February: Closer Look
Columbia’s Epoch Escapes
Puzzles take a realistic form at Columbia’s Epoch Escapes. After a visit to an escape room in Branson, Dustin Copple decided to open the first live-action puzzle escape room in Columbia. (Epoch Escapes opened in 2016.) Copple left his previous career as a manager at a frozen custard franchise to create an exciting, interactive puzzle in Columbia.
Epoch Escapes features three distinct, challenging escape rooms. Players have 60 minutes to unravel the room’s mysteries and complete the tasks at hand to escape the room. When inside, players are provided with thought-provoking logic puzzles and a well-rounded assortment of age-appropriate tasks. The current rooms are named “Crime Scene Investigation,” “Pirate Adventure,” and “Outbreak.”
Copple is particularly proud of Epoch Escapes’ Team Building Package for larger groups. Included in the package is a consultation with a leadership and performance coach both before and after the game, allowing escapees to gain insight on team-building techniques to take with them.
Address: 2529 Bernadette Dr.
Very few people are lucky enough to find an opportunity to live out their childhood dreams. Adelle McAlister, however, proves it’s possible.
Owning a bakery has always been a dream for Adele, who last year purchased Smallcakes, a gourmet cupcake shop, with her husband, Matt, when she was working there as manager. Smallcakes cupcakes are baked fresh daily, and the store’s treat offerings don’t stop there — they also have cookie sandwiches.
Jeff Martin, founder of Smallcakes, which is now a fast-growing nationwide franchise, believes in using creative flavors, quality ingredients, and friendly service that provides a memorable cupcake experience. Smallcakes bakes 12 signature flavors each morning. Offerings include red velvet, chocolate crème, pink vanilla, lemon drop, and birthday cake. (Other specialty flavors on a recent day included cream soda, piña colada, and margarita.)
Smallcakes also offers catering for your big days — weddings, birthdays, Christmas parties, etc. Or, you know, it can just be a sweet treat on your small days.
Address: 2609 E. Broadway #218
Line-X of Mid Missouri
Benjamin Darbyshire, new owner of Line-X of Mid Missouri, always wanted to own his own business in Columbia. He just didn’t know it would be with Line-X.
Darbyshire’s first interaction with Line-X, a car accessory dealer mostly known for their protective truck bed coatings, was when worked for a General Motors dealership after college; the dealership used Line-X as a vendor. Benjamin saw the value in the products and felt he could use his dealership background and connections to grow this company in Mid-Missouri, so he franchised a Line-X store.
Line-X protective spray-on coatings can be found on more than just cars. They’re on everything from farm equipment to military gear. Darbyshire offers a lifetime warranty on his products, which guarantees they won’t crack, bubble, or flake. He says that Line-X is also the only spray-in bed liner company in Mid-Missouri that can custom match any color with their UV stable top coat, making the new coating look as integrated as possible. Darbyshire says, “As long as you own your truck, we have you covered.”
Address: 1510 B I-70 Complex Ct.