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Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Lenexa restaurant chain adds to its menu

April 6, 2001

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Pizza Hut has a Restaurant Support Center in Texas. McDonald's has its Hamburger University outside Chicago.

Joe Bisogno, owner of Mr. Goodcents Subs & Pastas, doesn't have a name yet for his 37 acres of undeveloped land in DeSoto, but he's already cooking up ideas.

"I'm sure it's going to be something witty, since we're on the Smart Corridor and it makes 'Goodcents' to be there," Bisogno said with a chuckle in a February interview.

Construction started in February for what is expected to become a new corporate campus and training center for Bisogno's Lenexa-based group of companies known collectively as Mr. Goodcents.

The complex will be in the Corridor 10 Commerce Park north of Kansas Highway 10, a highway dubbed the "Smart Corridor" for area officials' efforts to land high-tech industries.

The Goodcents project, to start, will pump $4 million into land development, construction and equipment for a 12,500-square-foot building set up for research and development, Bisogno said. It will have up to 30 employees when it opens, expected by late summer.

But Bisogno who founded Goodcents with a single Lenexa store in 1989 has much bigger plans for the site. Corporate offices, warehouses, office buildings and production centers all are expected to follow during the next decade, as the food company aims to add to its lineup of more than 130 company-owned and franchise stores and annual sales of more than $50 million.

"We hope that we will have thousands of employees," Bisogno said. "We'll be our own university. We'll teach people how to have oil-and-vinegar pasta sauce in their veins."

The site already is home to Custom Foods, a Goodcents company that makes frozen bread dough for shipment to Goodcents locations in 14 states. Bisogno received a tax break for that project back in 1997, and the abatements are carrying forward for current and future developments.

Once the research-and-development building opens, Bisogno plans to turn his attention toward office uses. A three- to five-story building would allow for relocation of Goodcents' corporate office and its 35 employees, plus handle future expansion.

Keith Lake, area manager for Mr. Goodcents in Lawrence, said that area franchise owner Dean Drennan was looking to open a third location in Lawrence either in southeast Lawrence along 23rd Street or on or near the Kansas University campus.

Either way, the emerging corporate campus in DeSoto is good news for Lake.

"This company is only a little over 10 years old," he said. "The possibilities are endless."

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