The quaint town of Baldwin City, Kansas is known for its simple charm and lack of urban amenities. However, the past few months have brought many unique businesses into the area.
From a coffee shop to a yoga studio to a bar/coffee shop/bookstore, Baldwin City continues to grow and prosper. Uniquely enough, each of these new businesses wants to see more of Baker University students.
Om Grown yoga studio offers an alternative form of exercise for students to stay active without breaking the bank. 133 Coffee and The Nook offer a fun, peaceful hangout to drink coffee and study for exams. Sixteen Eleven Boutique even gives students the opportunity to find cute clothing on a student budget.
Baker University Sophomore Saigen Conrad explained that she really enjoys the new opportunities that continue to show up.
“I think that all of the new businesses in Baldwin are great. Varying hours, material goods, and services make Baldwin more communal and fun for locals and students while complimenting several schedules and interests,” Conrad said.
Baker University Junior Morgan Thomas also enjoys all of the growth happening in Baldwin City.
“I think it’ll give Baldwin even more of the family community feel that it already has. And hopefully give students more things to do and more ways to meet people,” Thomas said.
While the typical answer to weekend festivities usually involves a location in Lawrence, as new opportunities appear, the answer changes to local businesses. This gives students the chance to connect to Baldwin City as a whole and not just to Baker University.
One of the most unique factors in all of these businesses is their originality. Each business continues to maintain small town vibes no matter what they are selling or offering. With the continuance of this trend, Baldwin City can maintain its charm while still growing to meet the needs of its residents.
Baker University Junior Mackenzie Garber is particularly excited about the recent opening of The Nook and the potential it has to draw in students.
“I just briefly checked out The Nook on its soft opening and at Maple Leaf, and wow is it cute. I think it will add a nice ‘nook’ for Baker students to get away to when doing homework or hanging out,” Garber said.
Another fan favorite turned out to be Flatlanders Pizza, which is a small business inside of The Lodge. Both Thomas and Garber commented on the quality of the food and love for the décor. Flatlanders even offers a discount to students with a City Commerce card.
While the recent growth in business has been received with open arms, there is no end in sight. Students would still enjoy seeing more food options and also recreational facilities.
“I would love to see some kind of activity place in Baldwin—bowling, arcade, skating—something to give us another option instead of just leaving Baldwin,” Garber said.
While Baldwin City’s claim to fame is its small town roots, its need for growth continues to appear. With the trend of new businesses emerging, the growth is sure to come.