart. If you love watching the world bloom with color or want to support the growth of local flowers, check out pages 30-31 and read about Fair Shake Flowers, a mother-and-daughter passion project that sells bouquets to support local non profits. If you’re more of a foodie and are excited to get back out in the world as the warm weather returns, we put together a culinary travel guide on pages 50-54 for you to experience different tastes of the world while staying right here in Columbia. With that and so much more, this issue of Inside Columbia magazine is your passport to the best of what spring has to offer. So sit back, watch the colorful sunset and enjoy.

Inside Columbia magazine
Columbia magazine


Bre Smith


Cathy Atkins

Josh Arnold

Tyler Morrison


Becky James


Steve Leible

Zimmer Strategic Communications

3215 Lemone Industrial Blvd., Suite 200, Columbia, MO 65201

Office: 573-875-1099

22 INSIDE COLUMBIA MARCH/APRIL 2024 / /InsideColumbia @Inside_Columbia InsideColumbiaMagazine
is published by Zimmer
All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any editorial or graphic content without the express written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Postage paid at Columbia, Mo. Not responsible for omissions or information, which has been misrepresented to the magazine.
Inside Columbia
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Lemone Industrial Blvd., Suite 200, Columbia, MO 65201, 573-875-1099. Copyright Zimmer Communications, 2024.
Inside Columbia Staff

Inside Columbia Staff


Carla Leible


Fred & Melody Parry


Jordan Durham

Zola Heck


Tim Flanner


L.G. Patterson


Madelyn Jones


John Darkow, Kimber Dean, Sara Fougere, Gina Giorgione, Brook Harlan, Ava Kitzi, Wally Pfeffer, John Robinson, Nancy Toalson, Jack Wax

On the cover

Local women serve up new styles to take on the pickleball or tennis courts.

Photo by L.G. Patterson.


Come see how you can beat winter’s ice and isolation blues with a quick, smart move to Cedarhurst. We offer a heart-warming, socialization-rich, engagingly active and frost-free lifestyle, and we bet you’ll like it!


After your tour, tell us how we did, and we’ll send you a $25 gift card.

To schedule, visit or call 573-615-3438.

Cedarhurst of Columbia 2333 Chapel Hill Road • Columbia, MO 65203

Warm and friendly • How you like your winter days

*Offer expires 2/29/24. Only one gift card per household, please.

THE CEDARHURST PROMISETM We promise. If you’re not satisfied and decide to move out within your first 60 days, we’ll completely refund your rent.*

*Cedarhurst Promise™ program is only available at advertised community. Not applicable for respite or other short-term stays. Refund is available only if move out is a result of dissatisfaction with Cedarhurst community as documented throughout stay. Complete rent refund includes base rent only. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Please see Resident Agreement for additional details. Void where prohibited.




Subscription rate is $15 for 1 year. Call 573-875-1099 to place an order or to inform us of a change of address, or subscribe at

For bulk subscription rates, contact Becky James at 573-875-1099.


Inside Columbia is the best way to reach Columbia’s upscale consumers. Information about advertising is available online at or by calling 573-875-1099.


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Send your photos with the event description and subject names for captions to, or mail to 3215 Lemone Industrial Blvd., suite 200, Columbia, MO 65201. Not all photos received will be published.


Send letters to 3215 Lemone Industrial Blvd., suite 200, Columbia, MO 65201 or email Inside Columbia reserves the right to publish any letter to the editor.


Let us publish a specialty magazine exclusively for your company or organization. Call Zola Heck at 573-875-1099 or email


Want to reproduce an article you’ve seen in Inside Columbia? We can provide reprints and customize them on glossy stock for your promotional needs. Minimum quantity is 500 copies. Call Zola Heck at 573-875-1099 or email .


Jumping into the real estate market can be stressful at any point in your life. The market constantly changes, but whether you are a first time or seasoned buyer, navigating the road ahead doesn’t have to come with confusion and complication.

We’ve found the experts in real estate to assist you along the way — no matter if you’re looking to buy land, list your home for the right price in a seller’s market or find the best location for your new business venture.

These professionals know the industry inside and out, so when you’re ready to list or look, they have you covered.

Select Realty Group - Ashleigh Stundebeck ........................................................ 28 Jordan Barnes Real Estate ........................................................................................ 74 Remax Boone Realty - Alice Leeper 94 Participating Realtors


Shopping at the Columbia Farmers Market not only helps support local businesses, but it’s also a great way to make sure you and your family are eating seasonal food that is fresher and more nutritious. According to the Columbia Farmers Market seasonal chart, mostly vegetables thrive during this period, including asparagus, chard, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, spinach and more.

Inside Columbia insider CONTENTS 30 Growing Funds 32 Historic Homes 34 Mecca of Men 35 Calendar

Date the Rate, Marry the House

The statement above emphasizes the importance of taking proactive measures to enhance your mortgage rate situation.

If you come across a home you adore, we recommend you not delay your purchase in the hope of a future drop in mortgage rates. Instead, consider other strategies to bring down your mortgage costs. These include rate reduction, exploring adjustable-rate mortgage

interest rate. But remember, when rates do decrease, there will likely be a surge in homebuyer activity, potentially driving up competition and home prices. So, if you’re able to make a purchase and you find the perfect home, taking the opportunity as soon as you can is key to navigating the real estate market.

It’s also important to trust the experts when making decisions because as a real estate professional, I possess a wealth of knowledge and experience and have a deep understanding of market trends, property values and a keen insight into economic factors influencing the market. I pride myself on being committed to staying up to date on industry developments, so I can provide my clients with informed and insightful guidance in the dynamic world of real estate.

I have a passion for helping people so working in real estate lets me assist the community to navigate one of the most significant milestones in their lives. I truly pride myself on helping my clients find the perfect property, maximizing investment returns and offering valuable guidance. Making sure clients receive exceptional service and learn all the tips and tricks to getting the best rate, is something I have committed to do. The people and relationships I build, especially with first-time home buyers are my highest priority and you can be sure I will help you find the perfect home or achieve a successful property transaction.

Ashleigh Stundebeck 573.268.1001 573-489-6866
Phyllis Nichols, Agent 1006 West Blvd N | Columbia, MO 65203 573-443-8727 | | HOME · AUTO · LIFE · BUSINESS · HEALTH · PET · PROPERTY It’s time to protect your home like a pro and make sure your homeowners policy covers the actual building cost, not just the assessed value. If storms or fires strike, is your coverage ready to rebuild your haven? Don't settle for uncertainty - choose the right security!

The Power of Flowers


Flowers are used every day to celebrate life. Whether it’s a wedding, an anniversary, a holiday, a special occasion, giving thanks to someone, apologizing to a loved one or even recognizing loss, flowers are most used to bring joy with their vibrant colors, pleasing scents and beauty. Tory Kassabaum, the founder of Fair Shake Flowers, turned her love for flowers into a passion project to help the community. Kassabaum and her mother grow local flowers and sell bouquets to the community on social media and

at the Columbia Farmers Market to raise money for those who are the most vulnerable in the community. “I saw there was a constant need to help people in the community,” she says. “I have this huge yard; I really love gardening and I grow a bunch of flowers and I love giving back, so I just put those things together.” While Fair Shake Flowers has donated 100% of the profits to several organizations, including the CoMo Mobile Aid Collective and The Center Project, and helped raise money for students to go to art camp, for Black educator’s classroom

supplies and more, Kassabaum has a personal tie to one nonprofit, the Boone County Community Bail Fund. “I was one of the founders of BCCBF, which was born from a racial activist group,” she says. “Now I love to continue to help the mission of that organization since I have seen first-hand just how important the bail fund is.” BCCBF is a volunteerrun community bail fund supporting community members who do not have the resources to post bail. “It’s meant to get people out of the spiral, so they don’t then lose their jobs, their children,

Flowers not provided by Fair Shake Flowers
I want it to someday become more than a passion project.

their cars and then plunge them further into poverty,” Kassabaum says. “It was meant to get people out, so they are not a part of the system.” Peggy Placier, a volunteer for BCCBF says Kassabaum’s efforts to raise money for the bail fund are amazing. “It’s substantial,” Placier says. “It’s a substantial amount of our budget and a huge help because sometimes we get low in funds and then she’ll do one of her campaigns.” The BCCBF reopened on March 1 to continue to help community members post bail after losing its fiscal sponsor in 2023 and waiting for federal approval for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Thanks to people like Kassabaum, the BCCBF was able to continue to raise money while waiting for approval. “It has been really fantastic to have someone so creative and resourceful doing that for us,” Placier says. And help is always appreciated, whether you are volunteering to answer phones, going to jail to provide rides or making donations, as Placier says every act of kindness is appreciated and needed. “We need volunteers,” she says. “We are looking at even involving students or members of service organizations or anyone that has a little bit of time every week or every other week. While raising money for nonprofits is the main source of motivation, Kassabaum and her mother both also have a passion for growing local, native flowers in the area. “Flowers have a big environmental impact and when

they are not grown locally, they are grown sometimes in unethical conditions or conditions that are not environmentally friendly,” Kassabaum says. Emphasizing that her flowers are grown a mile from the market, “We don’t use pesticides and they are grown organically,” she says. “We are trying to help the environment with the growing of flowers.” Kassabaum grows all kinds of flowers along with native flowers and grasses to Missouri, including

goldenrod, coneflowers, asters, yarrow, coreopsis, beebalm and more. “We grow what grows well here and what lasts well in a vase,” she says. The community has been incredibly supportive of Kassabaum’s project, even helping her sell out every week at the Columbia Farmers Market. “It was so nice to see our customers and be out in the public talking about our mission.” While Fair Shake Flowers is currently a small operation, Kassabaum says the goal is to one day become a nonprofit. “I would love to buy an empty lot in town and turn it into a place for Fair Shake Flowers and create a community garden,” she says. “I want it to someday become more than a passion project.” To order a bouquet or to learn more about Kassabaum’s project, visit facebook. com/fairshakeflowers/.


Revitalizing History


Alack of imagination has never been an issue for Kelee Katillac. From the moment she saw George Washington’s Mount Vernon home at eight years old, to later learning about the hidden narratives of its slaves, she saw the overarching story of the house being told. That rainy day, when the haze rolled off the Potomac River onto the centuriesold grounds, was when she became a preservationist, designer and historian, all at the same time.

It is one thing to save a home. It is another to honor a historic home’s interior while working with the oftentimes crumbling structure — while also working with a client’s vision of what the home could be, and Katillac’s own. But, balancing these elements is where she excels.

With the help of Missouri’s Historic Tax Credit Program, which incentivizes owners and designers to redevelop “commercial and residential historic buildings in Missouri,” according to the Missouri Department of Economic Development website, Katillac works with clients to rehabilitate these buildings of history, with a splash of the contemporary mixed in. Her inspiring work with these buildings became her book, Historic Style a gorgeous walk through of homes she has revitalized and her process of design.


Described as her “magnum opus” by the book’s writer Jorge Arango, Historic Style is prodigious at 11” x 12.75” and weighing 7 pounds. Yet, Katillac sees it as more than your typical coffee table book. “We wanted an immersive, holographic or 360-degree look at how you can save and respect a historic structure from acquisition to completion,” Katillac says.

With over 240 images by world-leading photographers, the book begins at the Henry Blosser House, a seven-year project for Katillac and one where her style is on full display. “This is not a dry textbook or scholarly rehash of regulations,” she says. “My process is more like Lin Manuel Miranda for Hamilton or Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton. Some imagination is deployed to help us open the door of history and the lessons we can take and translate into our modern world.”

Color pops across the pages. Even the cover shows Katillac’s own designed fabric called “All of Us,” based on the natural gemstones from across the world. Naturally, the gemstone colors come from one of the most historic places in North America. Katillac and her parents visited Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico when she was a child. The village is located outside of Santa Fe on a high mesa and is the oldest North American continuously inhabited city at more than 2,000 years old. While there, she met an artisan and bought a brooch with bright purple and turquoise patterns. It has inspired her ever since.

This trip’s influence came full circle when she worked on Aderton House in Arrow Rock, Missouri. Featured as a project in the book, the house, coincidentally, sits close to the start of the Santa Fe Trail.

“Over the past five decades, the stones and colors of my Santa Fe Trail childhood have guided every decorative opportunity I have facilitated in my clients’ homes,” Katillac says. “Color meditation in which

I channel light to inform design and wellbeing has become a ritual, incantation and miracle maker.”

Viewing and taking in the extravagance of Historic Style means hopping into a historic metaverse where the best of pop culture merges with the past. In addition to the photos, you can read about each room and distinct areas of the property, such as the barn and stables, where individuals lived their lives and where Katillac’s stylistic instincts and decisions came to fruition.

The ingenuity of the book came from influences like Vanity Fair, Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, among other pieces of work and fashions. Additionally, the book includes playlists and “Design Diary” entries that give readers a depiction of her musical headspace, struggle and dedication surrounding the Blosser and Aderton Houses and their histories.

“The palette has become bold — like a CPR effort, a 911 emergency call — to rescue built monuments with cracking plaster and wood beams, and the human historic records they keep for a new

millennium,” Katillac says. “Whether it is wallpaper, steel or glass, let our building and design materials represent kindness to the planet and to each other.”

Though perhaps coincidental, it’s no surprise that visiting Mount Vernon and Santa Fe in her youth set off a journey of color and saving history, as Katillac, at her core, is a historian. She works to save, as she says, this house we call home — America.

“In Historic Style, we see a mix of history and style that honors the past by making it our very own,” she says. “We can use the archetypes and tropes that serve us now and disregard those that were a symptom of another time in our collective evolution.”

Similar to how Katillac’s imagination extends throughout her projects, so too extends the number of buildings and houses that can be saved by a glimpse of creativity and devotion. Readers will take her enthusiastic nature and connecting threads of Historic Style and see the palette of history continuing around them.


A Meeting of Men

Beards, brawn and buffalo sauce describe not all, but much of what you’ll find at this year’s seventh annual CoMo Man Show. With over 100 booths and 60 vendors, men — women and children, too! — will find plenty about hunting, fishing, food, beer, trucks, camping, sports and more.

This year’s event will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9 and is the first held at the Northeast Event Center, where the Boone County Fair is held, as the event was outgrowing its previous location at the Holiday Inn Executive Center.

“We’re excited to be able to expand our event, and the Northeast Event Center is giving us the opportunity for more interactive exhibits,” says Victoria Brees, director of events at Zimmer Communications. “With the larger facility, we can offer more to the community.”

New editions will include John Deere tractors, deputy cars and a monster truck on display with the ability to sit in and ask questions about certain vehicles. One of the grand prizes will include a Primate

Gas Griddle/Grill, valued at $1,099.

“It’s been neat to see how in the first couple of years it was ‘here we are,’ ‘here are some tchotchkes,’” says Nathan "Shags" McLeod from 96.7 KCMQ. “Now people are bringing their products, they’re selling their products.”

Along with vendors and booths, the main event occurs at noon, when everyone crowds around the stage to watch self-inflicting sufferers compete in a wing eating contest. Anyone can tempt their tastebuds as long as they are 18 years old and up. A beard contest will also be judged at 2 p.m.

“There’s always something for everyone," McLeod says. “Just because we mention the outdoors doesn’t mean women aren’t allowed at the show. Some of the ladies are better fishermen than some of the men I know. All are welcome. It’s fun for the whole family.”

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Central MO Honor Flight, as Brees states that Zimmer Communications enjoys supporting local organizations

with the nonprofit being one the business feels strongly about. The organization flies veterans to Washington D.C. at no cost for a day of visiting and reflecting at memorials and museums.


WHAT The CoMo Man Show WHERE Northeast Event Center WHEN 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. March 9 COST $15 - $20 for general admission/$50 for VIP WEBSITE

What’s Going On


Dates and events are subject to change. Please visit the event website for the most up-to-date information.




This beloved annual film festival is back again with a new theme, The Human Paradox. Enjoy all True/ False has to offer including the March March, @CTION party, Q Queens, and of course, the films. Times and prices vary;




Grab your instrument or simply go and enjoy listening to the Missouri Old Time Jam this month, hosted by fiddle player Howard Marshall and the Budds Center for American Music. All are welcome to come jam during this collaborative event. 5:30p.m.; Free;




Cheer on your Mizzou Tigers at Taylor Stadium as they take on the first of a three-game series against the Mastadons.

3 p.m.; Prices TBA;

MARCH 16-17



Check out all the home-related products and services, talk with experts about your home ideas and peruse the many displays to inspire you.

Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun. 11a.m. – 4 p.m.; Free;



Hear the impressive and powerful songs of seasoned vocalist Zach Williams and rising star Riley Clemmons for one night only as they bring Christian music to Jesse Auditorium.

7 – 11 p.m.; $27-$180;





Become a participant or simply a spectator in the all-you-can-eat wing competition. You can find out which restaurant has the best wings in town and be named King of Wings.

6-9 p.m.; Price TBA; Link for tickets TBA

APRIL 18-21


The 7th annual literary festival will host best sellers, local writers and more throughout these four days of readings and writing discussions. Whether you’re a bookworm, casual reader or writer looking for tips, this festival is sure to inspire and keep the creativity flowing throughout the year. Times of events will vary; Free;

APRIL 20, 2024


Join gaming fans alike and go retro. From Atari to PlayStation 3, you can enjoy more than 30 vendors and panels discussing game development, and see if you are the best in one of the tournaments.

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Price TBA;

APRIL 26-27


For the first time since 2015, Mareck Dance and Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri come together for a joint production of Carmina Burana. Between the dance and choral artistry of this show, you will not want to miss a moment of the classic cantata.

7 p.m.; $32-$48;

insider CALENDAR


The Tucker Greenhouse, established in 1975 at the University of Missouri, stands as a vibrant hub for botanical exploration and education. Comprising distinct sections like the desert room, cactus garden and a tropical space featuring a pond, the greenhouse offers a diverse environment for the cultivation of 500-800 species of plants.

Inside Columbia life CONTENTS 39 Meal Prep Magic 41 Bathroom Renovation 42 Lakeside Listening 43 Décor Digest



Are you one of the few who dare to go beyond? Meet the BMW XM—a vehicle that transcends ordinary notions of adrenaline and aesthetics.

You’ve never held such force in your hands. The BMW 4.4 liter TwinPower Turbo engine is paired with a high-performance electric motor to put out a staggering 644 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque.

Be extravagant and expressive. Set your legacy in motion by being one of the first to transcend all others.

Build your own BMW XM and discover the edge of your world or contact a Client Advisor at to learn more about the BMW XM.

BMW. The Ultimate Driving Machine.®

BMW of Columbia

1900 I-70 Dr. SW

Columbia, MO 65203

(573) 446-2691

©2023 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW trademarks are registered trademarks.

Prepped For Success


Everywhere I go I meet people who want to improve their health. Whether it’s a loved one, a yoga student or a stranger at the grocery store, everyone has something they want to improve. Better sleep, improved nutrition, more movement, meditation, staying hydrated, grounding and connecting with nature are all things I hear. Luckily, I have been blessed to follow my career in the culinary world by combining nutrition with my meals. So, what makes a meal healthy? This is a complex question, and I hope to shine a light on this with my years of experience.

I have learned that a person’s dietary restrictions are never the same as another human’s, just like our bodies in yoga. No body is anatomically or biologically the same as another, as we have all walked individual paths of healing, environmental toxins, injuries, sleep patterns, trauma, nutrition, malnutrition and more. The way I can help people heal with nutrition? The quickest is when I take their food allergy list and specific dietary protocols from their medical professionals. If I can communicate with the client’s medical professional personally, that helps immensely because I then can ask specific questions about the individual's


dietary protocols based on all their tests. Vitamin, mineral and hormone are all examples of extra testing that helps me make the best recipes.

The way I can create the right meal plan for people is key. I want to respect people’s time and budget, so I try to make them as efficient as possible. I want to know which meals people struggle with the most — breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or desserts. Then, we focus on those meals. I always want to keep recipes seasonal because I have learned that seasonal ingredients are the most powerful for our healing. Since we are getting into spring, I would ask if they like things like soups, salads, pasta salads, roasted vegetables, meats or specialty bowls. Based on their food allergies, dietary protocols and ingredients they actually enjoy eating, I can create traditional or new-aged recipes that are going to be the most anti-inflammatory and healing for them.

Most people get overwhelmed easily by the thought of cooking this much or preparing ahead of time to stay consistent with their goals. So, I like to always include tips, tricks and specialty information on things like essential oils, yoga sequences, meditations, breathwork, supplements or anything else they may need help with. Sorting through all the research out there can lead to people struggling to know what is scientifically correct. Luckily, I have done this for so long that it is usually easy for me to send an accredited published medical article. If I haven’t worked with something specific, I can always direct people to integrative medical professionals to help them further. I always ask if my client has more freedom with time to grocery shop or cook. Or, if they have more financial freedom and they would like to buy their meals and know the best food brands to buy. My prepared meal company, Happy Food, can create the most nutrient-dense meals for my local

clients, and day by day we see more highquality retailers making food products to buy nationwide.

I am absolutely grateful for helping people live their healthiest lives. Some medical professionals are starting to release dietary protocols and cookbooks on their specialty disease diets, which I love to see! The culinary knowledge I have with my healing journey for 17 years, without any resources, along with running Nourish Cafe & Market, as well as — for the last 6 years — writing close to 1,000 meal plans, has given me an edge to hear and see all the challenges people are facing, and how I can help them. I have had the opportunity to teach a plant-based cooking class to

the OBGYN department of Women’s and Children's Hospital. I have had the opportunity to speak to over 800 medical professionals at the Integrative Dermatology Symposium. I have written meal plans on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and Hashimoto’s disease with Dr. Jennifer Roelands, and plans on dermatology and Ayurveda with Dr. Raja Sivamani. Right now, I am working with Fountain Life and a metabolic cancer coach on a brain health diet for brain cancer. So, as we head into spring, remember to give yourself compassion on your healing journey. You are your best doctor. Start believing in the power of healing.


Historical Remodel


She was stressed, and I knew why. Cheryl wanted to redo our master bath. I had promised her that once we stabilized the foundation in our house — soon to celebrate its 90th birthday — we would tear into the bathroom, a process I welcomed like a colonoscopy. But the most important room in the house — where we spend much time ruminating — needed attention. The shower leaked, the floor squeaked and the vanity was from the Dick Van Dyke Show.

The time had come.

Cheryl was a kid in a candy store when we entered Designer Kitchens and Baths, a showroom with thousands of combinations of interior design. Wes Wise guided us through the process of picking the elements, and showed us a list of contractors. We chose the first name on the list.

When he first surveyed our bathroom, David Lewis knew he was in for a workout. From the street, the main bath is up two flights of stairs, through three narrow doorways and around four tight corners.

David is a veteran at remodeling. For an independent contractor, he has consummate customer relationship skills, blending just the right amount of humor into his message about how messed up our bathroom might be beneath the surface. In our first conversation he mentioned that he had worked on remodeling jobs

for a former Columbia Tribune columnist whose writing style I adore. Think Breakfast Creek. I can only hope to write with such grace.

From our conversations, David and I established common ground. We both love music, and we talked about the genius of Dwayne Allman and Leon Russell. He noticed the statue on my piano, an Emmy award I received a few years ago. Yes, we are both artisans, practicing different crafts, but working to achieve the same perfection, or as close as we can get to it given the circumstances.

Once all the orders arrived at DKB, and we had chosen a palatable flooring from Dave Griggs’ Flooring America, David launched into the process. It was bittersweet to witness the destruction of our bathroom world, everything to which I had been accustomed for decades. The shower and the tub lay on the floor in pieces to make it easier for David’s able assistant Edward to carry the body parts downstairs.

When David ripped up the carpet, a rug that had felt our footprints and family footprints and the pawprints of a dozen pets, he found the first problem. The bathroom plumbing had been routed through floor joists, weakening them. David knew that Kevin, the floor tile expert, would balk at the idea of laying tile over a floor that would shift and squeak, leading to cracked tile. David

brought in plumber Bob Lawrence, and they devised a solution that would stabilize the floor.

He smiled and told me, “Remember, I said we might run into issues. Old houses are like that.”

But he was able to roll with the changes, and so was I. More important to David and me, Cheryl adapted to the changes, even though the process would take another several days to complete. Like an air traffic controller, David would need to line up his specialty artisans and bring them in to perform a Rubik’s Cube of patches. When two giant cabinets arrived, they became pillars in our dining room until the bathroom was ready to welcome them. I didn’t think they would fit up the stairs, around the corners, tipping through tight threshholds and low ceilings. But they did, with at least an eighth of an inch to spare.

“You doubted me,” David laughed. I did. We progressed through the process with the kind of humor that makes the day go better. After weeks of saws and hammers, dust and grout and wiring and sweeping and trash and recycling and taking deep breaths, it was good to break in the new rain shower and set our electric toothbrushes on the vanity. John's books have reported on Missouri’s greatest bathrooms, like Shoji Tabuchi theater in Branson and the cool and inviting Undercliff Grill and Bar north of Neosho.


On the Water


WELCOME TO OUR ULTIMATE LISTS! In each issue, you will find a curated selection of things to listen to or watch, put together by either an on-air talent from Zimmer Communications or a member of the Inside Columbia staff. For this issue, Tim Flanner, Inside Columbia’s art director, has shared his ultimate playlist to listen to on the water. Scan the QR code on this page to hear the full playlist. Enjoy!

It is hard to be out on my boat without having some music playing. I feel like they were made for each other. Sometimes I do have to remember to turn it down a bit, just in case the fish might not like it. But I feel like it does turn the bite on. Though I think the jury is still out on that. I do have my own playlist called “On a Boat”, which I update often. It has over 500 songs, so it was hard to narrow it down to just five.

“Where to Find Me” - Hardy

I would have to say, this would be a top-five life song for me. I am definitely in my happy place if I am in a place where I am hard to find. Just in the middle of nowhere. This song has a nice relaxing beat and groove. It song always puts a smile on my face and I just have to sing out as loud as I can, which also helps that I am in the middle of nowhere. I also think the line, “I’m a redneck, I’m a hick, I’m hippie” defines me.

“I Won’t Back Down” - Tom Petty

Well, I can’t have a playlist without including my all-time favorite artist. He is always mixed in every playlist I make. I do feel like his voice and the band’s groove flow perfectly on the water. It was very hard to narrow it down to one song, but this is one of my favs, and I tend to live by this motto, probably to a fault. But there is nothing like telling a stubborn bass that won’t bite that “I won’t back down.”

“Hey Driver” - Zach Bryan (feat. The War and Treaty)

I could pick any of Zach’s songs. He has easily turned into one of my favorite current artists. This song is all about the simple life. It’s a very smooth acoustic song with a raspy blues emotion. Lyrics like, “Take down a road that's a little bit windy, to a place they still put sugar in their ice tea … ” make the escape out on the water more real.

“Ballard of a Southern Man” - Whiskey Meyers

This is another one of my all-time favorite bands. I have spent many hours on the water just letting them serenade me, so it was really hard to just pick out one song. This song takes me back to my roots. It talks about growing up in a simple home, raised to hunt, fish and work for what we have. There are a few lines in this song that hit hard. I guess you just need to listen and you will find them.

“Get Along”

How could I make a playlist for being on the water, without including Kenny? I shouldn’t have to explain that. This was also hard to choose one. But I do love this song. And with the line “Buy a boat, drink a beer. Sing a song … ” how can I not listen to it? This song also has a great message to me. Life is too short to be hating and stressing about all the chaos that is going on in the world. Can’t we all just get along?


Earth-Tone Trends


Nature reminds us to ground ourselves, find peace and tranquility as well as rejuvenation. It’s difficult to do in our ever-busy world. So if you can’t find as much time outside this spring, why not bring the colors of outside … in? With the help of Jaclyn Rogers, the color consultant at Ai Painting Plus, we have put together a spring color palette that allows your home to transform into a place of serenity. Rogers explains what each earthy Benjamin Moore color can bring to your home and make it bloom.

Nottingham Green - 569

A touch of blue gives this light mint green a cool, leisurely feel.

“This is a fun color! This one brings the beauty of nature indoors, fostering a sense of tranquility and connection to the outdoors by bringing it inside. It looks great in the kitchen and well-lit rooms for a splash of fun.”

Bunker Hill Green - 566

A saturated shade of grass green has both a playful and sophisticated side.

“This color is timeless by adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to any interior space. This color can introduce cozy spaces or intimacy in any room. This is a great choice for bedrooms and living rooms. Also, it looks great pairing with navy blue and mustard yellow.”

Toasted Marshmallow - 1049

This deeply toned brown owes its toasted golden tint to a faint orange undertone. “There is so much versatility in this color, leaving it feeling trendy yet sophisticated. Whether used as a main wall color, trim or accent, Toasted Marshmallow adds a touch of sophistication and charm to any space. The key to this color while painting is to allow for it to brighten up and allow for rooms to look more spacious.”

Frosted Café - 2098-70

A pink-tinged neutral as light and frothy as the foam atop a cup of cappuccino.

“This color can enforce comfort and coziness in your space, making it feel like a welcoming retreat no matter where you put it. This color can pair with a versatile number of colors allowing it to feel traditional, but it also can be contemporary. This makes it easy to choose and find a place for it in your home.”


You sent in pictures and voted … and the winners are finally here!

We asked for this year’s cutest pets in Columbia, and you did not disappoint! With a high record of submissions, we didn’t know who would come out on top. This was the first year we had a wallaby (in a diaper, no less!) and a Clydesdale horse submitted. We saw dogs who love to smile and dogs with rolls, rescue cats and cats with bows. The community voted for the cutest, but really, this is a testament to you as owners who know your pet is family.

In the following pages, without further ado, here are the cutest of the cute. This year’s 2024 Cutest Pets.

Daisy stole the heart of Columbia as soon as she was submitted. As a hedgehog pup, she was adopted by owner Susan Hunze from Cub Creek Science Camp in Rolla, Missouri. During the contest, she passed away unexpectedly at three years old. Daisy loved smelling smells and sticking her head in toilet paper rolls. As a nocturnal pet, she lived for sleeping during the day and running on her wheel at night.

Our honorary first place goes to her.


Cooper was stolen … well, kind of.

One summer day, Cooper, a man of curiosity, found himself at the doorstep of the Roush family and continued showing up for weeks. After a vet visit and a collar with the Roush’s phone number, Cooper’s owner called and told them Cooper needed a solo home of his own after living unhappily with two other cats. She offered Cooper to the Roush’s, and they immediately said yes. “Sometimes he shows up at the neighbor’s doorstep, and he makes friends down the street, but he always finds his way back home.”

Though he doesn’t speak in meows, the family knows that “Cooper doesn’t want anyone to know that he is a cat.” With a new toy, he gets embarrassed by his loss of control after a few minutes of playing. Also, everything is on his terms, including when he’s ready for love and pets. However, “his loud purr is like a motor and gives him away.”


Trinity started her career as a show dog, taking first place in four competitions before finding her forever home with Katie Keaveny.

“TinTin” as she is affectionately called by Keaveny is “the definition of a true companion.” Keaveny says, “She is so spontaneous, loving, adventurous, goofy and very affectionate.”

A friend of Keaveny’s dropped Trinity off with her for pup-sitting one weekend and the rest was history. “The moment both Trinity and I locked eyes, we instantly fell in love,” she says. “She would not leave my side that entire weekend.”

Now basking in retirement, Trinity still loves to live the glamorous life with bows and outfits, many times looking to stand out in bright pink. She truly lives the life of luxury with having not only one, but four beds to call her own.


Though he may be small, Morty is a mighty fast runner, especially when he’s wearing one of his hats. He “is committed to his fitness regimen, making sure to get his three counterclockwise laps around his log before bed,” says owner Tyler Bauer. Born in San Diego, California, Morty knows the salt life well for a oneyear-old Hermann’s tortoise, loving the sun(spots), sand in his toes, Bob Dylan and romaine lettuce.

He also is a big supporter of politics, specifically animal rights and Sarah McLachlan. Morty’s pet cat — yes, his, not Tyler’s — is named Gypsy, and they are best friends. Additionally, “Morty spends a lot of his free time watching the Ninja Turtles and trying on new hats he gets from family, friends and fans,” she says. As a supporter of voting rights, he reminds everyone that “your vote matters,” as he takes his crown.


Third time’s the charm for Rusty.

After his first owner passed away, his second family eventually took him to Columbia Second Chance due to his impeccable taste … for the neighbor’s chickens. Now in his third and forever home since July 2022, Rusty lives the good life. “It took Rusty almost a year to come to trust us and feel like he was home after we adopted him. He now knows this is home,” says Rusty’s owner Julie Brown.

Rusty is a foodie, mostly loving his favorite sweet treats: cookies, peanut butter and whipped cream. He also loves to play keep away with shoes by carrying them by the laces. Brown believes Rusty is probably a half Labrador retriever, half pointer mix. He loves to bark at all wildlife, including flocks of birds flying over. “He’s most definitely a warm and sunny weather type dog,” she says.


A Trip for Your Taste Buds

Embark on a Flavorful Global Adventure Without Leaving Columbia.

Take your taste buds on a trip around the world while staying in Columbia. From the flavors of Kenya and India to tasting the delicacies of Italy, we have put together the perfect map for you to taste the diverse culinary landscape of the world while staying at home.

So, gather your favorite foodies and go on this global feast with us. Enjoy!

Pasta La Fata

Italian Restaurant

1207 Rogers St., suite 106

Growing up surrounded by fresh Italian food and eating pasta five days a week, Michelle La Fata, the owner of Pasta La Fata knew she wanted to bring fresh, whole-ingredient Italian food to the Columbia area. “Our specialty is handmade fresh pasta, so everything we are doing here takes a lot of time,” she says. “We don’t take any shortcuts.” What started as a pop-up in 2017 has now grown into a well-known, loved restaurant in Columbia. “I was just serving handmade food made by myself and I really wanted to feed the community, so I became a vendor at the farmers market,” she says. “Then I realized the demand was so high here, and since opening my doors we have seen what is considered exponential growth.” Whether you are looking for a grab-and-go option or want to sit down and enjoy Italian delicacies, La Fata wants you to know she is dedicated to serving genuine, whole ingredients that the body can identify and appreciate. “Pasta La Fata is the antithesis to the standard American fast diet,” she says. “While you can get something quick, it took time to make.” This culinary gem not only provides a delightful dining experience but also serves as a platform for exploring rare pasta traditions and sharing creative, inspired dishes with the community. “I am interested in learning about traditions that people don’t know about here and sharing it with the community,” La Fata says.


Abbey’s Swahili Delights

Swahili Cuisine

14 Business Loop 70 E

Abbey Mitchell, the owner of Abbey’s Swahili Delights, uses local ingredients to offer Swahili cuisine from Mombasa Kenya to the people of Columbia. “It’s similar to Indian, Arabic and Portuguese foods, but I try to make it my own in a way, cooking with coconut and all-natural spices,” she says. Mitchell uses inspiration from her mother and grandmother, combined with her own recipes to create this little slice of Swahili right here in Columbia. Mitchell has it all, whether you want to try her favorite creations, biryani and samosas, or some customer favorites, including naan bread, creamy coconut lentils or beef stew. While Mitchell currently operates out of the CoMo Cooks Shared Kitchen making all the food herself, she hopes to have her own space one day. “My dream is to have an African restaurant in Columbia.”

Jina Yoo's Asian Bistro

Asian Restaurant

2200 Forum Blvd., suite 108

Nestled in the heart of Columbia, Jina Yoo's Asian Bistro stands as a culinary haven, offering a diverse and flavorful journey through Asian cuisine. From the artistry of sushi to the bold flavors of Asian fusion, each dish at Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro is a masterpiece. Jared Meisel, the head chef, says no matter what, there is something each customer will enjoy. “We have a little bit of something for everyone”, he says. “Whether you are adventurous or like to stick to simple things we have what you’re looking for.” While you will find classic sushi, Meisel also mentions Jina Yoo’s is well known for its unique menu items, including the appetizer Jina’s balls, which has spicy tuna, crab mix, rice, Jina’s citrus hollandaise and Yoo sauce. They also have the chicken nachos, which is “an Asian twist on nachos,” he says. With wonton chips, grilled chicken, avocado, corn tomato salsa, black bean aioli, house pickled jalapeno, mozzarella and pepper jack cheese. Jina Yoo's is truly a go-to destination for those seeking a memorable and delicious Asian culinary adventure in Columbia.

The Syrian Kitchen

Middle Eastern Restaurant

600 Business Loop 70 W

The Syrian Kitchen offers an authentic taste of Middle Eastern cuisine for the Columbia community to enjoy. Ahmad Alkadah, the owner and head chef, says he prides himself on offering


several vegan and vegetarian options. “A lot of our food is vegan and vegetarian.” The falafels, made of fried seasoned chickpeas, garlic and parsley, are particularly a crowd favorite in the vegetarian community. While he masters the meatless choices, he says he most enjoys making lamb kebabs and kibbeh, which is a dish made of ground beef combined with bulghur wheat, then deep fried. “Many customers come back for the lamb kebabs and meat pie,” Alkadah says. One of Alkadah’s main goals is to provide fresh, local food for his customers to enjoy. “We make everything from scratch.” So, whether you're a seasoned enthusiast of Syrian cuisine or a newcomer eager to explore, The Syrian Kitchen promises a delightful and culturally enriching culinary adventure.

Como Arepas Venezuelan Restaurant

1009 N. Providence Road

Como Arepas brings the vibrant and flavorful taste of Venezuela to the heart of Columbia. Specializing in arepas, a traditional Venezuelan dish made with corn patties, filled with the protein of your choice, empanadas, which are flaky golden pastries filled with your choice of cheese, beef or chicken, and many other traditional dishes, Como Arepas offers a unique and satisfying dining experience in Columbia. Jose and Yumivia Rojas, the husband-and-wife duo and co-owners, moved from the CoMo Cooks Shared Kitchen into Aroma Coffee House at the end of 2022, now offering a space for events, catering options, drive-thru services, outdoor seating options and more. The power couple is continuing to focus on serving diverse flavors and good service to the Columbia community. “They bring a student-focused, community-driven approach to sharing a slice of their native homeland through Como Arepas,” the website says. Como Arepas is all about its three founding points, which are community, culture and connections. According to the website, Jose Rojas wants, “to keep on projecting happiness and good times with family and friends that are larger than life within our community.”

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine

Indian Restaurant

601 Business Loop 70 W., suite 206

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine combines a delightful blend of delicious dining and convenient takeout options to create a cornerstone in Columbia. Widely recognized for its Indian cuisine, the restaurant has become a beloved establishment

in the local community. One employee says while they have a variety of dishes on the menu the community gravitates towards the butter chicken, which is shredded tandoori chicken cooked in a creamy sauce of onions, tomatoes and spices, and the chicken tikka masala, which is boneless, broiled chicken cooked with onions, tomatoes and ground spices in a cream sauce. “It’s all the Indian spices in it that make it special,” she says. “The people like it because it is creamy, and the chicken is cooked well.” The insistence on using only high-quality, fresh ingredients ensures that every dish is a testament to the authenticity and richness of Indian flavors. Whether dining in or opting for takeout, Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine provides a memorable and flavorful experience for those seeking a taste of India in Columbia.

Cafe Poland Polish Restaurant

807 Locust St.

Tucked away in downtown Columbia, stands Cafe Poland, a family-owned Polish restaurant, offering authentic, homemade Polish cuisine. Robert Burlinski, the manager of Cafe Poland, says they serve the most important Polish dishes. “People say the food is very original,” he says. “You can’t find this food anywhere else.” Burlinski says the community loves the crepes, which you can get sweet or savory, lecho, which is a spicy bell pepper stew, golabki, which is stuffed cabbage with beef and rice in tomato sauce with potato and, of course, the pierogies, which are traditional Polish dumplings. “I like crepes and pierogies the most, but it’s a different thing because this is my everyday food,” Burlinski says. His mother opened Cafe Poland in 2013 after looking for jobs in the area. Now, after recently celebrating eleven years in business, the family duo is continuing to provide traditional Polish food to the Columbia area. “All the food is made from scratch,” he says. “The food tastes like exactly what you would eat in Poland.” Whether you are a seasoned eater, or looking to try a new kind of food, Burlinski says Cafe Poland is for all. “Everyone can find something here.”


Las Margaritas

Mexican Bar and Grill

Mexican Restaurant

5614 E. St. Charles Road suite E

220 S 8th St.

10 Southampton Drive

Las Margaritas Mexican Bar and Grill is the perfect stop when you are craving Mexican cuisine in Columbia. The establishment in the Corporate Lake development not only has a large patio with a lake view but also offers a wide range of authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes that are sure to curb any craving you might have. Whether you are yearning for camarones a la Diabla, which is a dish featuring tiger shrimp or if you come in with a big appetite and try the gigantic burrito Gonzalez, which is stuffed with steak or chicken, onions, bell peppers and beans, you will find there is something for everyone at Las Margaritas. “Our mission is to serve freshly prepared ood and drinks each and every time you join us,” the website states. And if you come in with a sweet tooth, Las Margaritas as an extensive menu with several dessert options. “Indulge in xango, a creamy e wrapped in a pastry tortilla that is fried and served with ice cream, sopapilla, a flour tortilla deep fried and topped with butter, honey, and cinnamon or Flan, which is baked fresh daily and is ser ved in the traditional Mexico City style with creme caramel,” the website says. You know when you come to Las Margaritas you will find, “Great food, great people and a great atmosphere.”

Bangkok Gardens

Thai Restaurant

811 Cherry St.

Bangkok Gardens is the place to be if you are looking to taste the flavors and delicacies of Thailand. John Pham, chef and owner of Bangkok Gardens, took a leap of faith when he was asked to take over as owner after working while attending school at the University of Missouri. “It was out of passion and necessity,” he says. “So I dropped out of college to pursue this endeavor.” Now, Pham uses fresh ingredients and traditional spices while keeping the American midwestern palate in mind to create a one-of-a-kind experience for his customers. Pham says the most highly requested dish is the phat Thai, which consists of rice noodles cooked in a sweet and sour sauce with cabbage, bean sprouts, diced onion and egg. The dish is then garnished with peanuts, green onion and fresh lime. “If you have never had your taste buds blown away and challenged, give us a try,” Pham says. “You won’t be disappointed.” Pham even says if the dish is not what your taste buds are craving, he will give you another dish to try free of charge. It’s time to immerse yourself in the warm hospitality and distinctive dishes at Bangkok Gardens for an unforgettable dining adventure in Columbia.

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Game, Set, Match Serving Spring Sets on and off the Court


Spring has sprung! This means it’s time once again to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities. To ensure you are ready to strut onto the court in style, we put together the perfect mix of local workout wear from tennis skorts and dresses to different active accessories modeled by Ashley Brown and Kelly Hoover at The Club at Old Hawthorne. Get ready to conquer the spring season with a wardrobe refresh and embrace these essential workout staples!


Add to Cart

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Our houses require attention. Whether it’s your first, forever, or everywhere in between home, keeping it up-to-date and giving it that TLC can mean the difference between a house of your dreams or one of your nightmares. So, when something needs repaired or it's time for a facelift, what do you do?

The following pages will answer your questions about everything from using color to enhance your home to making sure your homeowners insurance covers the ifs in life, from pet resistant flooring for your best friend and peace of mind to a bathroom remodel if you or a loved one are looking to age in place.

The businesses highlighted in this advertising section know that creating your dream house doesn’t mean the process of getting there is always in your wheelhouse. That’s where they step in.

Individualizing your home to make it perfect for you shouldn’t be a hassle. Luckily, Inside Columbia’s Help My House is here to lend a hand.


are PET


to keep your carpet clean whether your best friend is big or small.

Address spills and stains as soon as possible.

Remove any solids on the carpet using a dull knife or rigid tool.

Blot as much liquid as possible using white, absorbent cloth, working the edges.

Apply a small amount of cold water.

Apply a solution of clear liquid dish detergent (with no additives) mixed with cold water (1/4 teaspoon detergent to one cup water) and continue to blot.

Do not at any point saturate the carpet. Be gentle.

Rub lightly in one direction to rub further down the individual tufts rather than in a back and forth motion.

Absorb as much of the stain and any applied solution and water as possible using white absorbent cloth and direct pressure.

If a pet urine stain has been allowed to sit for a period prior to being attended to, use a 50/50 clear vinegar and water solution.


Older generations are looking to stay in their home and communities longer as a way of keeping their independence. This comes with the need for special considerations like updating rooms in the house where accessibility may be hindered.

The bathroom should be at the top of the list when considering "aging in place" as it can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house for seniors. The incorporation of a few items can help keep safety in mind during a quick update, renovation or new construction. Grab bars provide extra support and stability. Extendedheight toilets are a great addition for taller people. Better lighting and motion sensors at night can help when searching for light switches in the dark.

A new walk-in shower system, such as the Onyx Collection, is a great choice to prevent slipping and falling. All Onyx bases have a texture and can include customized shower heights and seats. Plumbing fixtures should also be

considered. Hand showers and touch faucets are great additions for those with accessibility issues. Making some simple modifications to your bathroom can help keep you in your home for many years to come.

Billy Stewart & Mckenzie Pope

Since 1990, DKB Designer Kitchens and Baths have created beautiful and functional kitchens, baths and more. While aging in place may be a consideration for you or a loved one, the business has a wide selection of products and brands to fit your needs and budget.

“Making these adjustments in a bathroom will aim to ensure safety and convenience for people wanting to stay in their homes as they age,” says Billy Stewart, who manages outside sales for DKB. Their showroom and sales consultants can help you find the right products to keep you safe while aging in place.


Do you know what’s covered if a catastrophe strikes your home? Knowing what your homeowners insurance covers means more than simple repairs around the house. Your home is likely the largest asset you own. Your roof, siding, drain/ sewage and more need to be considered when keeping the four walls around you the safest they can be.

Peace of mind comes when you have more than the basics covered by your policy. Personal items can be covered for actual cash value or replacement costs, which could mean a huge difference in payout in the event of a fire, severe weather or mold. It’s important to know the cost of rebuilding your home.

It’s better to know you’re insured


covered under an endorsement.

Phyllis Nichols




Learning more for her customers keeps Phyllis and State Farm setting trends in the insurance landscape and allows them to lead the way for homeowners.

local office to help
any of
faster relief
in the case of damages to your roof rather than being underinsured or not insured at all. Replacement costs could be good only until the shingles are a certain age. Sewer or drain damage might be covered, or it might knowledge
these cases instead of a 1-800
and better
next steps. Changing
lives daily is what has kept
State Farm Insurance for 36.5 years. There’s more to a home than its four walls, and she knows it’s about “protecting the dreams and memories that have or will occur within those walls.” The business provides many different products to help meet every individual customer’s needs.
“I can help many folks in a week’s time that would not have gotten the help without my company’s support,” Phyllis says. “It is an ever-changing industry, and you have to be willing to stay updated and keep your policy holders informed to protect them properly.”

Preventing your home’s drainage system from backing up keeps you from potentially having to clean up minor and major flooding. Luckily, there are many preventative steps you can take to make sure the worst doesn’t happen to you.

Calling a plumber to inspect your pipes on a regular basis assesses the wear and tear on them by checking your exposed pipes’ lengths, fittings and connections. Make sure you know and are being cautious about what you’re flushing down your toilets. Items such as facial tissues, feminine hygiene products and paper towels cause obstructions in your pipes. This can lead to plumbing backups or overflow. Additionally, keep your drains and sinks clear by consistently

regular maintenance, inspection and mindfulness of objects being flushed aid in warding off these issues. You can also install backwater valves. These act as a barrier between the public sewer line and your home’s drainage system. This allows your water to flow out and not back in.

Brian Wear

problems. Avoid planting trees with aggressive root growth; also, keep a safe distance from your sewage line when landscaping. If you have questions, have an emergency, or have anything in between happening to your pipes, it’s always best to call your local plumbing company.

Brian Wear Plumbing has been assisting the Columbia community since 2005. With over 27 years as a plumber, Owner Brian Wear has the experience to help in any plumbing situation, big or small.

“We have the manpower, equipment, training and experience to clean any drain or repair if needed,” Wear says.

The business also offers excavation services and trenchless pipe lining, the latter of which is a modern solution for restoring underground pipes. But no matter the plumbing job, Brian Wear Plumbing has the services and team available to tackle it.


Using Bleach-Free Cleaning Solution for Exterior House Washing

Opting for bleach-free cleaning solutions for exterior house washing not only ensures a pristine appearance but also aligns with environmentally friendly practices. Bleach-free solution is free from sodium hypochlorite otherwise known as bleach, which is considered to be a hazardous substance and extremely toxic with long-lasting effects. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, opting for eco-friendly cleaning products can mitigate both human health and environmental concerns associated with the cleaning process.

The bleach-free solution from CA Cleaning Solutions is a soy-based formula that is gentle yet effective, making it suitable for a wide range

concrete, wood and more. The cleaning solution has been researched and trademarked biodegradable, ensuring a minimal environmental footprint and

Chad Green & Auggie

Since June 2023, CEO of CA Cleaning Solutions, a new power and soft washing company, Chad Green has been working to provide greener, cleaner and safer choices for current and future Missouri residents. “We offer 100% satisfaction guarantee and have made it our mission to ensure your property is not only safely cleaned but fully decontaminated, healthy and safe for the environment,” Green says. In 2017 Chris Green created the solution that has been researched by a panel of consultants and produced on the campus at Mississippi State University. The cleaning solution is highly effective in removing dirt, grime, mold, mildew, organic matter and other stains from various surfaces. While providing the

solution is key, the most important aspect for the CA Cleaning Solutions team is to provide personalized attention, listen to your needs and deliver a superior service experience from start to finish. “From small residential properties to large commercial buildings, we deliver exceptional results in a timely manner.”

conscious choice to go bleach-free, homeowners contribute to a cleaner, safer environment while maintaining


If last year was any indication, Columbia homeowners need to be prepared for severe weather and its destructive aftermath, especially when it comes to roof damage from hail, tree limbs or otherwise. Malarkey Windsor® ScotchgardTM, for instance, yields a Class 4 hail impact rating, the highest in the industry. It also includes industry-leading components to fortify your home, with up to 40% greater exposure when compared with other designer shingles and 22% greater thickness than standard shingles.

Maintaining curb appeal also keeps any homeowners association happy and is great for the value of your home, whether or not you eventually consider selling. 3MTM copper granule technology within the shingles

with a limited lifetime warranty. Your home also benefits from 3MTM Smog-Reducing Granules which cleans emission pollutants from the air.

Heartland Homes Remodeling &

other roofing options, such as metal, slate or other asphalt shingles, that meet the same hail protection rating and give that extra curb appeal for your home.

Willie Johns

AtHeartland Homes Remodeling & Roofing, they take pride in making sure customers know their options, so they can make the best choice for their home. “With the years of knowledge from all of our team, we provide the best solution, ensuring your roof is solid and water-tight,” says Willie Johns, who is in roofing sales for the business. He understands that since every home needs a roof, many roofers are looking to do the job. However, Heartland Homes Remodeling & Roofing has been in the Columbia area for 10 years and want the best for the community. They enjoy helping homeowners choose the best option for their roof, making their roof more appealing and giving them the best defense against Missouri’s harsh, volatile weather.


Kitchen Remodels for All Budgets

No matter the scale of your budget, a kitchen remodel, or the start of it, is always possible. For those with a higher budget, a full remodel can include quartz countertops, touchless faucets, tile backsplash, new lighting and more. Of course, even starting the remodel journey with one or two of these assets can drastically update the look of your kitchen.

If you’re on a strict budget, consider getting creative and handy with your remodel. Changing door/drawer hardware quickly gives a new shine. Can you change your bulbs or light fixtures to emit more light for cooking up meals? A larger project could be changing your flooring to offer a more dynamic space. Nowadays, many

budget-friendly flooring options exist.

Cabinetry can be one of the biggest visual updates in the kitchen. Your remodel can include resurfacing to keep the budget low or replacing the cabinets entirely. White paint instantly brightens and opens for an inviting

Dave Parsons

Visiting job sites with his father, Dave Parsons always had an interest in remodeling and interior construction, especially seeing the amazing before and after of the projects. Now, as a full-time remodel salesman with Heartland Homes Remodeling & Roofing, Parsons helps create the transformation in a home, which is one of his favorite aspects of the job.

“With my knowledge and my team’s experience, I am confident when I walk into a customer’s house that they will be beyond happy after we complete their project,” Parsons says.

Heartland Homes Remodeling & Roofing completes remodeling and roofing on residential and commercial properties. The

business opened in 2013 and has grown to include 15 employees. It also recently opened a branch location in St. Louis with the hope of opening another location at the Lake of the Ozarks.

kitchen space. Also, countertops can complement the cabinetry and not break the bank. Consider granite and solid-surface options, and even visit a granite supply yard to look through remnants that can be revitalized.


Backyard barbecues, cozy winter mornings by the fireplace, bedtime stories: buying a home is more than just buying a physical structure. It’s making memories with loved ones and investing in yourself and your future. Whether you have bought a home several times before or are a first-time homeowner, the home buying process comes with several moving parts that can seem overwhelming and result in questions.

At First Midwest Bank, our mortgage team is here to answer those questions thoroughly and knowledgeably. We work with each customer to help them determine how much of a mortgage is affordable, which type is best for

their financial situation and what they should and should not do during the home-buying process. We also work with customers looking to build a new home, upgrade their existing home or refinance. We offer online applications, or we are happy to meet

with you in-person, depending on your comfort level and needs.

If you're considering purchasing a new home or changing your existing home, let First Midwest help you make 2024 the year your dream home becomes a reality.

Austin Hawkins
Sarah Hodapp
Hawkins AVP | Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #1482943
Austin Sarah
Hodapp Mortgage Specialist

When Is the Right Time to Replace Your Concrete?

Damaged concrete, such as cracks, erosion, holes and more, can lead to the loss of structural integrity in a home. This can impact the foundation and increase the potential for water leaks and damage to your property. Not only can the integrity wear away, but given time, damaged concrete can impact the curb appeal of your home. Plus, with housing prices at an alltime high, new concrete also provides monetary value, whether you’re looking to sell or simply wanting to maintain the upkeep.

Looking into replacing or repairing concrete no longer needs to be a daunting task, as Site Pro can come directly to you, assess your current concrete situation and provide a free estimate from there, based on their advice and the project you want completed.

Chris Fischer

Chris Fischer, President of Site Pro, finds that meeting new people and providing cost effective solutions to homeowners are the favorite parts of his job. As a familyowned business, Site Pro provides customers with integrated construction services, including concrete repair and replacement, sewer services, foundation repair, 24/7 emergency services and more. Its employees are experienced and great team members, with over 50 years of combined experience, allowing for timely and costeffective solutions when called.

Working in the industry since 2005 and with the company since it started, Fischer knows that every day is different, but that’s what makes the business knowledgeable and the best for their customers.

“We know that a lot of times we are called out to a residence or com mercial business when things are not going well,” Fischer says. “We pride ourselves in streamlining. We have worked on many challenging jobs to educate us for most scenarios.”

The colors used in your home help define the space, making it the place that’s perfect for you. When it comes to consumer purchasing, more than 90% of all decisions are based on color. It’s held in memory more than design or wording and is more tied to emotion than any other design element. That means your color choice is crucial in making your home feel comfortable and joyful for you and your family. To ensure you make the right choice for the long run, consider the one-time service of paint color consulting, which provides homeowners with expert recommendations. After all, it just takes a few gallons of paint to add value to a home. Real estate professionals know that the right on-trend colors can bring multiple offers in the first week,

while the wrong dated colors can result in a property that languishes on the market for many months. The latest trends show off-whites, light

beiges and light grays as good colors for selling homes, while in 2022, green and earthy tones dominated the color scene.

INSIDE COLUMBIA MARCH/APRIL 2024 73 At Shangri-La we believe in the power of cannabis to elevate life experiences. But with so many products available, the choices can be overwhelming. Whether you’re a new or an experienced user, we can help you navigate the vast world of cannabis. You can consume confidently and have positive, fulfilling experiences that really get you soaring. Paradise Found COLUMBIA SUPERSTORE 1401 Creekwood Pkwy. Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical products. COLUMBIA SOUTH 3919 Peachtree Dr. JEFF CITY 2118 Missouri Blvd. When you’re voting for Best Cannabis Dispensary, vote for Shangri-La! Voting is open March 25 – April 29. Find your spot. SOAR

Making Your House Market Ready A

re you thinking of selling your home? On the Jordan Barnes Real Estate team with Iron Gate Real Estate, we believe that preparation is the key to a swift and lucrative sale. The key is to picture your home the way a potential buyer would, and celebrate all the best parts of it. For most, the first thing to do is declutter. Do

a walk-through of your home and identify anything that you don’t need on a daily basis. Pack away any non-essentials and store them in an unfinished space or somewhere off the property. This will immediately make your space look bigger and more inviting for buyers

coming to tour. Next, focus on tidying up, organizing what is left and cleaning the space. If your space looks, smells and feels like someone already lives there, it will take longer to sell. Buyers want to walk in and feel like a property has been well taken care of, and presenting a clean tidy property creates a beautiful first impression, along with instilling confidence in its overall condition and maintenance history. You may also consider removing family photos and other personal items from your decor in order to help the buyer visualize themselves and their future in your house. Then, use the benefit of your freshly tidied and cleaned space to take notice and repair any small items. The less of a project the buyer sees your house as, the more likely they are to snag it!

Now that your home is nearly buyer-ready, think about everything you love about living there, and make sure it is

celebrated! Keep in mind two points to a quick sale: light and space. That is ultimately what you’re selling. Walk through and around your home at different times of day, as showings can happen first thing in the morning or well after dark. Is the front stoop too dark for agents to navigate and get the key? Make sure it’s lit! Does the huge plant in front of the window make the living room feel small? Move it!

With the Jordan Barnes Real Estate team, we’re all about helping people transition in and out of their homes with as much ease as possible. Every situation is unique, and we would be thrilled to have the opportunity to walk through your home and brainstorm what the perfect marketing plan would be like for you! Until then, if you’re even thinking about selling, start working on these to-dos to get your house market-ready. Even if you stay, it could make your house feel more like home!

Jordan Barnes 573.694.7892 Melissa Menard 573.673.6300 Kayla Beasley 417.793.0085 Trinity Green Team Support Coordinator
573.777.5001 2635 S. Providence Rd. Columbia, MO 65203


79. UP & COMING Look who’s moving up in businesses around Boone County. 80. TRANSCENDING THE SKIES Columbia’s newest terminal brings community to new heights. 89. CEO ROUNDTABLE Columbia’s housing experts discuss development costs and relaxing building codes. Inside Columbia’s CEO • 89 80


Look Who’s Moving Up In Business

MATT UNREIN was announced as the CITY OF COLUMBIA’s new assistant city manager after serving as the assistant city administrator and public works director in Festus, Missouri. Unrein has been in local government around Missouri for over 25 years. He has also been the assistant city manager and public works and parks director in Ferguson, city administrator of Arnold, assistant city manager of Maryville, and worked in the community development department in Independence to begin his career.

JILL SCHLUDE was announced as the CITY OF COLUMBIA’s new police chief. Since 2019, she has served as Columbia’s assistant police chief. Schlude has been with the department since 2005, serving in many roles such as deputy chief of police, a police sergeant, and a police officer. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College and a master’s degree in strategic leadership from Stephens College.

BOONE HEALTH has announced BRADY DUBOIS as their new chief executive officer. The board of directors selected Dubois as he has more than 16 years of health care leadership experience at the executive level. Most recently, he served as the chief executive officer of Detroit Medical Center’s Adult Central Campus. He also previously served as the CEO of Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and president of Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph. Dubois earned his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston – Victoria.

ANGELA LECHTENBERG has been named the new manager of marketing and communications by BOONE COUNTY HISTORY & CULTURE. Most recently, Lechtenberg was the manager of marketing and communications for Learfield. She has held several marketing and media positions around mid-Missouri, including a public information officer in state government and digital media roles for media outlets and agencies. She is nationally accredited in Public Relations by the Public Relations Society of America and earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Mass Communications.


OF MID-MISSOURI appointed three individuals to its Board of Directors. They are CHRISTINA DEVINE, a compliance director at Boone County Family Resources; DESIREE REED-FRANCOIS, director of athletics at the University of Missouri; and KERI SIMON, the chief hospital operations officer at MU Health Care. They will soon celebrate the opening of both the new Ronald McDonald House at the SE corner of College Avenue and Stadium Boulevard and the Ronald McDonald Family Room in the new MU Health Care Children’s Hospital.

BRIAN SPIELBAUER has been appointed as the new vice president of business development at ENDEAVOR AGENCY, INC. Spielbauer has worked at the agency for four years as an executive career coach and a business development professional. His background also includes various leadership roles in college athletics, including serving as the director of athletics for Central Methodist University in Fayette.



Here’s a travel tip for anyone who hasn’t been to the Columbia Regional Airport recently. It’s time to give it a second look and a second chance.

Since its official opening, a year and a half ago, the new terminal is proving itself a welcome upgrade that makes traveling more of a pleasure and less of a pain. Not only that, but the new terminal gives a giant boost to mid-Missouri’s image as a thriving community, making it a more inviting place for new businesses that are considering expanding to the area. Although COU has continually held its place among the four largest airports in Missouri — topped only by St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield — the new terminal gives the region a Major

League look.

When people talk about the airport to Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe, they can’t hide their enthusiasm. “I hear people say, ‘Oh, we have a professional airport, now.’ Everyone appreciates its spaciousness and its new amenities. The airport is our welcome mat to Columbia, and when businesses are trying to recruit people, arriving at a real jet bridge makes a great first impression,” Buffaloe says.

It’s not just Columbia’s travelers who are benefiting from the new terminal while using it to begin or end their journeys. Surrounding communities are also benefiting. “It’s helping raise the awareness of opportunities throughout mid-Missouri,” Mayor Buffaloe continued. “It’s more convenient to fly in and out of Columbia if you live in this area or if you

are doing business here.”

This spring and summer, flying out of COU will become an even more attractive travel option. On April 4, American Air will add a third daily flight to Chicago; and on June 5, it will add the fourth daily flight to Dallas-Fort Worth.

More options and a new terminal — Michael Parks, COU’s airport manager for the past seven years and longtime cheerleader for the airport, couldn’t be prouder of the facility and its growing impact on mid-Missourians. On a winter morning, before any of the American Air flights were scheduled for take-off, Parks made time to walk through the lobby and describe the features and artwork of the new terminal, as well as to reflect on the progress he’s seen in the 22 years that he has been affiliated with the airport. “When

we started here, we had 19 passenger turboprop planes that would go to and from St. Louis and Kansas City.”

While turboprops were state of the art in their day, they were limited to flying slower at lower altitudes than jets, and they had a rougher time with bad weather. “Back then, we hoped that someday we’d see a commercial jet flying out of here. Now, you can’t even find a turboprop,” he says.

It wasn’t just the technology that changed over the years. So did the community’s support for the airport. “Mid-Missouri is 100 percent behind their airport, which is just one stop to a major hub. And from those hubs — Chicago or Dallas-Fort Worth — you can go anywhere in the world,” he says.

That community support brought

about the $23 million project, which took two and a half years to complete. Gone are the days when passengers had to walk from the terminal, exposed to all kinds of weather and then climb a steep ramp to board their plane. Parks sums up the impression the old terminal made on visitors with a self-deprecating understatement. “It wasn’t glamorous.” Then he explains: “If you wanted to get people or businesses to relocate to midMissouri it wasn’t so enticing, getting off the apron and walking outdoors into those doublewide trailers. Now, our airport represents mid-Missouri well, the way our region really should be represented.”

Currently, the airport has three passenger bridges, but as the number of passengers increases, another will be added. But even with strong local support,

the airport has to compete for airlines with cities throughout the nation. The city is making a team effort to increase the number of flights and airlines. “While we continue to invest in the relationships we have with airlines, our Office of Economic Development and Regional Economic Development Inc. are working hard to attract more airlines to Columbia,” Mayor Buffaloe says.

In 2019, before the pandemic devastated air travel and before United Airlines dropped out of 11 regional markets, including Columbia, about 270,000 people flew in or out of the airport. Last year, the numbers were headed back up, topping off at 200,000. Parks attributes the upward trend to the increase in aircraft size and a return to the new normal after the pandemic years. “We

don’t have nearly as many 50-passenger jets coming in. Now we have mostly 70-passenger jets. No one really knows what the limit is when we have more flights. We’re going to see those numbers continue to increase,” he says.

Mayor Buffaloe shares the same optimistic look at the future. “You’re seeing regional air traffic increase, locally and nationwide,” she says. Confident of growth, she adds, “We are going to see an increase in destinations, perhaps in airlines interested in partnering with us. Although the pandemic set us back, we enjoy strong support from our businesses, from higher education and the local community.”

There’s plenty of room at the airport to handle future growth. The old terminal, tiny in comparison to the new terminal, was built in 1968 and remains standing a few yards north of the new one. At 52,000

square feet, the new terminal is more than three times the size of the one it replaced. And it’s not just the spaciousness that sets it apart from the old terminal. It has an entirely different feel. It’s stylish, airy and modern. Entering through its front doors, visitors walk beneath Denver artist David Grigg’s art installation, looping blue tubes connecting glass disks, designed to resemble airline route maps. Its graceful lines seem to float above the main lobby. On either side of the main entrance are a pair of circular sculpted pieces by local artist Chris Morrey, which he titled, Returning. The north wall of the lobby is covered by Jane Mudd’s colorful 17 x 10foot mural of a Missouri River scene. The overall impression that the art makes is that this is more than just a functional space: with its high ceilings, gleaming floor and rows of windows that flood the lobby with

natural light, it’s an inspiring setting, a place where people want to spend some time.

Like every other airport, the floorplan is divided into lobby areas open to the public, separated from secure areas consisting of waiting rooms and boarding gates, accessible to outgoing travelers only after going through the TSA area. The public areas include airline ticket counters, seating for visitors, a baggage carousel, bathrooms and an entrance into the enlarged TSA screening area. “We’re ADAfriendly and not just ADA-accessible,” says Parks. “Which is one of the things we’re most proud of. We have mothers’ (nursing) rooms in both the public and the secure side; family restrooms; and bathrooms without doors so there are no high-touch areas going in and out of them. We even have a sensory room on the secure side for people with sensory concerns who need a calm, quiet area. In addition, we have a service animal relief area on the secure side, complete with a red fire hydrant.”

Built for today’s travelers who depend on their smartphones, most of the seats on the secure side have built-in charging ports. For those needing an area to spread out their work, several desk-sized working platforms are available. On the downside, visitors wanting a snack before their flights have fewer options than can be found in major airports. For the time being, vending machines, free samples of Quaker rice cakes or complementary coffee provided by the airport are the only choices. There’s space designated for a food vendor, and Parks hopes to add that option later this spring. A contract with the Jackson Brothers of North, LLC has been signed and construction will begin on this area this winter. In the meantime, it’s not much of an inconvenience, considering that COU is either the beginning or end of journeys, only 15 minutes from the comforts of home. At the major hubs, where travelers may be spending long and hungry hours between flights, full meal options are a necessity. Still, a nice airport restaurant


would be welcomed by the community.

Beyond the new terminal, there’s a lot more going on that’s improving travel experiences for flyers. A few years ago, the airport’s main runway was extended by about 1,000 feet. While pilots may like the extra length, it’s travelers who benefit the most. “It enhances the ability to bring in larger aircrafts and improves their ability to operate in inclement weather,” says Parks. “It means fewer delays as well as fewer cancellations.”

Another less visible development is also helping to reduce flight delays. Before last August, if something went wrong with an airplane, it could take a couple hours for qualified airplane mechanics to get to COU from either Springfield, Dallas or Chicago. But that travel time and the delays or missed connecting flights it caused is now a thing of the past. An arrangement between Envoy Air (the local subsidiary of American Air) and Airline Maintenance Service (AMS) a Nashville-based company, ensures that parts and a mechanic will be on-hand in Columbia 24/7. President of AMS Corey Gillard says, “Having qualified mechanics with parts available won’t solve all issues but

can certainly mitigate the more common ones, keeping the aircraft flying on time.”

Part of the arrangement with AMS ensures that routine maintenance on the planes is done overnight. It’s more convenient to service these planes in Columbia than at the major hubs, where it’s more difficult to find hangar space. “Having that maintenance done doesn’t so much impact the Columbia flyer,” Gillard says. “But it impacts the ability of Envoy to keep more aircraft in the air.”

Because of pilot shortages nationwide, it’s essential that airlines make efficient use of every plane in their fleet. In the years ahead, there will certainly be more pilots who live and work out of midMissouri than there are today. Moberly Area Community College (MACC) has leased the old airport terminal and will convert the main space into a classroom, where future commercial pilots will be trained at COU. “We’ll be offering an associate of applied science degree in aviation flight technology training for pilots,” says Todd Martin, vice president of instruction at MACC. Between now and 2025, the community college will contract out the renovations and complete its process for getting

approval for the program from Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education and regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Based on enrollment demands at Ozark Technical College, the only other community college offering a similar program, Martin expects about 25 students to form the first cohort of new pilots. “The students will graduate from the program with a private pilot’s license, an instrument rating and a commercial pilot’s license. They will also have an option to take an elective course to get certified as a qualified flight instructor as well,” he says.

As Parks reached the end of his tour and interview about the airport, he made one last sales pitch about the new facility.

“I always say that once somebody has used the airport, they realize how easy it is. If there’s any additional cost to fly out of Columbia, it’s offset with free parking or saving the price of a hotel if you have a morning flight out of St. Louis or Kansas City. The ease of going through security here and of leaving your house and being at the airport in 15 minutes is fantastic. We’re pulling in a lot more people who are starting to use the airport again,” he says.




At Precision Electric, we provide an array of electrical services, both residential and commercial, and every new project is an exciting venture for our team; an opportunity to practice our craft and give your projects the service they deserve. Our attention to detail, quality of service, expert insight, and friendly team members set us apart from any other. We do it best. We

do it with precision.

Precision Electric has been a staple in the midMissouri electrical industry since 1999. Founder Todd Noordsy knew, with years of electrical experience and education as well as his can-do attitude and people-first mission, nobody would do it better than Precision Electric.

In 2008, Todd’s son, Andy, joined the team. Andy

started as an electrician in the field before working his way up to the office and, eventually, into project management. He earned his Master Electrician license in 2021 and soon took over all day-to-day operations at Precision Electric. In March of 2022, Todd sold Precision Electric to Andy and he continues to work diligently as he carries Precision Electric


into it's second generation of family ownership.

What Todd and Andy have created at Precision Electric is unmatched. They genuinely care about helping people. “Whether it's finding the most quality product that fits your budget and timeline or prioritizing energy conservation, putting a smile on your face puts an even bigger one on ours!"

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Home Sweet (Affordable) Home

Columbia Housing Experts Collaborate to Address Infrastructure Challenges and Affordable Housing for Single Families

When people think of affordable housing, they don’t usually think of the housing for middle-class single families looking for a starter home. However, this is a growing issue since purchasing or constructing a home poses financial challenges for families and local businesses, attributed to factors such as interest rates, land costs, building supply expenses, inflation, labor shortages and infrastructure challenges. Inside Columbia Publisher Emeritus Fred Parry hosted a CEO Roundtable luncheon with seven local leaders in the home building industry and real estate industry, to discuss these issues and how they affect the Columbia area. The Broadway Hotel sponsored the event with the hotel’s award-winning Chef Jeff Guinn catering the meal that complemented the conversation.

Infrastructure Challenges

Finding an affordable home to buy

in Columbia is currently a difficult task, and it will only become more challenging. According to an article published by GOBankingRates, the average home in Columbia costs $271,245, but this number is only going to increase. In fact, according to the article, Columbia has the fastest projected growth rate of the 14 markets

Clevenger, the executive officer for the Home Builders Association of Columbia says a major contributing factor is that home prices are increasing due to infrastructure issues. “The counties around Boone County are going to benefit. If Boone County does not shift quickly, surrounding counties will get the tax revenue that would come to

Anything else that gets a price increase, it only gets a price increase. It doesn't ever go back the other way,
Kara Linnemeyer Beacon Street Properties, LLC

studied sitting at 6.4%. In just five years, this could elevate prices beyond the national average. However, more affordable housing can’t be built if there are so many infrastructure challenges preventing the new builds. Jami

our county if we had a healthy housing market. These counties will likely get many of those first-time homebuyers that we do not have homes for because of our challenges,” she says. One of the challenges Jay Wilson with Weichert


parse out all the numbers, which starts with the infrastructure that the city provides for sewer,” Linnemeyer says.

Realtors says he has dealt with is water meters and electric transformers. “We thought there were no problems and then all of a sudden, there was a major issue to get water meters and electric transformers,” Wilson says. Russ Anderson, the president of Anderson

waiting for a water connection in your house and then you can't rent it out and you can’t sell it,” Anderson says. Kara Linnemeyer with Beacon Street Properties explains the challenges she has faced when trying to develop land to try and create affordable

“There are not enough quality qualified people out there to hire to get work done.”

Homes, has a similar issue and says having to wait for water meters not only hurts his business but the people looking for homes as well. “It takes four months to build and you're waiting 12 months for a meter. I mean, you're going to sit for eight months

housing in the Columbia area. “We are having really insurmountable sewer challenges because of lack of capacity and the cost to create the capacity would make the price of that house so exorbitant that you would not buy the piece of land to develop it when you

Anderson notes that, in the past, the city of Columbia used to fund a significant portion of infrastructure expansion and development; however, there has been a shift in this approach. “When you take infrastructure costs that were covered by the city through taxation, and you put it back on to developers, developers raise the price,” Anderson says. “It used to be $18,000 to $20,000 a lot in development costs. Today you're pushing $45,000 a lot in development costs. So every single lot is $25,000 higher, which has nothing to do with the land cost but has to do with infrastructure costs.”

Brian Toohey, CEO of the Columbia Board of Realtors, says another factor challenging the housing market is boomers. “Since COVID-19, they're pushing out first-time home buyers, because the ones who are downsizing will outbid the first-time home buyers and they're paying with cash or they're not having to finance as much,” Toohey says. “Every seller is going to take that deal over someone coming out with an FHA loan, and that is pushing up prices.” As home prices experience a large increase, income levels are not keeping pace with the same intensity of growth. Toohey says the numbers aren’t matching up. “Housing prices have increased 50% in a five-year period, while incomes have not increased nearly as much.”

According to AP News, wages and benefits for workers in the United States experienced the slowest rate of growth in the last quarter of the

Orie Hemme

previous year. According to the government's Employment Cost Index, compensation increased by 0.9% in the October-December quarter, showing a slight decline from the 1.1% rise observed in the previous quarter. This combined with the increasing house prices leaves first-time home buyers in a tough spot when looking for a singlefamily home.

Unraveling Supply Chain Issues

As housing prices continue to pose a growing concern, the costs associated with constructing new homes are also on the rise, attributed to the impact of supply chain disruptions since the pandemic. Luckily, since COVID-19, these industries have seen improvements, but it is not where it once was. “It's not back to preCOVID-19 numbers, but everything's gotten better,” Anderson says. “During COVID-19, we had houses that we had an $80,000 budget on lumber, and we spent $180,000 on lumber, I mean, literally double what you would normally spend. Luckily, home prices increased, and we were able to absorb that.”

Despite the decrease in lumber prices, Anderson highlights prices for composite materials have not experienced the same decline.

“Anything that we use a resin on or a composite material, anything with aluminum, prices are skyrocketing,” Anderson says. “We've had five drywall price increases on material alone in the last three years.”

Linnemeyer agrees, noting that while

the lumber prices have come back down all other materials won’t ever see that decrease again. “Anything else that gets a price increase it only gets a price increase. It doesn't ever go back the other way,” she says. Orie Hemme, the president of the Home Builders Association of Columbia, acknowledges that the current state of the supply chain is an improvement compared to its condition two years ago. “You're not waiting 16 weeks on cabinets. You're waiting like six,” Hemme says. “Something that we've all done is

just adapt to the way we are doing things. We are planning a lot further ahead now and ordering things a lot further ahead.” While Blair Murphy, the co-owner of Johnston Paint and Decorating, says he was having a lot of difficulty with supply chain issues, he notes that it was less than his competitors. “We had a bit of a problem on flooring, but nothing super major,” Murphy says. “We were very fortunate because we do not rely on a common carrier.”

Clevenger says this is a problem for not only builders but for home

Blair Murphy, Kara Linnemeyer, Jay Wilson

buyers as there are fewer homes on the market due to supply chain issues. “With less than 300 homes on the market, when we need over 500,” she says, “supply and demand is going to cause some major challenges for us.”

Navigating the Labor Shortage Landscape

Another hurdle is finding enough skilled and qualified individuals for home construction projects. For Hemme, this has been a real challenge. “As far as my subcontractors trying to

find employees to hire, it's miserable. Even for me, you know, personal employees, it's miserable,” he says. “There are not enough quality, qualified people out there to hire to get work done.” Anderson says this low number of skilled trade workers is because, as a community, we are not doing enough to get young people interested in trade opportunities. “Everyone says go to college, go to college, go to college, right? But I know some people with degrees are making $50,000 a year in a mediocre job, and I've got

a roofer who made $170,000 last year,” Anderson says. “There's a lot of money in the trades if you understand the craft, you build a process for it and you do excellent work.” But what’s the solution? Toohey notes it’s about providing the opportunity for students to understand the work and to get the right training. But that will take time before they are ready to join the workforce. “Ranken coming to Columbia will be fantastic, but it’s going to take five or six years before they have a supply chain,” Toohey says. Right now, Anderson says it’s just about communication, and spreading the word that college isn’t the right path for everyone. “It’s about saying, 'Hey, if you don’t want to go to college, you don’t have to.' You can have a great life outside of a four-year degree in business or psychology,” Anderson says. “But if everybody tells you you're going to be a loser if you don't go this route, that’s what the problem is.” Murphy agrees, saying even his daughters have expressed the only route has to be college. “I talked to my daughters who are 22 years old and 18 years old and it is college, college, college, college. But I tell them it's not for everyone. It wasn't for me,” Murphy says. “It's as if it's an embarrassment to them to not go to college and to do other things.” One advantageous factor is that, regardless of these challenges, individuals will always require a place to live, protecting trade work. “People have to have a place to live, so we're going to have to have people who are building these houses. And I predicted this 10 years ago, you will start seeing laborers making more money than people with eight-year degrees,” Anderson says. For now, it’s about inspiring young individuals to pursue careers in the trades, fostering a sustainable and skilled workforce for the future.

Jami Clevenger, Russ Anderson, Brian Toohey

RAPIDFIRE Final Thoughts

On Rising Home Values...

"According to the article published by GoBankingRates, Columbia's home values are expected to grow 6.4% yearover-year, which is more than three times the national average of 1.7%. This is impressive, and I think it's super exciting for our community that home values are going to grow so much. But it's also really terrifying because our median income has little chance of growing at the same rate. If incomes cannot keep up with home values, who will be able to purchase homes in ten years?”

On Vocational Training...

“We talk a lot about getting young people involved in construction trades. We've had this discussion a lot and there are lots of ideas. There's a thing called Build My Future that we talk about all the time … the HBA is hungry to try to do something.”

On Selling Homes at Cost...

“We just have to do something, you know, so we're selling three homes at cost this year. That's it, right? Three houses and you say, how's that going to impact Columbia as a whole in our housing crisis, well it probably won't. But three houses is a start and hopefully next year we'll have eight and then 10 and then 12. And if 10 people did the same thing then we would have 80 affordable homes a year.”

On Giving Back...

“It was a struggle month to month in our family when I was a kid, and I'm going to give back and I'm going to help because people helped me, so now I'm ready to give back. We've already been giving back, but that's my goal.”

On Rising Insurance Lists...

“I think a wider issue that's huge that is going to be starting to impact everything is insurance costs. So, insurance costs, especially for multi-family development, are going to make homeownership and rents even more unaffordable.”

On Collaboration...

“We need to get everyone in one room — the Home Builder's Association, realtors, material suppliers and council or commissioners — and brainstorm ideas to tackle these problems before they get too big.”

“The Central Missouri Development Council in the past when I first started with the HBA would have these kinds of discussions, and I think it drew some people in because it felt like a valuable meeting; and if we can get back to that and drive the realtors to come to those as well and our vendors, I think it would be an interesting concept.”


How to Prepare Your Home for Sale

When you are selling your home, many things can be on your mind at once, so it’s important to make sure you know exactly how to prepare it for buyers. Is it okay to leave worn-in carpeting? Will anyone pay attention to that guest bedroom that is used for storage? While you might know for sure what makes it sell, there are items you will not want to ignore.

Making sure your home is professionally cleaned ensures that

burden of prepping your home from you. Also, bring in someone, or DIY if you’re a handyman, to repair maintenance items that potentially were ignored for a few years.

Nowadays, home buyers are looking for a home that is move-in ready. This includes making sure you spruce up the walls with a fresh coat of paint and replace old and worn-in carpeting. Overall, potential buyers pay closest attention to the rooms they are in the most, not counting when they sleep. If you’re short on time or money, concentrate on sprucing up the kitchen, primary bath and living room. Even minor adjustments in these rooms can give you a possible leg up on the competition.

One of the most important things you can do to prepare your house is have a realtor come and give you onsite advice. This allows you to get expert advice on what may or may not be working in your favor to sell. Anything from artificial plug-in scents to objects that give away more personality than intended, realtors can catch these faux pas and make your house shine on the market.

If you’re looking for someone you can trust, Alice Leeper with RE/MAX Boone Realty can give you expert advice on all aspects of the house you’re looking to sell. Along with these tips, she knows the ins and outs of the market, home buying and more, giving you answers to all your housing questions and needs.

Alice Leeper 573.256.3158


While wearing shamrocks and lucky charms is a staple of St. Patrick’s Day, it’s not truly a lucky day without wearing green. Some people even go so far as to drink green beer to celebrate the day, which was first invented in New York in 1914 by Dr. Thomas Hayes Curtin when he added a drop of wash blue to beer.

97 In Knead of Sweets

99 Simple Salmon

101 Swedish Delights

104 Spring Sip

Inside Columbia flavor

Sprinkling Her Positivity


Wishflour Bakery Owner Marcey Mertens wants you to defy the traditional narrative, but only if it makes you happy. She followed what she sees as the traditional narrative for women, which to her means “graduate, go to college, find a husband, get married, buy a house, have kids, work a nine to five job, then retire.” That is, until after ticking off all but the final box, she decided that it wasn’t for her.

This is how Wishflour Bakery started.

Mertens has been baking for as long as she can remember — her first creation being the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe on the back of the can. When her son and daughter started school, she was ready with first day cookies; she had pancakes and waffles for her son’s team after early morning Saturday practices; she made an abundance of cupcakes for her daughter’s musicals. She was that mom. So, once her children were out of school, opening Wishflour to feed the community and to be her creative outlet made sense.

“Food is really an interesting thing,” Mertens says. “It’s a great equalizer. It’s a great builder.”

Wishflour specializes in elevating the basics. For the bakery’s pop-ups or preorders, a chocolate crinkle cookie might turn into an espresso peppermint cookie.


A snickerdoodle cookie might have a buttercream eggnog swirl of icing on top. Her chocolate cakes now include cold brew coffee.

For this year’s NFL championship games and Super Bowl, Mertens created a sweets bracket and made a sweet treat for each team based on their city’s local favorites, having them go head to head. The Kansas City Jack Stack BBQ Carrot Cake took on the San Francisco Banana Tart on Feb. 11 with the carrot cake taking home the trophy.

Wishflour Bakery moved into the North Village Arts District in May 2022, however Mertens was able to fully make the space hers in June 2023. She now only accepts pre-orders with First Fridays being the only time she opens her shop for grab and go. These nights, she not only sells the sweets she’s made, but meals as well. Past meals have included BLT salads, loaded brisket wraps, chicken noodle soup, among others.

Mertens sees her skills and passion in baking as a vessel for spreading positivity. Much like her beloved dandelion, after which Wishflour was named. “It’s about

being in the community with people, meeting people,” Mertens says. “Yes, I make things, but it’s about my community. I’m like the mom in the neighborhood. We’re all so different. We all have different faiths. We all have different colors. Everybody has a little bit of a different dream. But, it’s the coolest collective.”

Yes, I make things, but it’s about my community.

When visiting Wishflour Bakery, the elongated space is organized, with medium to large baking appliances, racks and ovens at every turn. Her family and friends helped her dream come together in giving many, if not most, items found in her kitchen. Mertens' niece made the logo for the business. All of this help she calls a “collective of community” who made her dream develop into the bakery it is today.

She also has plans for Wishflour beyond custom orders and pop-ups. Wholesale for her sweet treats is on the horizon, with some already located at Fretboard and at Fireside Bakes and Brews locations in Missouri. Soon she will be adding baking classes as well. A podcast titled, “The Dead Mothers Club,” and a book are in her future too.

“The Dead Mothers Club" might be a startling name to some, yet she sees it as a reality of not having a mother since she was young. So, Mertens wants to discuss everything she’s learned and done because of her mother death. “We saw what was important so early on. It definitely leads how I live.”

Mertens tries each day to make the world a better and safer place. She sees this as her narrative, Wishflour and its delicious treats, allowing her to do so. Plus, she says, “It’s fun to make the world a better place with a cookie.”

Wishflour Bakery is available by preorders and occasional pop-up events at her kitchen, located at 1020 Artist Alley. For more information, visit the bakery’s website at


Scrumptious Salmon


Sometimes, dinner gets the best of me. Maybe I was super busy in my work kitchen or cleaning out a closet. Maybe I was reading. Whatever it is, I look at the clock, and realize the people in my house are going to be expecting a meal soon, and I’m kind of flat-footed. You’ve been here, right? I’ve got a list of tried-andtrue meals for this type of day and this pistachio-crusted salmon is top on my list.

I know that not everyone is a fish person, but professionally, I have found that even the most non-fish eaters will say, “Oh, salmon? Sure.” Maybe because it sits nicely on the plate like beef or chicken and the texture isn’t soft or foreign. We serve a lot of it at nice lunches and posh dinners.

This salmon is savory, crunchy, just a little sweet and, best of all, it can be on the table in about 20 minutes, which is enough time to gather up a salad and maybe heat that leftover baguette. I usually have a bag of salmon portions in the freezer, but I’ve also done this on a fresh fillet I bought on the way home. Either way, it’s completely delicious and more importantly will allow me more time with my book. I mean, more time to clean that closet. Enjoy!

Looking forward to feeding you all!


Pistachio Crusted Salmon


1 side salmon (or 4 salmon fillets)

¹/₄ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced ²/₃ cup finely chopped pistachios

Place the salmon on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and pat it dry with a paper towel. Generously season the salmon with salt and pepper.

In a bowl whisk together the honey, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and garlic.

Once well mixed together, stir in the chopped pistachios.

Spoon the pistachio mixture over the salmon and firmly press down on it with a fork to help ensure that it stays on the salmon.

Bake it in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the salmon easily flakes with a fork.

I love it with couscous and a side of asparagus.


Savoring Sweden


On one of the many snow days we had this winter, my daughter asked to make Swedish meatballs. We found a recipe (she is in charge of reading and gathering the ingredients), and she then said, “I don’t want to add

the sour cream sauce.” I told her, “Well, then they will just be meatballs.” We agreed to make the gravy with sour cream and add it to half of the meatballs and she would try some. After trying them, she decided all of the meatballs needed the gravy, and maybe now she

liked sour cream. In Sweden they are called köttbullar, which translates to “meat buns.” It is believed that they were brought back by King Charles XII from Turkey, and they may be derived from Turkish köfte.



You have a full spectrum of meat that you can use to make the meatballs, just follow the ratio and proper internal cooking temperature. From what I have seen, pork and beef are traditional, but you could substitute lamb or veal, and the proper internal temperature would be 155 degrees. Chicken or turkey could also be added, and the proper temperature would need to be 165 degrees.


The meatballs not holding together while cooking is one of the common problems people run into making any meatballs. But, there is a way to solve this problem. The most common reason they fall apart is the lack of a panade. A panade is typically a mixture of bread, milk and egg in a forcemeat (meatballs, sausage, mousseline and meatloaf are a few types) to help bind and retain moisture. Sometimes cooked rice or cooked potato can be a substitute for bread. Not all forcemeats have a panade, but typically when a panade is present it creates a more stable product.


Nutmeg and cardamom are the major additions, in addition to salt and pepper. Some recipes may also have the addition of allspice or clove. If possible, grinding the cardamom fresh adds much better flavor. Whether you use a spice grinder, mortar and pestle or the bottom of a sauté pan, you get a nicer floral punch of flavor. Same thing with nutmeg, if you use a microplane, nutmeg grater or zester, your result will be a much fresher tasting spice than if you use pre-ground spices.


If you are making a half or single batch of meatballs, a sauté pan is the way to go. You should be able to cook all the meatballs in two or three batches, reserve and then finish in the gravy. If you are making a much larger batch, you might try roasting on a sheet tray in the oven at 350 degrees until the meatballs reach the correct temperature, then finish in the gravy.


The gravy is pretty straightforward. Melt the butter, make a blonde roux, then add

cold or room temperature stock or broth. The roux and the liquid need to be at opposite temperatures when incorporated to prevent breaking and lumps from forming. You won’t see the full thickness of the roux until the mixture has come to a simmer. It is best if it is a little thin at first because you will need to simmer for five to seven minutes to cook away the flour taste. The meatballs can then be added back in (since they have already been browned, it is OK to crowd them more) once they have heated through. Sour cream can be added, as well as mustard if desired. They can be folded into the sauce, coated on the meatballs, and they are ready to enjoy.


Traditionally mashed potatoes, buttered noodles, pressed cucumber salad and lingonberry jam can accompany the meatballs on the side. They can also work on their own as an excellent appetizer. One great thing is the meatballs can be made a day or two ahead of time, allowing you more time the day you are serving them to work on your sides and other dishes that are being served.





• 1 pound ground beef

• 1 pound ground pork

• 1 cup breadcrumbs

• 1 egg

• 1 small onion

• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg


• 1 ounce butter

• 1 ounce flour

• 1 pint stock or broth


• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 tablespoon kosher salt

• 1 cup milk

• 1 ounce butter

• 1 ounce oil

• ½ cup sour cream

• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)

• Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients from ground beef to milk together until a solid uniform mixture is formed. Take a small piece out, cook it like a mini hamburger and taste it. Season more as needed and make a second test patty if needed. Form 1-ounce spheres, and cool in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes (up to three or four hours). In a large sauté pan, brown small batches of the meatballs in the butter and oil over medium heat, just until browned. They do not need to be fully cooked, reserve to the side. Clean the sauté pan, then over medium heat, melt butter. Then whisk in flour and cook until fully incorporated but no color has developed. Slowly whisk in cool or room temperature stock. Simmer for five to seven minutes until gravy has thickened and the flour taste has cooked away. Add all the meatballs back into the pan (if the pan will not hold all of the meatballs, cook in batches). Simmer in the gravy, turning the meatballs frequently until cooked all the way through (break one open to make sure all pink is gone). Turn off the heat, add the sour cream and slowly fold into the sauce. Take the gravy, season as needed with salt and pepper and serve over mashed potatoes with pressed cucumber salad and lingonberry jam (cranberries can work as a substitute).


A ColorChanging Creation


While some enjoy creating cocktails based on flavor, I chose this cocktail because of the liquor itself. Butterfly pea tea is a rare tea that changes color when ingredients are added to change its pH level. The tea alone features a bright blue color that can change to vibrant red or deep purple with a simple slice of lemon or a few hibiscus petals. This cocktail is best out on a patio with the sun shining and the birds chirping. It is sweet yet sour and keeps you wanting another one!

Gina Giorgione is the bar manager at The Club at Old Hawthorne.

Empress Gin Mojito


1.5 ounces Empress Gin

4-6 blueberries

Sprig of mint

1 ounce simple syrup


Fresh lemon wedge

Soda water or tonic water (either is delicious)

Garnish with lemon wheel, blueberries and mint leaf

Place the blueberries and mint leaves in your glass and muddle them gently. Then, fill the glass with ice and add the Empress gin. After you’ve added the gin, add the simple syrup and fresh lemon juice. Finally, top the glass off with the soda water. Garnish with fresh blueberries, a couple of mint leaves and a lemon wheel.

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are the products and services I offer: WhatMatters MosttoYou?

112 Darkow Draws


The Central Missouri Humane Society has unveiled plans for a new shelter facility following the acquisition of a 17.5-acre property in Columbia.

CMHS has been operating out of its current building since 1976. CMHS hopes to break ground on the new building sometime this year.

Inside Columbia views CONTENTS
108 Dueling DJs
109 On The Town
111 A New View
113 The Final Word

Mini-game Master


In each issue, multiple on-air talents from Zimmer Communications’ stations take on a seemingly simple challenge to see who comes out on top. In this issue, we had a special challenge where two DJs from the same station battled for first place. Brian Hanson and Randy Tobler from 93.9 The Eagle had to take on a series of mini-games and see who could complete the challenges first. Make sure to visit to see a video of the whole challenge!


Two DJs will have to complete a series of challenges, starting with flipping a cup on the table, then rolling doubles, sticking a card to their forehead for five seconds and ending the game by balancing an egg on a spoon and walking around the perimeter of the room without dropping it. The first to press the button at the end of the race wins the game!


While Randy and Brian both came in a bit nervous for the challenge not knowing exactly what to expect, the jitters quickly diminished, and the pair prepared for battle.


While both Randy and Brian struggled to correctly flip the cup onto the table at first, Randy, as he was asking if it was even possible, finally watched his cup flip in the air landing upside down. Leaving Brian behind in the cup-flipping arena, Randy moved on to the dice, where within seconds he rolled doubles, putting him in the third stage of the competition. Brian on the other hand was still planted firmly in stage one, working hard to flip his cup and catch up to Randy. Then came the cards. Randy grabbed a card from the deck and smacked it on his forehead, hoping it would stick just long enough to propel him into the final stage of the competition. Lucky for him, while Brian continued to flip the cup, Randy got the card to stick for five seconds. Randy quickly grabbed the spoon and egg and not sparing a second, took off around the room balancing the egg. While Brian finally started barreling through the first few challenges, it was too late, as Randy hit the final button, declaring him the mini-game master.

It was fun, I think it needs to be messier, where I can smash an egg on him. I know some good occupational therapists and would be happy to make a referral to improve his dexterity skills … but truly that was a creative game.
-Brian Hanson
" ” " ”

22nd Annual Boone County Legislative Forum

The Mizzou Alumni Association presented the 22nd Annual Boone County Legislative Forum at Grand Cru Restaurant. Participants came to meet and hear from the members of the Missouri General Assembly who represent Boone County while enjoying appetizers and drinks.


Jan. 25


Grand Cru Restaurant

Photos by Nancy Toalson and Wally Pfeffer,

Vicky Riback-Wilson, Kathy Steinhoff Robin Wenneker, Don Waterman Kristi and Grant Ressell, Kat Lucchesi, Tanner Shelton Jayson Meyer, Morgan Kopitsky Kris Haaglund, Praveen Edara Kristi and Grant Ressell

Boone County Mixology

Under the guidance of volunteer leaders Carla Hunter and Krystin Cooper, the Boone County Chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association hosted its second annual Mixology Class at DogMaster Distillery. Participants with an interest in improving personal or professional talents learned bartending skills, how to use utensils and technology, and how to mix cocktails. Location

DogMaster Distillery

Photos by Nancy Toalson and Wally Pfeffer,

Cathy Scroggs, Becky Morton Ashley Shahan and Jon Shahan-Smith Clayton Kranawetter, Gabrielle Rupp Krystin Cooper, Carla Hunter

A New View



Cutest Pets Photoshoot

The Location:

The L.G. Patterson Studios

Comments: Coach Norm Stewart famously said, “If you find a turtle on a fence post, you can bet your butt he didn’t get there by himself.”

I was reminded of his quote when I was photographing Morty the turtle for our Cutest Pets feature.

Coach Stewart has a talent of pulling nuggets of Shelby County wisdom to apply it to the world around him. Throughout the years he has produced a plethora of these witty quotes.

Some people struggle to follow his train of thought, but it always makes sense to me, probably because of my own

Shelby County roots.

Throughout my life, I have had people help me become a better photographer each day. Fellow photographers have helped me hone my skills, and friends and family have given me the confidence to climb higher. I get inspiration from children to seasoned visual veterans.

Almost everyone I have met has helped me get to the top of the fence post.

I am that turtle on a fence post.


AThe Elusive Goal of Affordable Housing


s a community, we’ve been giving a lot of lip service to the idea of affordable housing for much of the last 30 years. Those who speak most often of the shortage are usually doing so for political purposes, offering few solutions that could make any kind of a difference. In reality, there’s very little agreement on the reasons why the citizens of Columbia, and primarily first-time home buyers, no longer have access to affordable housing stock.

A couple of things we should all agree on.

First, the surge in Columbia’s homeless population in recent years has little to do with our lack of affordable housing. Due to substance abuse, addiction and a variety of mental health challenges, it would be impossible to accommodate unhoused citizens unless you find a way to provide heavily subsidized housing options. Secondly, if a local police officer or teacher can’t afford to buy a single-family home in our community, we have a significant issue that needs to be addressed. We should be embarrassed by this reality.

To be fair, we actually have a shortage of what we should call “workforce housing” which should be accessible to people who earn at or slightly above the median income in Columbia. The sad truth is that you would be hard-pressed to find a decent home in a safe neighborhood priced under $160,000. Unless you’re earning at least $70,000 in annual income, you’re not going to be able to find housing you’d want to own in Columbia. That’s our present reality.

We recently gathered a group of local leaders from Columbia’s homebuilding and real estate industries for a candid conversation about this issue. It’s a complex topic and, in too many cases, Columbia’s shortage of affordable housing is a selfinflicted problem. Increased permitting fees,

infrastructure inadequacies and a lack of skilled trade workers are a big part of the problem and, frankly, could have been avoided.

Some of our guests at this luncheon were already putting their money where their mouth is by building a small number of homes and selling them, at cost, to deserving families. This was accomplished with no grants or government subsidies or without any type of discounts in permit fees or utility hookups from the city of Columbia. This private sector effort initially began with three houses and is expected to expand in the coming months.

Speaking of local governments. There is tremendous dissatisfaction with the city of Columbia and Boone County governmental entities who have only exacerbated our problem of affordable housing. Dramatic increases in permit fees along with making builders wait as long as nine months to set water meters at building sites drives up the cost of construction which, of course, gets passed along to the end user. In spite of the fact that the city of Columbia gets a windfall every time a new utility customer is added, not to mention their share of new property taxes, city officials insist on making home buyers pay more than their fair share of associated infrastructure costs.

The lack of sewer capacity in most parts of the city and county is also a significant detriment to affordable housing. Instead of taking the lead and being proactive in their efforts to direct reasonable growth by building out sewer infrastructure, the city puts that burden on developers who can’t amortize the associated costs in the way that a public entity could. As a result, the exorbitant up-front costs of putting in sewer capacity gets added immediately to the cost of a home.

There’s little that can be done about soaring material costs and supply chain issues, however, Columbia and Boone County have missed several opportunities to address one of the most prevalent issues affecting housing costs … and that’s the lack of skilled laborers for the homebuilding industry which already accounts for more than 5,000 jobs in our local labor force. We’ve done a lousy job of setting up vocational education opportunities for those interested in the building trades. Even though most laborers will earn more than the median household income in their first year of employment, there’s still a reluctance to direct kids into something other than the four-year college education path. There seems to be a collective shame in this community with regards to earning a living without a bachelor’s degree. This must change.

Unfortunately, the increases in the costs of housing in Columbia and Boone Columbia have outpaced the growth in average income in our community. There’s little that can be done to expedite wage growth, so this problem will likely continue to haunt our local quality of life. In the meantime, surrounding communities like Hallsville, Centralia, Mexico, Boonville and Fulton will reap the benefits of Columbia’s inability to provide its citizens with affordable housing. That’s a disappointing outcome for first-time home buyers who would have wanted to call Columbia home.

114 INSIDE COLUMBIA MARCH/APRIL 2024 ADVERTISING INDEX 84 Construction LLC .............................................. 5 Ai Painting Plus 72 Automated Systems 13, 76 Bank of MO 18 BMW of Columbia 38 Brian Wear Plumbing............................................. 66 Broadway, A Doubletree by Hilton 3, 88 CA Cleaning Solutions .......................................... 67 Carpet Values.......................................................... 62-63 CC’s City Broiler ...................................................... 2 Cedarhurst – Senior Housing 24 Central MO Foster Care & ................................... 36 Adoption Association Clint Miller Insurance Agency, Inc...................... 4 Clip Joint 4 Columbia Regional Airport 55 Connection Exchange 24 Designer Kitchens and Baths ............................... 64 Edward Jones - Ann M Echelmeier 14-15 Edward Jones - Gina Mauller ............................... 36 First Midwest Bank 70 Fleet Feet Columbia ............................................... 3 Heartland Homes Remodeling & Roofing 6-7, 68-69 Hemme Construction 116 Inside Columbia magazine 24, 100 Joe Machens Ford Lincoln 11 Jordan Barnes Real Estate .................................... 74-75 Korte Tree Care 12 Las Margaritas ........................................................ 8-9 Mediacom 86, 105 Mid America Bank ................................................. 10 Mutual of Omaha 106 NH Scheppers Distributing .................................. 16 Precision Electric Inc 84-85 Ranken Technical College ..................................... 36 RE/MAX Boone Realty - Alice Leeper 26, 94 Select Realty Group – Ashleigh Stundebeck 28 Shangri-La 73 Site Pro Excavating 71, 96 State Farm Insurance - Phyllis Nichols .............. 29, 65 SumnerOne 21, 87 Terrace Retirement Community .......................... 10 Will Garrett - MO Farm Bureau 115 Zimmer Communications .................................... 60
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