New coffeehouse, bakery going full steam in Ash Grove

When Taryn Bagley decided she wanted to open a brick-and-mortar location for her catering business after years of renting kitchens, she knew she wanted her business to be in Ash Grove.
“This is where I grew up,” she said. “I was born and raised here, my husband was born and raised here, so we just have a sense … we just love the community and we just wanted to stay close to home.”
Taryn Bagley is the owner and general manager of Maple Lane Catering Company and Bakery, a new coffee house in Ash Grove.
While Bagley is also the financial administrator at First Baptist Church of Ash Grove, she has run a catering business for over eight years. When she decided to switch from renting kitchens to having a fixed location in Ash Grove, she decided she also wanted to expand her operation to offer coffee drinks, pastries, sandwiches and other foods for people at breakfast or lunch.
“I finally decided it was time to go brick and mortar,” she said, “and when we were going to do a brick and mortar kitchen, we thought, ‘Well, let’s go ahead and do a front-of-house coffee, bakery and sandwich shop, because that’s not really anything that Ash Grove has right now.’”
The response has been phenomenal; Maple Lane is busy every day during the breakfast and lunch shift.
“We are very busy from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and then from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.,” Bagley said.
Bagley said she saw there was a market in town for coffee drinks because her children were always wanting her to take them someplace to get coffee.
“I have teenagers at home, and they were always wanting me to drive somewhere to take them to get a coffee drink … and their friends were driving to Republic and Springfield to get coffee drinks after school,” she said. “So, we thought, ‘Well, let’s try it and see what happens.’”
While the coffee is very popular, many of the other menu items are also popular. Bagley said having coffee attracts new customers, but the other items help to make new customers become repeat customers.
“Any of the coffee drinks are very popular, but I’m just as surprised that the sandwiches, soups and salads are just as popular,” she said. “Everybody likes to have just a different choice. So, they’re pretty much even, but the coffee drinks are very popular. I’d say that is what gets people here, the coffee drinks, and then when they see we have a menu with many other items, they keep coming back.”
Bagley’s catering business is also benefiting from the new location.
“It’s already doubled in size from what I already have on the books,” she said, (and) I see the catering growing even more.”
In taking on a brick and mortar location, Bagley has had to make several adjustments. For starters, Maple Lane’s doors open at 6 a.m., but Bagley’s day actually starts at 4 a.m., as she and her morning staff have to prepare donuts and pastries for the day.
“It’s a good solid working two hours before we open our doors,” she said.
Bagley also has to work with her staff members’ schedules and had to decide when would be the best time for business hours.
“When we were just renting space for catering jobs, it was just … a job-by-job basis,” she said. “So, it would be (on) a Friday or a Saturday. Now, we’ve had to adjust by having staff here all the time, not just when there is a catering job, but we have to have it fully staffed. (Also, we’re) just making sure our times work with our staff and their times work with us, and finding the right time for the community has been important, trying to find that time frame that works well.”
Going into business full-time is a major undertaking, but Bagley said she and her husband knew God was leading them to open Maple Lane.
“We had prayed about it, my husband and I,” she said. “We had been talking about it for a couple of years, and then we were in steady prayer about it, and then we just felt a great peace about it, that this is what we were supposed to be doing.”
While Bagley strives to serve high-quality food and coffee to her customers, she said the service also goes above and beyond, as they strive to learn each customer by name and what they want.
“I’ve had a lot of people come in here and say they feel like they’re coming home when they come in here; they feel welcomed,” she said. They think everybody’s friendly, kind. We are trying to learn everybody’s name when they come in for coffee orders, or how they like their coffee; some of them like them certain ways. We’re really clear with our customers that, ‘Just tell us how you like it. Do you want it sweet or not sweet?’ Just finding those personal things that each person likes; we want to be like that for them. We want it to be different than going to a corporate coffee shop in Springfield; we want them to feel like they can visit with the person sitting at the table, or they know who’s there and feel like they’re in their own home town.”

Maple Lane Catering Company and Bakery is located at 601 East Wells Street in Ash Grove. They are open from 6 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. For more information, call (417)323-1031, or visit their Facebook page.


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