A wine bar and market in downtown Hays brings in both customers and products from across the Sunflower State

Alice Mannette / USA Today - Kansas
The Paisley Pear in Hays offers customers a chance to purchase Kansas-made foods.

Kansas has lots of entrepreneurs — especially when it comes to food products.

When Heather and Shaun Musil took over the Paisley Pear on Main Street in Hays, they wanted to introduce locals to made-in-Kansas products. Since 2017, their product list has continued to grow — from wines to jellies to cheeses to beer bread, which they make themselves.

Beer bread

Just last year, the Musils, along with their relatives Tina and Bruce Hansen, decided to take over Let it Rise beer bread mix out of Goodland, where Shaun Musil is from.

To cook up the bread, all the chef has to do is add a can of beer. But if they do not want to use alcohol, they can use a can of soda instead.

Let it Rise beer bread mix is manufactured in Hays and distributed across Kansas.

"We bought it from a girl that started it when she was 11," Musil said. "It's been a great addition."

The foursome have whipped up new flavors from their kitchen in Hays. In addition to old standards like pumpkin, Italian and sweet flavored, there is dill, garlic, mimosa and jalapeno beer bread mix. 

They are doing wholesale orders as well, selling their mix in small Kansas markets and restaurants, like theirs.

More:Conference that focuses on helping Main Street thrive is headed to Hutchinson

Supporting Kansas producers  

In addition to the beer bread mix, the wine bar offers specialty homemade sandwiches paired with cheese platters and local wines. They also carry Pat's Beef Jerky, Alma Cheese, Boot Hill whiskey, Defiance beer and Resurrection wine, and a variety of Kansas mustards and jellies. 

"We have connections that grow with our business," Musil said. 

Rodney Bauer makes a blackberry ham and cheese sandwich at the Paisley  Pear in downtown Hays.

The couple travels across the Midwest visiting wine bars and specialty shops. 

"We like to see what can we do here," Musil said. "We go to small towns and find some of the truest people."

Along with the locals, Paisley Pear, Musil said, gets customers from every state. And, according to him, what better way to introduce them to Kansas than through our food. 

Musil was raised on a farm and loves showing off the cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes that he buys from a farmer down the road — 4B Farm in Grinnell.

"It's the best lettuce," Musil said. "On Friday, it looks just as good as it does on Monday (when it is delivered)."

Musil enjoys walking around his store, taking pride in the cities in Kansas each item comes from. He has mustard and cheese from Alma, coffee from Osborne, honey from Quinter, candles from Ellinwood and spices from Kiowa.

More:Main Street market looks for niche in the Kansas community

Shaun Musil, co-owner of Paisley Pear, shows off Kansas-made pasta that he carries at his store in Hays.

More:Iconic central Kansas beef jerky keeps tradition alive but is about to branch out into brats and ... bologna

Hitting the road

Cody Dillon of Alma Creamery delivers food to Pat's Beef Jerky in ‎Liebenthal.

Each day, vendors across Kansas distribute their goods to small markets like Paisley Pear. Cody Dillon travels through Kansas, dropping off fresh Kansas cheese from Alma Creamery, which started in the Flint Hills in 1946.

Just before he makes his drop-off at Paisley Pear, he stops at Kansas Originals Market in Wilson. After Hays, he heads down to ‎Liebenthal and brings some cheese into Pat's Beef Jerky store.

"A lot of people like to buy local and support local," Dillon said. "It's (this past year) has helped the overall story of buying local."

Musil enjoys chatting with the vendors, like Dillon, and helping them promote their products in his store. He said he is a servant at heart, enjoying all his producers and all his customers. 

"I just love people," he said. "Customer service is what I love to do."

More:Main Street stays at heart of economic development efforts