The KC Originals newest dynamic duo, Kevin Heaton and Joe Gallagher, are the business partners and owners of the KCO's newest member, Stone Canyon Pizza. Celebrating the concept's 21st year in business, these 2 business dynamos are passionate and enthusiastic about their 2 locations [Parkville and Zona Rosa] and love of quality pizza that spans over 45 years since they first worked together at Minsky's in Nevada, Iowa in the early 80's. With over 75 years combined experience in the food industry and their shared energy it is no wonder that they offer a consistently high quality product that earns rave reviews from guests for the food as well as for quality service and great atmosphere.
In the early years, "our paths crisscrossed' says Joe Gallagher, the self-described detail oriented half of the duo, but they eventually came together as partners in the Stone Canyon venture in 1995. They renovated an old drugstore/soda fountain space in a corner location on Main St. in the heart of Parkville, MO. The concept is essentially pretty old-fashioned - a place for families and small groups to come together and have dinner together. It's not a trendy, fast food approach but one where food and service quality create an experience that is valued. Joe says that beyond their own friendship and synergy as partners, he and Kevin "work hard to create a team environment and strong relationships" with their staff, their guests and the community at large. He credits Kevin as the "big picture" man behind their success.
Kevin Heaton [who many will remember with Ron Schoonover as one of the driving forces in the early years in the success of The Phoenix] is one of those bigger than life characters in the KC restaurant scene. His success he says, and that of Stone Canyon, is "measured in the relentlessness with which he and his service team take care of the needs of the guest." He says that "fear of failure " gets him out of bed every morning, but it's easy to see he means that he relishes the challenges every day brings to juggle all the key elements of keeping his business concept true to its mission - marketing, getting the word out, and making sure that his staff are prepared for making the Stone Canyon experience the kind that keeps satisfied guests coming back.
Admittedly, in a fast casual world, that's not always easy. Both he and Joe agree on this. Stone Canyon creates an environment that invites folks in and lends itself to settling in, enjoying food and conversation, and not just grabbing a slice on the go. From quality, fresh, local ingredients Stone Canyon's regular and cracker crust pizzas in a variety of traditional and creative combinations are the heart of their menu. For big protein fans, their burgers are a huge hit, featuring McGonigle's ground beef - a nationally known local purveyor whose product is found in the best of KC's burger establishments. When you couple the pizzas, burgers and other tasty sandwich or salad options with a great beverage program of local and craft beers, wine and cocktails it makes for most satisfying full service dining experience for lunch or dinner. Both locations are just 15-20 minutes north of downtown KC, and the food with friendly hospitable service definitely makes it worth the trip. They also do take out but visit the locations to soak up the atmosphere too!
Throughout our brief chat, the passion that motivates these two restaurateurs was more than evident. Asked what lasts words they might wish to leave for our readers. Joe quickly made the point that they are "proud of what we have accomplished in the community" And it's not just as a business but in terms of what they contribute - their Stone Canyon bottled water is a fixture a many charitable events. Kevin echoes Joe's sentiments: "We care. We care about every aspect of what we do." Quality, consistency, food , service and the communities they love and work in - it's all part of the big picture of Stone Canyon.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 qt. 2 % milk
2 (8oz.) blocks cream cheese
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. granulated onion
¼ tsp. celery salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2.5 lbs. pepper jack cheese - shredded
¼ c. parmesan and/or Romano cheese
1/8 c. jalapeno juice
1 pint artichoke hearts
1 oz. garlic butter
1 box (10 oz.) chopped spinach (rinsed & drained)
1 can (10 oz.) rotel tomatoes