Business of the Month

Sisters have sweet success in Excelsior Springs

Popular Ventana restaurant adds bakery to downtown


Ventana Gourmet Grill began in 2002. Over the years it has evolved into a cornerstone business for the downtown.

Founded by two sisters, Wendy Baldwin and Jill Rickart say they are grateful for all the community support and the tourism that makes our city thrive. They have also been excited to be a part of the Downtown Excelsior Springs Partnership since its conception. This endeavor has helped their business to continue to grow after 17 years in business.

Their expansion of the banquet room was five years ago and now they have expanded once again with their Ventana bakery, known as Sweet Kneads, located right next door to the restaurant.

“We look forward to meeting new customers, while continuing with our lifelong customers, who we now call friends,” said Jill.

The upscale restaurant provides a European bistro style ambiance in a restored historic building, located at 117 W. Broadway in downtown Excelsior Springs. Wendy and Jill have taken 10 of their menu favorites for a 10 For Under $10 selection, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including smothered chicken, hot roast beef sandwich, and their own New Orleans pasta. Evening entrees include steak and seafood, but their burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads provide a dining menu anyone can afford.

The restaurant is now famous for its homemade desserts, offering cheesecakes, bread pudding, and tarts. It is probably their talent with baking that has led to the opening of Sweet Kneads. Tempting breads, cookies, cupcakes, candy and holiday desserts are available. Try their guilt free, gluten free bakery items!

To order out, call 816-637-2384. Visit their website for online menu or follow their Facebook pages for the restaurant and bakery.