Faces of Kansas City: How Chris Cakes became - KCTV5

Faces of Kansas City: How Chris Cakes became a flipping success

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Who would have thought an idea hatched in pancake batter decades ago would lead to an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records and an encounter with four different U.S. presidents?

On a recent Saturday morning, probably before most were even out of bed, Steve Hamilton was already at the office. On this day, Hamilton and his crew were preparing to serve breakfast to 2,000 people at the Kansas City Zoo for the opening of the penguin exhibit.

It's not surprising that the motto of his business, Chris Cakes, is "Pancakes with an attitude." But the ingredients for its success are based in fun.

"Chris Cakes has been great. It's been around since 1969, I've done it since '83, we run 11 trucks out of here, we do about 1,500 events out of here every year," Hamilton said.

Jenny Betzelberger said she and Chris Cakes go way back.

"They're fantastic, I've been having them since I was a kid in elementary school and they would come to class," she said. "He makes great pancake art."

The art of flipping pancakes the Chris Cakes way has evolved into seven franchises.

"We'll go anywhere if people want us to. I've been in 36 states and D.C.," Hamilton said.

In Washington, D.C., many of the nation's leaders love what Hamilton is cooking for breakfast.

"Name the Presidents who have eaten Chris Cakes: Reagan, Ford, Bush and Obama," he said.

Hamilton is also breaking records. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for flipping the most pancakes in an hour – 956.

While it may seem like a lot of fun, Hamilton says there's lots of hard work and long hours that go into the business.

"I was up at 1:30 yesterday morning, drove to McPherson, KS, did an event, turned around and came home. Worked in the office until eight at night - that's a 20 hour day," he said.

But, from the looks of it, Hamilton wouldn't change a thing. He is branching out from pancakes and plans to open a crepe catering business sometime next year.

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