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Jasmine Thompson: Top Shelf

She loves being an advocate for women and the Asian community; she is crazy about the arts scene in Kansas City; she doesn’t fully understand the concept of downtime; and Jasmine Thompson is passionate about tequilas! This woman of many talents and flavors is an entrepreneurial spirit at heart and in practice. 

Born in Taiwan, Jasmine moved to New York City in her preteen years to start a life with her family in America. She worked at her uncle’s Chinese restaurant, and that is likely where she found her love of the biz. But, she felt she needed to branch out from the traditional family cuisine, and she needed a college degree for sure. Jasmine graduated from UMKC with a bachelor’s degree in finance, making it clear that she operates from both sides of her brain. From school, she then spent four years working in bilingual logistics, spent time at Argosy Casino as its marketing and VIP liaison/party planner, and worked at Tico Productions in operations. 

Clearly, Jasmine could tackle anything she put her mind to. That direction then turned out to be retail food and beverage in Kansas City. She fell in love with our city and its vibrant arts culture, and she also realized it was a foodie town with a very eclectic mix of restaurants and patrons with a wide range of tastes. Jasmine became a partner in Pirate’s Bone (creative plant-based burgers, unfortunately no longer in business), and then moved on to Cafe Sofrito, where she honed her skills in South American cuisine. And, now Jasmine and her business partner own and run Senorita Margarita at 20th and Main Streets. (Of course, this was an idea born in the pandemic but executed as soon as it could be safely opened.) Why Senorita Margarita? Because she loves a good tequila and a great margarita! With her experience in food and bar services, Jasmine realized she wanted to be creative with her approach to libations, so the bar offers 11 different kinds of margaritas – from the classic, to a spicy version, to a blackberry-flavored “Lin Manuel Miranda” delicious confab. Also offered are cocktails and beers, as well as some dishes with a Mexican flair, including street tacos and burritos. 

When Jasmine isn’t working full time in a chiropractic office, or running her bar, she is heavily invested and involved in the philanthropic scene. Due to her love of the arts, she has been active with and sits on the board of the Arts Council of Johnson County, she is on the board of The Folly Theater, she is chairing the Charlotte Street Foundation Gala in October, and she volunteers with MOCSA. Another “why” question presents itself here – why be so involved? “Because Kansas City is an arts and culture destination, and I have a voice and I can make a difference,” declared Jasmine. She is “all in” making Kansas City a fun place to live/work/enjoy/eat/drink! 

Towards enriching the culinary scene in The Crossroads, Jasmine and her partner have immediate plans to expand Senorita Margarita to an adjacent space to roughly double its footprint. She said, “There are so many opportunities here, such great initiative and momentum, and we want to keep customers coming back.” They understand that their location is key: close to the convention center, the T-Mobile Center, theaters, hotels, a streetcar, and much more. They are determined to make margaritas a main draw. 

Jasmine’s background has instilled a high degree of persistence in her work ethic, and she firmly believes in moving forward, and always getting back up, no matter how many times she gets knocked down. “Being an entrepreneur is difficult, and success takes a good team and a great support system,” she emphasizes. Her first touchpoint with American culture when she moved here was Michael Jordan. She instantly became a fan of his attitude and his character, and she has adopted his quote as her mantra: “We all fly. Once you leave the ground, you fly. Some people fly longer than others.” We believe in Jasmine’s ability to fly high. 

“We all fly. Once you leave the ground, you fly. Some people fly longer than others.” – Michael Jordan

Featured in the May 4, 2024 issue of The Independent.
By: Anne Potter Russ


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