A Different Kind of B&B: Bowling and Bakery

by Bob Johnson 0

There are many examples of businesses that serve multiple purposes.

During the early days of the internet, before free WiFi was widely available, internet cafes popped up all over the place. They provided a place for people to check their email while sipping a cup of coffee.

Today, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Laundromat Café offers an enhanced concept, enabling people to surf the net and grab a meal or a coffee while they do their laundry.

Over the years, many bowling centers have evolved from places simply to go bowling to full-blown family entertainment centers with multiple attractions and enhanced food-and-beverage programs.

Now, a building that will house a bowling center and a bakery is under construction in the Wyoming community of Dubois (pronounced “do-boys”), which is situated about an hour from Yellowstone National Park in the Wind River Valley.

Dubois (population: 971, as of the 2010 census) is promoted as “one of the last real Old West towns,” accessed by a scenic byway that makes getting there almost as much fun as being there.

Soon, the locals will have a new place to hang out, thanks to Cynthia Starks, the driving force behind Nana’s Bowling and Bakery. The business will be housed in a 15,500-sq.-ft. building that Starks says will include eight bowling lanes, a golf simulator, an arcade and a bakery that will specialize in donuts and cakes.

Residents had been talking about businesses that would make nice additions to the community and provide family activities. That’s how Starks developed the concept for her unique “B&B,” named after her late mother, known in the family as Nana.

“I want everyone to feel welcome,” Starks told County 10. “Even if they come in to buy a donut or hang out with their friends, I want to give them somewhere that feels like a second home. It’s not about making a ton of money.”

Lots of centers brew coffee and provide donuts for their morning senior leagues, but how many fry those donuts on site?

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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