Jami and Mark Nato opened The Lottie Coffee and Cone on May 11 with an intention to provide both quality product and service.
“Whether you’re local, visiting, a repeat customer or a first-time customer, how can we go above and beyond in just serving you and making your experience, whatever it is—your time to study, your time to read, your time to connect with a friend or hang out with your family—be as perfect as possible?” Mark says.
The couple bought a lake house on Lake Lotawana in November. They spent the winter renovating, commuting from their home in Leawood, and kept their eye on the corner at Gate 2 off Colbern Road where they saw potential.
“It was the location where I was just, gosh, if we could really bring in our gifts for hospitality here, which we really love hosting and serving others, if we could bring that into this community—I think it could be a really great addition to what’s already happening here,” Jami says, “which we noticed in the winter, like these people really love this town, and they’re so invested in it. We wanted to be a part of that and add to what was already going on there, just with our particular style.”
Once the space became available, they began renovating the shop to create a light, bright and clean feel.
“We tend to commit,” Mark says. “We go all in. We wanted to make it amazing. I think part of it was that we’d just finished renovating the lake house, so our style from the lake house followed into the coffee shop.”
The couple wanted The Lottie to be welcoming not only to coffee-lovers but also parents with young children who want a place to comfortably hang out. Jami intentionally placed the kids’ play area, complete with wooden tea set and puzzle, in the center of the store for this reason. The menu offers kid-friendly items, like organic chocolate milk, and has options for those with food sensitivities.
“We have a lot of food sensitivities in our family,” Jami says. “We have gluten-free kiddos and dairy-free kiddos and know how hard it is to find things that you can serve your family and feel good about. That’s what you’ll find in our fridge—we make our own vanilla syrups just because I want to feel good about what I serve people. If it’s not good enough for my family, then it’s not good enough for yours.”
While they’re still fairly new to the Lake Lotawana community, both as members and business-owners, they’ve been received with enthusiasm.
“It just feels serendipitous a little bit to have a heart to serve in a community and then have them welcome you with the same excitement,” Jami says.
They’ve noticed guests are not only coming from the lake, but surrounding areas such as Independence and Blue Springs. They hope the shop will be a destination, not just something people will drive by, and that it continues to draw people in to the Lake Lotawana community.
“It feels like we’re here helping plant something that we hope lasts a long time,” Jami says. “We’re in it for the long haul. It’s always about people over dollar signs and people over selling. I think with that heart, it’s going to be hard to fail when you love serving people first.”