DALLAS — Having conquered the cottage industry niche of delivered home-baked goods with Kevin’s Daily Bread, Kevin and Krista Conzo are ready for their next venture — Italian favorites at the new restaurant Blue Lady.
The grand opening for Blue Lady, located at 904 S. Main St. in Dallas, was delayed a week due to the correct forecast of an impending ice storm. Kevin Conzo said he’s going big, inviting all his loyal customers — Kevin’s Cousins — and all their closest friends to a party to celebrate the new restaurant. Instead of Valentine’s Day, the new shindig takes place Feb. 21 from 1 to 4 p.m.
“We’re closing down the road,” Conzo said. “We’ve got a permit for the lawn (in front of the county courthouse). I’ve received about 240 RSVP’s so far and about 80% are bringing somebody with them.”
He said the grand opening should have something for everyone. The Downtown Business Association is creating a communal spot within the building for art and other nearby downtown businesses to set up booths showcasing their wares. The Rotary Club will be spotlighting classic cars from the 1930s to 1950s that people can get their picture next to. There will be a best dressed contest, with male and female winners, that Conzo himself will present a $100 gift certificate to those in the best 20s-40s attire.
There will also be live, period music completing the ambiance.
“I anticipate 500 people here on Sunday, which will literally rejuvenate downtown,” Conzo said.
This all began with the Conzo’s started a private Facebook group to sell their bread. Krista designed a “blue lady” carrying bread to let them know where to go for comments and place their orders.
“So, when we were thinking about opening up this place, we wanted people to know we had other things besides bread. So, we’re calling it Kevin’s Daily Bread — Blue Lady,” Conzo explained.
The menu will feature everything he loved from the East Coast.
“Everything I’ve stuffed my face with the last 35 years,” Conzo elaborated. “My wife has a particular pallet. In the Pacific Northwest they like spicy. But I’m not used to that. Back East, it’s more savory. So, we’re trying to spice up our sauces a little bit more with garlic and stuff like that.”
He added the Blue Lady’s entire menu is designed for grab-and-go. For now, there is no indoor seating. However, he said there might be some outdoor café dining added and the building’s owner is planning to host sit-down dining with a bar once the indoor dining ban is lifted.
Conzo said it’s been an exciting year, with Kevin’s Daily Bread getting a lot of support.
“They love seeing us grow. It was a tough year for a lot of people. The rebirth of this business is inspiring for a lot of people, too,” he said.
For example, one of his customers – a member of Kevin’s Cousins – started a GoFundMe to help the Conzos pay for the new location’s permit fees and training costs.
“It brought in almost $2,700. That’s how much the community wanted me to have a location. I wouldn’t have this location if they hadn’t done that,” he said.
Another customer ended up being a partner on the menu. Conzo entered into an exclusive agreement with Heidi Quiring, of Keizer, to sell her homemade cheesecakes.
She said her family had been a customer for several months. She’d heard about him on Facebook and began driving out to buy his bread.
“He’s a character,” Quiring said. “I’d watch his videos on Facebook. And in January when he’d had a bad week, I offered to make him a cheesecake as a gift. He raved about it, telling me if I wasn’t selling them, I should be.”
Quiring, whose husband Kyle grew up in Dallas, had never sold her cheesecakes, only baked them as gifts. Quiring said she started making them because she simply just loved them. While working for the state, Quiring perfected her recipe over 15 years on weekends before landing on one she loved that became the base for all her cheesecakes.
Her most popular cheesecakes so far, which she has sold since Feb. 1 by the slice at Blue Lady, are a tie between the cannoli chocolate chip with cherries on top and the lemon swirl, topped with a candied lemon zest. But she’s not stopping there.
“I couldn’t tell how you how many flavors I do. I’m adding to them all the time,” Quiring said.