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Billie’s Grocery: Healthy Food Tastes Good, Makes You Feel Good!

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Robin Krause knew what kind of restaurant she was opening; she just wasn’t sure what to call it. She’s been in the restaurant and bakery business in metro Kansas City for many years, starting in 2004 with Filling Station Coffee, which she has since sold, opening Unbakery and Juicery in 2016 and a few others ventures along the way. So now, it was time to find just the right name for this new endeavor.

Without much direction, her creative design agency presented potential names for the new restaurant/store/bakery in Midtown Kansas City, Missouri. It was common knowledge that the new restaurant concept was inspired by Robin’s dad, who had owned traditional-style diners in the Midwest for many years and who had passed away several years ago, but Robin hadn’t envisioned that the restaurant would be named after him. After all, her concept features healthy foods while her dad’s diners certainly weren’t into nutrition.

After she reviewed what she described as some of the most innovative, clever and modern restaurant names and logos, the agency revealed the last potential name. 

She immediately knew it was the perfect fit: Billie’s Grocery.

It was the ideal combination of modern and old-fashioned. Bringing the contradiction of an old-timey name like Billie and contrasting it with the modern design of the logo was exactly the concept Robin was striving for in the restaurant. And best of all, it kept her dad close to her heart with her latest restaurant labor of love.

The contrast of old meets new is evident when you walk through the front door of Billie’s Groceries. The building is a beautifully restored former factory on the southwest corner of Gillham and Linwood; if you miss the turn like I did, you can get there through the Costco parking lot. After a massive renovation and the cleaning up of 100 years of grime and mess, this breathtaking building resides on the National Register of Historic Places. Formerly the Luzier Cosmetics Building, it was originally designed by renowned architect Nelle Peters, one of the first female architects of her time.

Today, Billie’s Grocery is a wide-open space with lots of windows and high ceilings. The light décor is clean, bright, inviting and it gives customers the vibe of healthy living just as Robin intended. The concept is a combination restaurant and bakery with menu items that offer options for those following keto, vegan and gluten-free diets. Robin calls her cooking “organic, nutrient-dense, properly prepared using quality products and being mindful about nutrition.” 

This type of eating is perfect for me. I like to be careful about what I eat but love to indulge, and that makes Billie’s a great place to dine out. You can enjoy things such as potato chips, fried chicken, cake and mimosas without feeling too, too guilty!

After Robin’s dad passed away about five years ago, she immersed herself to studying nutrition, yoga and other health and nutrition practices. She’s a nutritional practitioner and she uses that knowledge to create delicious meals, sometimes with a nod to her dad’s traditional diner fare.

On the day I sampled several items at Billie’s Grocery, there were tables of ladies lunching, business people dining, older couples seated outdoors on the patio reading the paper and sipping their coffee and families enjoying pastries, proving it’s a restaurant that appeals to a wide audience. I was thrilled with everything I tried. 

The first was my favorite of the day and apparently, I’m not alone. It’s the most popular item on the menu. I loved Billie’s Breakfast Bowl. It’s named for her dad because it featured eggs and bacon, just like a meal at one of his diners; Robin took those staples and added her own fancy twist. The eggs are sauteed and served creamed, over brown rice quinoa with avocado, roasted potato, mushroom, onion, organic kale, sriracha and crispy, thick bacon and a slice of local sourdough toast. This is an absolute must-try.

You may have had a Chinese Chicken Salad, but you haven’t had one like this. Inspired by Jones on Third in Los Angeles, one of Robin’s favorites, it’s made with all-gluten-free fried chicken, something you can’t find in KC, and seasoned with amazing herbs over organic carrots, cabbage, green onion, sweet sesame dressing and crunchy rice noodles.

I can’t get enough of these bowls. I keep telling my family that I want a nice bowl for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with all the flavors mixed up together in a fabulous manner. The Salmon Mezze does not disappoint. It’s super healthy and light in the morning, also inspired from a restaurant in LA and again something not found in KC. It’s smoked salmon with a soft egg, organic wild greens, sourdough toast, pickled onion, caper berries and roasted tomato tossed in a light crème fraiche.

On the brunch menu, I knew it had to be something healthy and yummy if Robin was eating it: the Green Shashuka. She says it’s the best way to wake up in the morning and get your daily dose of greens. The Green Shashuka consists of sweet peas, sugar snap peas, organic kale, onions, sea salt, basil, dill, mint, garlic, preserved lemons, green tahini, avocado and soft eggs served with sourdough toast. Robin says it’s delicious wrapped in a tortilla and so I think that’s how we should all order it on our next visit!

Within the gorgeous restaurant, there are bakery display cases featuring the most beautiful gluten-free pies, cakes and other pastries. Then, for the grocery part of Billie’s Grocery, check out the self-serve refrigerators for house-made soups, broths, jams, jellies and more.

Billie’s Grocery is open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visit at 3216 Gillham Plaza, Suite 100, Kansas City, Missouri, and

Written by: Megan Neher

Journalist-turned-PR-professional Megan Neher has never forgotten her true first love: writing. Today, Megan owns her own PR firm, Megan Neher Public Relations; she’s a wife, mom, marketer, student and spends a lot of time cleaning up after her four pets and two teenagers. Her dream is to live on a tropical beach somewhere where she can stroll barefoot to a nearby grass hut for a fish taco and margarita.