The J.A. Lamy Manufacturing Co. was known for producing Levi’s for roughly 50 years in Sedalia. The company closed in 1999 and the building is being repurposed this year.

As construction nears completion for the second and third floors of the J.A. Lamy Manufacturing Co. building in downtown Sedalia, work is underway for three retail offerings on the first floor.

The building has been vacant for about 20 years and remains under the ownership of the Swearingen family, who purchased it in 1911. Lamy’s is best known for producing Levi’s for five decades until closing its doors in 1999.

The Ox Horn Market will be a specialty market and deli serving breakfast and lunch. Stafford Swearingen said the name comes from Ox Horn jeans, the brand manufactured at Lamy’s.

Customers will be able to find items like meats, cheeses, wine and craft beer on retail shelves to be used for entertaining or hostess gifts. Swearingen said he envisions it being a “cool place to drink coffee and chat with friends.” It will also be connected to a patio that will be constructed on the west side of the building.

The first floor will also feature Josey’s Books and Records. Reid Swearingen said they have partnered with a business in Dallas that has a few Josey’s stores in Lubbock, Texas, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kansas City and now Sedalia. Customers can buy or sell books and records at the store. He said it will feature 30,000 to 40,000 book titles and 10,000 records, with record players available to purchase or to use to test out a record before buying it.

“We’ll even encourage people who are over in the market or even up in the bar/restaurant while they’re waiting on their food, bring their drink or coffee over, have a seat, peruse the books,” Stafford Swearingen said.

The first floor will also include No. 5 Bistro and Bar. Stafford Swearingen said that name also comes from the Levi’s days. 

“We were the fifth facility to be brought into or developed by the Levi company,” he explained. “And when we made Levi’s, on the backside of the button every time we put a button on we stamped No. 5 on the back of it.”

The menu is still being created, but Stafford Swearingen said it will have healthy offerings with some items that can’t be found elsewhere in Sedalia.

Scott Benbrook said the retail spaces will continue with the building’s industrial theme, keeping the wood floors, brick walls and tin ceilings while adding modern fixtures. He said the restaurant will have “elegant fittings and fixtures with a casual atmosphere.” An old vault will be a featured piece that will be reutilized as part of the bar. Indoor windows will overlook the market and book store and it will also feature a patio on the east side of the building.

“It’s all about the community that we’re trying to create down here and how all the places will cohesively work together,” Benbrook said.

“(Josey’s) is a business idea we found very intriguing and thought it would be a great fit for Sedalia,” Stafford Swearingen added. “The other two were primarily to create a cohesive community down here. Ideally, someone wakes up, grabs coffee and goes up to the second floor to their office and in the evening comes down and has dinner at the restaurant and bar.”

Those involved in the project have traveled to other similar mixed-used buildings across the country to get ideas for Lamy’s. Those ideas have turned into the first-floor retail space.

“We did like how when we went to some of these places, we liked how the atmosphere, the vibe was and thought Sedalia would enjoy it as well,” Reid Swearingen said.

The second floor will be office space in various sizes for five businesses, bathrooms and a shared conference room, plus the Swearingen family’s business office, which was previously located in the Lamy’s building. The third floor will feature eight two-bedroom apartments and one one-bedroom apartment. 

Stafford Swearingen said the apartments are still on schedule to be completed by the end of the year. Construction on the offices will be complete but the spaces will remain bare so businesses leasing the offices can tailor them to their needs.

The market and book store are expected to open in March or April, with the bar and bistro following soon behind.

“This is the community’s project, this is Sedalia’s project. It’s for everyone and we want everyone to come here and enjoy it,” Benbrook said. “... We hope the town is just as excited about this as we are. We truly are very excited to be able to share the finished product with everyone.”


Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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