Function Junction prepares for Small Business Saturday

Contact: Morgan Perry 816-522-4064

Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, it is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, Small Business Saturday is November 30th. Function Junction will be participating in Small Business Saturday this year, as it has for the past several years.

Often times Function Junction is overlooked as a small, local-business, in part because Function Junction never felt as small as it really was. When Mary Merola opened the first Function Junction shop in Seville Square on the Plaza in 1977, she had no idea it would take off the way it did. “The plan was to grow slowly and open 3 stores in 5 years.” Merola explains, “As it turned out, we opened three stores in ten months and the perception of our customers was that we were NOT a local company, but rather a franchise or chain. When in fact we were, are, a small, locally owned company that was embraced fully and kept expanding.” Over the next 20 years Function Junction opened 17 stores across Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita, Springfield, and Omaha.

Beginning in 1998 Merola began the process of downsizing, partially spurred on by “My desire to get back to our original vision. One that would allow us to be closer to our customers” she explains. In 2009, Rebecca Wilkie joined Function Junction as a partner and together they committed to a new view for the company with Crown Center as their exclusive location. “By positioning our office just minutes from the store, we are available to meet and work closely with our staff and customers. Having a pulse on trends along with the needs of our customers allows us to bring new exciting products to Kansas City quickly.” Wilkie adds.

The inclusion of the Function Junction Culinary Studio in 2009 created an environment where Merola, Wilkie and their hand-selected staff can demonstrate products and cooking techniques, conduct customized classes, and offer fundraisers for local organizations. This interaction with customers has become the highlight of their business endeavor.

Now that Function Junction is once more a truly small Kansas City small business, they have had an even greater opportunity to give back to the community on a grassroots level. Function Junction partners with a number of organizations including: Kansas City Women’s Chorus, Heartland Men’s Chorus, Bishop Sullivan Place, Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, Ronald McDonald House, Coterie, Johnson County Kiwanis, Women’s Employment Network, Parkinson Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association and many more.

Currently in their 37th year of business, they are in the planning process for an exciting move to the second floor of Crown Center where a brand new Function Junction store will open in Spring 2014. Wilkie beams as she shares, “Our product offering will be enhanced and we invite everyone to join us for the Grand Opening next year.” Merola adds with a smile, “It has been a great ride for over 3 decades and I remain grateful to Kansas City for supporting Function Junction and look forward to our next chapter.”

Function Junction will be open at 10am for Small Business Saturday, November 30th, 2013. They will also be open from 5pm to 8pm on Thanksgiving Day. Normal business hours are 10am–6pm Monday–Wednesday, 10am–9pm Thursday–Saturday, and Sunday 11am–6pm. Function Junction is located on the 3rd floor of Crown Center Shops.

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