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Weekly Market Report – June 16, 2022
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Restaurant & Retail Updates
Twisted Cork Bistro Omaha will be the first tenant to open in Regency Landing, the redevelopment project northeast of Interstate 680 & Pacific Street. The restaurant operated there previously but closed temporarily for renovations. Twisted Cork will have the same interior feel but with a new kitchen, more seating, a full bar and heated patio.
Poppin’ Smoke Southern Grill opens today in the former Moran’s Grill space in the lower level of the American Legion Post at 230 South Lincoln Street in Papillion. Moran’s recently moved to Bellevue. Poppin’ Smoke is operated by the same people who had the Tired Texan BBQ restaurant at 108th & L Street.
Crumbl Cookies is getting closer to opening a second Omaha location southwest of 156th & West Maple Road near Hy-Vee. A manager has been hired, and the store will open later this summer. Be sure to scroll down and read Sarah Baker Hansen’s review of the 168th & West Center Road location of Crumbl in today’s newsletter!
Pla Too Thai restaurant is moving from its long-time location at 128th & Q Street into the former Ya Hala Mediterranean Restaurant space at 5092 South 136th Street.
Restaurant Rumor – We understand the former Starbuck’s space at Countryside Village has been leased by a popular locally owned breakfast restaurant. Details coming soon.
What’s happening at the former Anthony’s Steakhouse location at 7220 F Street? Well, it’s not going to be a restaurant. The 22,480 sq. ft. building was sold recently for $3.1 million to a local plumber’s union.
This one is going to hurt. Omaha is losing one of its best Italian restaurants. Lo Sole Mio, which has operated for 30 years at 3001 S 32nd Avenue, will close Saturday, July 2nd.
Chalk another one up to the staffing crisis. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop has closed at 17305 Davenport Street in Village Pointe. Business was good, according to the local franchise owner. The closing was 100 percent a result of the staffing crisis that is wracking the restaurant industry nationwide.
Three Kids Lobster, a new food truck serving authentic New England-style lobster rolls, will hold a grand opening June 24th at T&T Trucks and Taps at 5402 South 108th Street.
ULTA Beauty has opened in a retail bay just west of Baker’s Supermarket in the Eagle Run Shopping Center northwest of 132nd & West Maple Road.
Fabletics has opened at Village Pointe Shopping Center. The California-based retailer sells “active-lifestyle” products and has about 70 stores. Prior to the Omaha store opening, the closest existing locations were in Minneapolis and St. Louis.
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Grow Omaha Eats with
Sarah Baker Hansen
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West Omaha’s popular Crumbl cookies are worth the hype
Sometimes a restaurant opening creates such an intense amount of buzz, it becomes unavoidable. In those rare cases, I simply have to check out whatever it is people are finding so irresistible.
That’s what happened after I started hearing murmurs about a cookie place called Crumbl, which opened nine weeks ago in West Omaha.
As the days went on, I could not escape the news of Crumbl (full disclosure: I had never heard of it) on Facebook, on my phone’s news alerts, or on Instagram, where all of a sudden, I started receiving an onslaught of cookie marketing.
That’s how I found myself leaving the house one recent weekday morning at 7:30 a.m. in pursuit of a box of Crumbl cookies. Driving to West Omaha for eggs at that hour? Sure. But for cookies? That is, most definitely, a first for me.
“All we do is put a sign up at one of our new locations,” said Beth Young, the owner of the Omaha Crumbl franchise, who I talked to after my visit. “We don’t do any other marketing. The sign does the work.”
I’ll say. Young, who opened several Crumbl stores in Phoenix before moving to Omaha to run the franchise here, said the Omaha store had one of the busiest openings the Utah-based cookie company has ever had. Those cookie lovers are still coming in droves, and the shop, near 168th and West Center Road, is currently one of the highest performing Crumbl locations in the country.
Several times, it sold out of every cookie in the joint and had to close early.
After sampling seven of Crumbl’s cookies — the five on the menu this week, and two holdovers from last week’s lineup — I can say with certainty that they’re quite good.
Some are creative. Some are satisfyingly familiar. Some are almost impossible to get: The shop’s version of a Rice Krispie treat was already sold out when I arrived at 8:02 a.m.
Crumbl is tucked in between a cell phone repair shop and a nail salon, but the white rope outside — think the kind of thing you generally see outside of a busy nightclub — makes it easy to spot.
When I pulled up, a half dozen people were already waiting in line. Unlike me, a Crumbl newbie, almost all of them had used the Crumbl app to place their orders ahead of time. (It turns out that’s why the Rice Krispie treats were already sold out, plus, Young said they can’t make enough to keep up with the demand.)
Customers are greeted enthusiastically by an army of teenagers behind the counter, each working feverishly to scoop, weigh and place cookie dough on oversized sheet pans. Young told me the Omaha store has almost 100 employees, and it’s still not enough. A second store, planned for the 156th and Maple Street area, will employ another hundred people when it opens later this summer.
The shop is relatively tiny: just a small waiting area and a walk-up counter without seating, inside or out. It smells fantastic: a mix of warm cinnamon, brown sugar and baking spices. A candle company would make a mint if it could recreate that aroma. (There’s an upsell idea for you, Crumbl franchise owners.)
It’s hard to critique the service in a place with no tables or wait staff, but the employees at Crumbl are friendly, and showing each customer the contents of their cookie box before they hand it over is a nice touch.
The cookies of the week are displayed on a board on the counter, and the menu selections, aside from classic milk chocolate chip, rotate weekly. Customers don’t know what they’re in for the following week, which Young said keeps them coming back for more.
I managed to get every cookie on this week’s menu: milk chocolate chip, original with M&M’s, peanut butter cup with Reese’s, peach sugar featuring Peach O’s and caramel shortbread featuring Twix. (You still have a few days to get these particular selections.)
Of the lineup, the chocolate chip stands out in its simple perfection. Served warm, its exterior is lightly crisp, and its interior the right level of underbaked (gooey, not dried out) and studded with half-melted chips. It is an exceptionally good, not-too-sweet version of a classic.
I am a sucker for a Twix bar, and the Twix cookie takes what you already know (crisp wafer, caramel and chocolate) and amps that combination up to eleven, with additional layers of buttery cookie, sticky caramel and shiny chocolate. It’s rich and intense.
I also liked the pure peanutty flavor of the Reese’s cookie, which has some triple layer peanut action happening: a thick peanut butter cookie, a peanut butter glaze on the top and crumbled candy on the top of that. Its texture is denser than the rest of the cookies I tried, and it’s probably the sweetest of the bunch. I liked its intensity.
I was less a fan of the peach sugar with a peach ring; though it perfectly mimics the flavor of the candy, to me, it tasted more artificial than I’d prefer. The M&M is good — a cousin of the milk chocolate chip — but I’d pick the former if I were choosing just one.
The shop also had two other cookies available when I visited — iced oatmeal and orange creamsicle — which were part of the previous week’s lineup. Young said sometimes the shop doesn’t run out of ingredients at week’s end, so they’ll bake the previous week’s cookies until those ingredients are gone.
Of the two, the oatmeal was superior, with its satisfyingly chunky texture, hint of brown sugar and razor-thin coating of transparent glaze. Much like the other fruity cookie, the orange creamsicle, in my book, was just okay. Though beautifully frosted with a thick layer of buttercream and a finish more cake-like than the other cookies, I wished it were vanilla or chocolate instead.
Crumbl has more than 300 cookies on its rotating menu, Young said, and the reason for such a large lineup is simple: Not everybody likes every type of cookie. Like me, Young said the fruit-forward cookies aren’t her favorites. But some customers, she said, line up for those in particular.
Crumbl puts a premium on its oversized desserts and singular recipes, and one cookie runs $3.94. A half dozen is $18.76 and a “party box” is $32.87. The shop also sells milk (which I think is adorable), ice cream and water. For a buck, you can get your cookies gift wrapped.
So yes, Omaha has been buzzing about Crumbl. But it turns out that hype is worth its weight in chocolate chip cookie dough. If you can get your hands on a box, I think you’ll agree.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. To 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to midnight. Closed Sunday.
The Big Story
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Major Industrial Construction in Sarpy County
Grading started a few weeks ago on a planned 156,000 sq. industrial building to be constructed on a 13.26-acre site in Papillion on the northeast corner of 138th & Highway 370 immediately east of Amazon’s 2.1 million sq. ft. regional distribution center.
The nearly $20 million building will feature 32-foot-clear ceiling heights and will share the same entrance from Highway 370 as Amazon. Property features will include 10 rear-loaded dock doors, a 140-foot truck court, 32 trailer parking stalls and 60-foot speed bays.
The developer is Omaha-based Black Elk Development Group, which is owned by several experienced local developers with more than 100 years of combined experience developing, building, leasing and managing industrial buildings in the Omaha metro area.
The smallest available space for lease is 78,000 sq. ft. Construction is expected to go vertical soon. NAI NP Dodge brokers Bryan Hartmann and Todd Schneidewind are in charge of leasing.
“Black Elk Group plans to develop a next-generation building that includes logistics, warehouse and corporate offices,” Hartmann said. “The site is unique to offer the amenities for corporate offices and for warehouse and logistics, including direct lighted access to Highway 370 and less than a mile to I-80 and two major highways. The site will also feature unparalleled visibility for marketing and brand awareness.”
The area around Highways 370 & 50 has been an epicenter for giant development projects over the past few years with some of the world’s largest companies involved. In addition to the Amazon regional distribution center, other projects include multi-billion-dollar data centers for Facebook and Google as well as a smaller, “last-mile” warehouse for Amazon.
“We are looking to bring dynamic businesses to the area, who want to create jobs and benefit from the explosive economic growth in Sarpy County,” Hartmann said.
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Grow Omaha Snippets
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Grading and site preparation are well underway for Gretna Landing, a 60-acre, mixed-use development on the northwest corner of 192nd & Highway 370. The project is directly west of a future, 150,000 sq. ft. Hy-Vee grocery store, which is expected to open early next year.
The City of Omaha’s population density has been slowly rising from a low of 4.8 people per acre in 2008 to today’s 5.2, according to Nebraska Examiner. Since 1960, Omaha’s land area has more than doubled, growing by 175 percent, while the city’s population has grown by only 59 percent. The result is a long-term decline in population density from 8.9 people per acre back in 1960.
Site preparation has started on Gretna Logistics Building 1, a 405,600 sq. ft. speculative industrial building at 204th & Platteview Road. That’s on the southeast corner of Interstate 80 & Highway 31 or immediately south of Nebraska Crossing. NewStreet Properties is developing building on 78.44 acres. An additional building is planned after the first one is open. Completion of the first building is planned for 2023.
Nebraska was ranked #11 on WalletHub’s list of “Best & Worst States for Millennials” in 2022. Rankings are based on affordability, education, health, and other criteria. The top five states for Millennials were Washington; Washington, D.C.; Massachusetts; Utah; and Illinois. The worst states were Mississippi; West Virginia; New Mexico; Arkansas; and Louisiana. What about Nebraska’s border states? Here’s the list: Colorado 10th; Iowa 12th; South Dakota 16th; Kansas 32nd; and Missouri 35th.
Plans are underway to preserve the historic F.J. Carey Block building at 2401 North 24th Street, converting it into a community gathering space and theater, according to the Union for Contemporary Art. The $6.4 million project will turn the 4,400 sq. ft. building into a 90-seat, black-box theatre known as the Shirley Tyree Theater Project. Plans call for a 4,300 sq. ft. addition to the building.
Omaha Fashion Week will take place August 25-27 at the Omaha Design Center. The theme this year is “Magis,” which means “excellence for the greater good.” Omaha Fashion Week will feature 32 designers from both inside and outside the state of Nebraska.
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Eagle Mortgage is a locally owned, full-service mortgage company helping you with Conventional, VA, FHA and USDA loans in both Nebraska & Iowa, including the Omaha-Council Bluffs area.
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Local Business News Sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland:
Real Estate News from CoStar – Office use bounced back from the Memorial Day holiday to reach a pandemic high of 44 percent for the week of June 8th. The data come from anonymous keycard monitoring at office properties in 10 large cities. Office use rose 2.8 percentage points from the prior week to reach its highest level since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Most major cities have yet to reach 50 percent of pre-pandemic office attendance.
Scantron Technology Services, a division of Scantron Corporation has acquired ServRight of Alexandria, Va. Scantron is based in Minneapolis, but has a major office and network operations center in Omaha.
The Bike Rack, which has been selling bicycle products and services in Omaha since 1972, has been sold to Trek Bicycle. The Bike Rack’s Omaha and Lincoln stores will be closed from July 11th through 22nd for remodeling and rebranding.
A 2022 health care workforce report issued by the University of Nebraska Medical Center shows that the number of nurse practitioners in Nebraska increased significantly, and the number of practicing pharmacists increased modestly since 2020. Despite these positive developments, rural areas of the state still lack needed health care professionals, and the aging of the health care workforce across multiple disciplines threatens to exacerbate current shortages, according to a UNMC press release.
U.S. household net worth dropped in the first quarter of this year, the first dip in two years, according to The Hustle. This was largely driven by the stock market’s recent downtown. Overall, household net worth decreased by $540 billion to $149.3 trillion. Real estate values jumped $1.6 trillion this quarter, but that wasn’t enough to fully offset a $3 trillion drop in the value of corporate equities — stocks — held by households.
Encompass, Scoular’s fishmeal brand, is launching a new marine sustainability program that incentivizes fishmeal producers to implement long-term sustainability practices that exceed standard certification requirements and meet growing consumer demand for high-quality ingredients. Omaha-based Scoular is one of the largest fishmeal and fish oil suppliers globally, sourcing from more than 30 countries for its pet food and aquafeed customers.
Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of construction, mining and industrial equipment, is relocating its Chicago-area headquarters to Texas, the latest Fortune 500 company to head to the state in a move that deals a blow to Illinois after it just lost the home office of aerospace company Boeing, according to CoStar.
The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index fell from May’s solid reading, sinking below growth neutral for the first time since September 2020, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and energy. The region’s overall reading for June slumped to 49.8, down from May’s 57.7. The index ranges from 0 to 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.
The rural bankers were asked about their expectations for a U.S. recession occurring during the next 12 months. Approximately 92.9 percent rated the likelihood of a U.S. recession above 50 percent. Only 7.1 percent of the bankers rated the recession probability below 50 percent.
NMotion, a Lincoln company that helps startup companies succeed, has announced $3.7 million in new investments that will create and grow 24 Nebraska startups over the next two years, and create an Omaha location at Millwork Commons in North Downtown.
“Bringing NMotion to Omaha provides our city with a critical economic development tool that will create opportunities for Omaha-grown innovation to start, stay, and thrive in our community,” said Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert. “With Omaha as the long-standing hub for Nebraska’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, we will continue to make progress toward our goals to increase employment, attract new business and talent to our city through the companies that will now start here.”
The commercial Real Estate Summit will offer a free, one-hour, live webinar Tuesday, June 28th at 11:30 a.m. for people who work in commercial real estate and related industries. Topics to be covered include the increasing demands for flexibility in a hybrid workforce, impact of rising interest rates on commercial real estate, and new multi-family products, including single family rentals. Register HERE.
This section is sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland, the local, trusted franchise experts. They are “in the business of helping you get into business!”
Grow Omaha University
Leadership & Sales Insights for Ambitious People
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Compiled by Grow Omaha co-founJeff Bealsder and sales trainer
Leadership & Management
The typical organization spends $24,000 per person on improving productivity, yet 49 percent of organizations have zero or limited means to measure productivity, according to Spotio.
Attention sales managers: Here’s a tip for keeping your team motivated. Your salespeople should celebrate their victories, even the small ones. Never diminish a sales rep even if you think it’s just a minor comment. An example of a minor-but-negative comment might be “Well, that was an easy account to sell.”
Here are 3 ways leaders and managers can become wiser according to Walden University:
- Improve your emotional intelligence – Wise leaders tend to have high emotional intelligence, which includes being self-aware, understanding personal values as well as the values of others and respecting those around them.
- Invest in the development of others – When developing others through mentorship, coaching and leading by example, wise leaders increase their wisdom through natural reciprocity.
- Be authentic to yourself – Wise leaders understand choices and their impact on the world around them. Authenticity creates opportunity.
A Book Recommendation for sales professionals – Nobody wants a price increase! If you’re losing customers because your company is raising prices due to inflation, supply shortages, increased costs, or shareholder demands, we recommend you read Selling the Price Increase by Jeb Blount. It’s your tactical guide to raising prices without losing customers. It just launched yesterday. You can order a copy HERE.
According to Bridge Group, the typical account exec spends 2.7 years on the job and takes 4.7 months to ramp up.
Sales guru Mike Weinberg says there are many reasons why some sales professionals fail. Here’s one of them: “They diminish how they’re perceived by prospects and hurt their effectiveness. Very often they come across as nothing more than a “vendor,” pitchman/woman, or supplier who ends up getting commoditized, lumped in with competitors, and having to sell on price.”
“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” – Arnold Glasow
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill
Grow Omaha University is sponsored by MyStaff Inc, a locally owned staffing firm whose purpose is helping Nebraska companies recruit for corporate office positions.
My Staff Inc – Our team helps you find yours!
People in the News
Sponsored by Baird Holm Attorneys at Law
Jon Clifton is the new Chief Executive Officer at Gallup, having previously served as the company’s global managing partner. His father, Jim Clifton, who had been serving as CEO since 1988, will stay on as chairman. Jon Clifton has a law degree from the University of Nebraska and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. Gallup’s operational headquarters is located along the Omaha Riverfront.
Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett has converted 9,608 A shares into 14,412,000 B shares in order to donate 14,414,136 shares of Berkshire Hathaway “B” stock to five foundations: 11,003,166 to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust: 1,100,316 shares to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation; and 770,218 shares to each of the Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation. Buffet’s ownership of Omaha-based Berkshire now consists of 229,016 A shares and 276 B shares.
Farris Engineering has hired James Quinn as director of healthcare services. He previously served as director of facility operations for CHI Health. Omaha-based Farris Engineering also have offices in Lincoln; Sidney, Neb.; Colorado Springs; and Kansas City, Mo.
Cushman & Wakefield/The Lund Company has promoted Pamela Flynn to senior vice president of residential property management. She Pamela joined the company in 2010 and has more 15 years of experience in the property management industry.
Danny Cummins will retire August 1st from the WoodmenLife National Board of Directors, having served for 22 years. He first joined the WoodmenLife family as a member in 1974, then signed on as a part-time sales representative in 1982. Over the years, Cummins became full time and eventually became WoodmenLife President & CEO from 2008 to 2012.
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