Kansas City startup is shutting down. Its founder blames a St. Louis corporate giant

Luke Einsel, owner of Smart Beverage, a local start up in KC, speaks about the winding down of his business as a result of a legal fight with a St Louis company.

Kansas City Star

Blame it on St Louis? They always do, lol.

Re-posted from Kansas City

Owing at least partly to the fact that he was once homeless, Luke Einsel is a scrappy businessman, with a high tolerance for risk and a nose for a profitable niche. Over the last decade, he built an Overland Park smoothie stand into Smart Beverage, a 15-employee company that supplies schools, hospitals and other large institutions with healthy drinks.

Along the way, Smart Beverage acquired several competitors, purchased every single 7-Eleven slushie machine in Mexico, and raised several million dollars from investors. In 2019, Kansas City officials lured Einsel’s Kansas-based company across the state line with tax incentives, paving the way for it to move into an 18,000-square-foot warehouse at the former Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base.

All that promise and optimism seems like a distant memory these days. Einsel is winding the company down, he told The Star, his eyes sunken and his hair and beard grown long one afternoon earlier this spring.

Read more at: https://www.kansascity.com/news/business/article261745567.html#storylink=cpy


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