Citizen Spotlight: Jody and Linda Pasalich

Linda and Jody Pasalich stand proudly in their shop, Other Trails Coffee and Goods (photo S Jason Cole).

Life-long Excelsior Springs residents Jody and Linda Pasalich knew they wanted to be a part of the excitement of downtown Excelsior Springs, they just weren’t quite sure where to start. As soon as they began their journey, they said a whirlwind series of serendipitous events led them down the path to opening their downtown coffee and gift shop, Other Trails. Linda said the entrepreneurial seed was planted early in her life by her father who owned and operated Atkinson Plumbing. “He had always talked about his ideas of opening a shop somewhere downtown, and I would get so excited,” said Linda. She said the idea never left her mind, and with all of the recent growth in the community, she and Jody felt the time was right to take the chance and make their dream a reality.

One of the first properties they considered, 115 E Broadway Ave, is the spot where they eventually landed. After peeking through the windows, they called and scheduled a tour of the building, but on the day of their viewing they found out there had already been an offer that had been accepted. “When we got the call we were crushed, and we realized at that moment, ‘we must really want to do this!” Linda laughed. A month later they found out the deal had fallen through and they quickly moved to make the space their own. After making a few updates, they worked diligently to modernize the upstairs apartment, turning it into an Airbnb rental they dubbed, “the Overlook.” They opened the rental just before DEP’s Sippin’ Into Springtime event in March of 2020, and they said it’s been booked almost continuously since then. 

When the Pasalichs began work on the downstairs the COVID pandemic was in full swing and it gave them plenty of time to focus on the restoration of the historic property. “If it weren’t for COVID I’m not sure any of this would have happened, we might have gone on vacation or went traveling somewhere,” said Jody. Originally they considered putting in a book store “with a little nook in the back for coffee,” said Linda. “But, all people heard when we told them our idea was ‘coffee shop,’ no one seemed to care about the books,” Linda said. When they decided to pursue the coffee shop idea, Jody was insistent that they find the best beans. “We’d gone to a bike race out in Colorado and we stopped at a little place in Frisco, and Jody said it was the best cup of coffee that he’d ever had… by the time we were driving across Kansas I was on the phone with the roastery,” laughed Linda. 

Other Trails is the first coffee shop in Missouri to offer brews from Conscious Coffee. Linda said it was another instance of “the right fit,” as the coffee company based in Boulder, Colorado has a mission and vibe that perfectly aligns with that of Other Trails. “Their blends have names like, Base Camp, Dark Star, Downshift, just all these outdoorsy things that go along with what we’re doing here,” said Linda. Avid runners and adventurers, the Pasalichs said the name of their shop came to them one day when Jody’s friends were hounding him to go out trail running with them. “I remember saying to Linda, ‘I’m just going to have to tell them I’ve got other trails to deal with now!’… and we just looked at each other and we knew,” said Jody.

Other Trails has quickly become a downtown anchor, a place where locals can meet up and tourists stop by frequently. “Sometimes visitors will find us on a Friday and they’ll be back, two or three times before the weekend is over,” said Linda. A cozy and welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff help keep folks coming back time and time again. The Pasalichs’ say they are humbled by the reception they’ve received and that they are excited to be involved in the turnaround of the downtown. “There’s so much good going on right now, we want to see it continue, we just wanted to be part of something positive,” Linda espoused. “We wouldn’t be here without the help of all of our friends, family, and this community, we owe them all a big thank you!” said Jody.

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