“Come! And! GET IT!”
It’s the Cook’s familiar chow call from a hundred westerns and frontier dramas, often accompanied by a ringing bell or clanging iron triangle. It might also be the refrain of the folks at one of downtown Longmont’s latest retail ventures: the Kitchen Co. Why? Because if you’re looking for something for your everyday kitchen prep, or a once-a-year event you’re hosting at home, or anything in between, you can come and get it at the Kitchen Co.
The store, at 464 Main in Longmont, is a showcase of every kind of kitchen gadget you can imagine (and many you never thought of). Kitchen Co. also offers a great selection of premium bar-, dinner, and cookware to be sure -- all of it ornamentally displayed like one of Paul Prudhomme or Wolfgang Puck’s sweeter dreams. Kitchen Co. is also home to an elegant test kitchen that plays host to cooking classes for budding chefs of all skill levels. It’s a beautiful, inviting space.
Whether you’ve mastered rack of lamb for twelve place settings, or have trouble remembering the ingredients for PB&J, Kitchen Co. has something for you.
Kirsten Pellicer, owner of Kitchen Co. (and north Longmont’s local ACE Hardware), explains “what’s cookin’” at the shop, and tells us what surprised her the store’s first months in business.
It’s probably not a huge leap, but talk about how you’ve extended yourself from the hardware business to the kitchen business. Was it a natural evolution of the cookware section at ACE Hardware?
Kirsten: I own ACE Hardware with my husband and we purchased it from my parents so you can say that I’ve been in that relationship my whole life (laughs). We knew from our business ACE that there was a real love in this community for the kitchenware department. But we also felt like it was kind of a surprise in the hardware store. It’s kind of unexpected. There’s also customers who are never going to shop a hardware store for that kind of stuff. So we thought about the concept of splitting it out and having an additional location. In May 2016, we saw that the space downtown was going to be available. And it’s just an amazing building. We feel like it came at the right time and was perfect for what we envisioned for this store.
What is it about Longmont, and downtown in particular, that makes it so suitable for a kitchen shop like yours?
Kirsten: You want to be in a place where people not only want to shop, but also hang out. I really feel like downtown is emerging into that. You can go out to dinner, maybe get some ice cream, do a bit of shopping. It has a great vibe now. You want to be in a place where people feel comfortable being out on the town and have a full experience of being there. Our store is not a place that would have the same feel in a strip mall. The character of downtown Longmont lends itself to that complete shopping experience.
The Kitchen Store is more than just a pots and pans store front. You have a test kitchen and demos, etc. What’s been the reception to the entire experience?
Kirsten: I will tell you that I was surprised at the reception for those things that are beyond the things hanging on the hooks and on the shelves. The response to the classes and the demos has been so overwhelmingly positive that I stepped back and said to myself, ‘We need to pursue this notion of the cooking classes and do it really well’ and absolutely right. It’s going to be a much larger part of the business than we originally anticipated. We thought we’d have a few classes to kind of market the kitchen stuff. Now, I think the events are going to be a huge part of the business. More than we originally thought. I love seeing people’s look of surprise when they first come into the store. And then they see the kitchen in the back and they say, ‘Wow! You do classes too!’ It’s great to see how excited people are about the whole thing.
What is your favorite aspect of the store?
Kirsten: We have a little bit of something for every price range and every level of skill. My favorite thing is the gadget wall. You walk in and there’s fifty feet of tools to do anything and everything you want in your kitchen. What’s cool about that is the variety, and that there’s something on that wall for everybody. That’s fun to curate. And it’s fun to point out why one thing that seems the same as the tool hanging next to it is slightly different, serves a different purpose.
What is something you wish people knew about your store that maybe they’re not aware of?
Kirsten: If they haven’t been in, I would tell them that when they do come in, we’re really proud of the knowledge and care our staff bring to customer service. We have some very seasoned people. We have people that have come from our existing business and they understand our culture of being helpful and really serving and the way we like to do business. They can advise how to make a turkey dinner A-to-Z. They will point out the advantages of the products. That, and that we offer gift cards that are good for anything in the store – including classes. If you have people in your life who don’t want gifts, who have everything they need, consider a gift card for a cooking class and give the gift of an experience.
That is certainly an authentic and thoughtful gift. Something you can’t get online for sure. What else makes shopping at Kitchen Company a memorable experience?
Kirsten: Definitely the experience of the staff. But also we have lots of demos every week. Most of the time when you come into our store, you can actually test things out. Try things. See these products in action. You can sample food. You can see someone cooking in our kitchen and maybe learn something new – and that’s even outside of the classes. We’re working hard to provide those experiences.
What about kids? A lot of people have fond memories of cooking with their parents or grandparents – I know mine do. What advice do you maybe have for parents who want to get their children interested in cooking?
Kirsten: As a parent of a ten year old who is very interested in cooking, I will say there is a fair amount of Food Network on at our house. Let me just say this: kids can do things a lot earlier than you think they can. It’s never too early to get your kids involved in the kitchen. You can always modify a recipe or choose a different tool for safety. Early experiences are great. It’s never too early or too late. Even tweens and teens can get involved. It’s great way to show them some real life skills. Everybody’s got to eat.
What kinds of a cook are you? What types of cuisine do you enjoy? What products do you have in store that support that type of cooking?
Kirsten: As a working mom, I’m a quick-and-easy cook. If I had more time in my life, I would love to fancy cook. I’m all about things that make things faster. We have high-end blender that we use constantly.
What’s the dessert course or after-dinner-mint for this conversation?
Kirsten: Let us help you prepare for your evening dinner or special event. We can aid you with whatever you’re bringing to your own table, or for gifts for the chef in your life.
Kitchen Co. is located at 464 Main Street, Longmont. They are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Reach them at (720) 745-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about upcoming demos, classes, and everything ‘foodie’ at their website kitchencolongmont.com or follow them on facebook at kitchencolongmont.