Park alumnus successfully opens local business, plans for more

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Jae Oates

Quincy Crutchfield, co-owner of Wingman Kitchen and Sweet Combforts.

Savanna Wyatt, Editor

“There’s not very, if any, other business owners within my family or going back in my family,” said Quincy Crutchfield about owning a restaurant. “So, it was big to me to be able to do that and to be able to say that I did that.”

Crutchfield, 41, is now co-owner of the brand and a partner for Wingman Kitchen and Sweet Combforts in Kansas City. Even though the restaurant opened in 2020, Crutchfield helped develop its foundation and cultivation years before that.

As a child, Crutchfield enjoyed the arts such as drawing and sketching. He would buy comic books and redraw the images to hone his sketching skills. He also competitively played basketball growing up. These two passions led him to finding purpose at Park.

Born and raised in Tullahoma, Tennessee, he lived there until he came to Missouri to complete his junior and senior years at Park. He studied communication, but also participated in other extracurriculars outside of his coursework.

Crutchfield was a forward on Park’s basketball team well before Park was a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. He was coached by Claude English and cited him as a contributor to his development.

Coach English played a big part in just my development into manhood,” said Crutchfield. “He really taught me and re-instilled my work ethic.”

He was able to carry these lessons and values after he graduated from Park in May 2003 with a degree in communication arts.

Post-graduation, he worked as a manager of Minsky’s Pizza in City Market for a few years before obtaining his master’s in organizational leadership and human relations in 2006. In 2010, he began working with his business partner who would eventually help him open the restaurants.

Crutchfield worked as a freelance graphic designer and worked with The Azdef Group, an entertainment company, planning events. This company is run by Rayan Azad, who graduated from Park in 2004 and is Crutchfield’s partner for Wingman Kitchen and Sweet Combforts.

They both worked together to plan events and help with promotion before deciding to help smaller, cosmopolitan brands grow through marketing and franchising. Then, they stumbled upon two locations of Wingman Kitchen and Sweet Combforts in California.

Crutchfield and Azad met with the owners to discuss franchising the restaurants and growing the business. They then signed a deal to own 50 percent of both companies and decided to open their own location in Wesport.

The Wesport location officially opened in February 2020, just before the pandemic shutdown began. Initially, there was a learning curve in operating the restaurant due to the pandemic, but they quickly figured out how to manage.

Luckily, food delivery services like Uber Eats and Door Dash helped to promote and increase their business. They were also one of the only restaurants to remain open during the shutdown, which allowed them to sell their food to customers.

At Wingman Kitchen, they sell Asian-inspired fried chicken wings and sandwiches along with sides like waffle fries. Sweet Combforts sells honeycomb dessert waffles and milkshakes. Crutchfield does not work in the restaurants anymore as he now has more behind-the-scenes role.

Crutchfield’s role in the restaurants now includes prepping for a new location of Wingman Kitchen and Sweet Combforts that will open on Dec. 1 in Overland Park. Working on the marketing, training employees and re-branding for the new location has been his primary focus.

Being a restauranteur is something Crutchfield had always thought about, even with his friends back in Tennessee. They often discussed owning a bar or restaurant. Now, that dream is a reality for him.

Crutchfield and Azad’s next goal is to eventually open other franchises in other states. Specifically, they want to open 10 new locations by the end of 2022. Crutchfield also has other goals for other business ventures.

Crutchfield co-hosted his KC Night Market event at the Crossroads Hotel in September. It was an event showcasing local Kansas City vendors along with music and special cocktails. He will co-host this same event, KC Night Market “Version 2,” on Dec. 2 at the Crossroads Hotel.

He also owns a creative design and consulting company called Crtchfld that involves his passion for being creative. He assists companies and individuals with marketing, branding, graphic design and more.

Crutchfield is always thinking about possible business ventures and ideas but is deciding on which ones to materialize. Venturing into the non-profit world is something he would love to do, so, that is one of his next ideas.

“I want to be able to get into more like philanthropy and giving back and creating programs to help especially youth,” he said. “Just be a resource for them to be able to begin whatever their dreams are.”

Crutchfield resides in Kansas City, a place that he loves. He relishes seeing new movies along with being artistic and spending time with friends.

Visit Wingman Kitchen and Sweet Combforts Tuesday through Sunday at 4117 Pennsylvania Avenue in Wesport. You can check out their websites www.1800hotlinewing.com and www.sweetcombfortskc.com.