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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When people asked Alec Rodgers what he wanted to do after graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, he’d jokingly say he wanted to work at Betty Rae’s for the rest of his life. But deep down, he meant it.

Rodgers now owns the popular Kansas City-based ice cream shop, which has a location in the River Market and one in the Waldo neighborhood. The previous owner, David Friesenclosed the business in January and said he was open to selling.

Rodgers joined the company about two years ago while in college and was a part-time front-of-house manager. He graduated from UMKC last year with a bachelor’s of business administration and a double major in finance and entrepreneurship.

After gaining enough funds, he announced the ice cream shop would reopen in spring of 2021.

Although Rodgers is the sole owner, he views the business with a “we” mentality and thinks of himself more as a steward. It’s a group effort to reopen Betty Rae’s with former employees, he explained.