The fish population in Sumner County should be thinned quite a bit this summer. Tommy Case, the owner of Case's Country Café, has opened up the only bait shop in the county. However, it's more than just a place to buy fish food.
"I didn't know what to call it at first, because it's more than just a bait shop," said Case. "Back in the day, trading posts had everything. I've traded for stuff and bartered for stuff.
"But the bait shop is what I wanted to get open first," he said. "We have live bait, everything from goldfish, minnows, perch, crawdads, leeches, shrimp and worms."
To add to his bait selection, Case has shad gizzards, something that's rare in bait shops across Kansas. "It's been really hard to get a hold of," he said. "I got on the internet for about three days, found 72 pounds of it. I just bought it all."
In addition to bait, the shop will also carry basic tackle. "I try to carry stuff that Walmart usually doesn't, like two or three ounce sinkers," he said. "It's hard to compete with Walmart, so you just try to get stuff they don't carry."
Going off of the old-fashioned theme, Case decided to christen the new shop The Trading Post. It opened last Wednesday, with more than just bait on its shelves. "We're also selling produce, like a farmer's market," Case said. "We've got furniture, we've got tools, we've got all kinds of stuff in there."
Case, although having an old-fashioned theme, doesn't shy away from using modern methods to get his business out there. "I've also got my own Facebook page," he said. "You can get on there and see what's going on."
The opening of the Trading Post brings Case's business ownership count up to two, including his café. "We opened the café last September," he said. "We'll be here a year in about three months."
Case arrives at to work at the café at 5 a.m., and continues there until 8 p.m. His wife and daughters help manage both businesses, old and new. "My daughter doesn't really like handling the fish though," he said.
Even though Case's Country Café has been on Harvey for almost a year, Case wouldn't mind having a new location. "More parking spaces would be nice," he said. "I may lease a property out on 81, it's a better location." However, any ideas are currently just that.
The Trading Shop is open all week, aside from Tuesday, the same hours as Case's Country Café'. "If I'm not here, I'm down there," Case said. "I really don't get a day off."
Dalton Carver is a freelance writer for the Wellington Daily News. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him @Dalton__Carver.