Four candidates are vying for three open spots on the Columbia Public Schools Board of Education. Ahead of the election on April 4, CBT caught up...
Ancestry Guns LLC
Partners Scott Schilb and Daniel McCune offer high-quality antique firearms at Ancestry Guns, operating through AncestryGuns.com and within Schilb Antiquarian (100 N. Providence Road). The business offers authentic, battle-used Civil War classics and 18th-century Revolutionary War-era guns, pistols with spring-loaded bayonets and famous brands such as Colt and Smith & Wesson. Having been successful in the rare book business at Schilb Antiquarian, Schilb saw a great opportunity when McCune approached him about the possibility of selling antique guns. “People travel the country to see such firearms in person,” Schilb says. “We now have them in downtown Columbia.”
Body Refinery Gym
Operating a full-size gym with top-of-the-line machine weights, dumbbells, cardio machines and two studios for classes, Cindy Zhao admits the days can get long. But the challenges of opening a new gym didn’t stop her and her husband from making sure all of the equipment is safe and updated. The gym also offers a kids’ play center, an organic smoothie bar and a tanning bed. Zhao and her husband pride themselves on a clean facility and excellent customer service at Body Refinery Gym (3400 Broadway Business Park Court, Suite 110). “Our members just need to be themselves,” Zhao says.
Contact: Cindy Zhao, 573-228-9424
Oscar Jay’s Gourmet Pies
Oscar Wilcox grew up loving Southern-style cooking; he has family with barbecue and catering businesses, and he baked alongside his mother and grandmother for years. So when he couldn’t find a place in Columbia that sold sweet potato pie, he was shocked. That shock sparked the creation of Oscar Jay’s Gourmet Pies, a business that offers pies, cobblers and dumplings made fresh. Wilcox sells his pies at the farmers market and takes orders through phone calls and the business’s Facebook page. “A lot of people in this area aren’t familiar with sweet potato pie,” Wilcox says. “But once they taste sweet potato pie, they love it.”
Contact: Oscar Wilcox, 573-303-6014
Pho Quan Viet Cuisine
Pho Quan Viet Cuisine (1301 Vandiver Drive, Suite J) offers a taste of another world. Serving traditional Vietnamese sandwiches (called Banh Mi), rice noodle soup (Pho), beef broth, vermicelli noodles, fried rice, crab rangoons, spring and egg rolls and fried bananas, Hiep Quan operates the restaurant as his personal passion. He hopes the unique flavors will entice Columbia natives to try Vietnamese classics. “Columbia is a well-diversified town that’s open to many cultural tastes,” Quan says. “Customers should stop by because they could get a taste of Vietnam without having to travel abroad.”
Contact: Hiep Quan, 573-356-8855
Yin Yang Night Club
With bright lights, live performances, signature cocktails, dancing and drag shows, Yin Yang Night Club (128 E. Nifong Blvd.) is ready to entertain. When owner Jesse Graham decided to fill the hole created when SoCo Club closed in February 2015, he teamed up with Justin Bailey, Heather Davis and Jeff Davis, tweaking the club with their own personal brand. The biggest challenge was preparing the building, but he says since then everything has gone smoothly. “It’s a place everyone needs to check out,” Graham says. “There’s no demographic. It’s a really positive environment.”
Contact: Jesse Graham, 573-303-5663
Partners Anup Thakkar, Ramesh Patel and Prashant Patel have been Columbia natives for more than 15 years, so when it was announced a Dunkin’ Donuts would be built in Columbia, they jumped at the opportunity to run the business. Now open at 3100 Provident Road, Dunkin’ Donuts serves donuts, muffins, bagels, breakfast and bakery sandwiches, as well as hot and cold drinks such as coffee and iced tea. “We are excited to expand the brands’ presence in Missouri and play an important role in the daily lives of people who live, work and visit here,” Thakkar says.
Contact: Anup Thakkar, 573-514-7020