Café purchase inspired by highway number
Deciding to buy the former FamLee Bakery on Main St. in Marion was more than a personal decision, Tim Melendy said. It was a sign his wife, Babs, had been looking for.
Located on K-256, Main St. in Marion, it was one of several places Babs saw “256,” starting with her home address as a child.
Those allusions took on a life of their own, and the Melendys embraced it, deciding to name their new Marion business Café 256.
“Every time she turned around for a while, that number was popping up,” Tim said. “We got to thinking, ‘What’s this meaning?’ Is this something God wants us to do, to move to Marion? What finalized everything was finding out Main St. actually is Highway 256.”
Another reason for them to move to Marion from Arizona was family. Two sons and several grandchildren live in Wichita
“We just wanted a change,” Tim said. “We wanted to get out of Arizona and move closer to them.”
The Melendys’ children weren’t the only family members in the area. One of Babs’s sisters, Teri Ehman, has been living in Marion for several years already, and another moved to Hutchinson in the last few months.
The business will be a marriage of the Melendys’ work experiences. Tim brings knowledge of owning a company, having run a body shop for 17 years, while Babs has a history working in the restaurant industry.
“The main thing was to work for ourselves and start our own business in a town we felt drawn to,” Tim said.
Café 256 will shift away from the bakery aspect that FamLee exhibited, instead focusing on breakfast and lunch, including breakfast sandwiches and soups.
No timeline has been set for the café to open, but Tim expects it to be sometime in October.
Work has not started yet. Tim and Babs moved to Marion two weeks ago.
The couple plans to use the upstairs as their apartment, but that is a secondary goal.
“The first thing on the agenda is to get the restaurant going,” Tim said. “The upstairs will have to be completely renovated. That’s something that will happen, but that’s going to be down the road a ways.”
Space in the building’s rear has been rented for Unique Designs beauty salon for several years. Tim doesn’t think there will be any issue and said owning rental property hadn’t created much extra work in the past.
“She’s going to be able to stay there, probably, for as long as she wants,” he said.