After being on the back burner all summer, action at Rochester's new gourmet cooking store is starting to sizzle.
The flooring is being installed at Cook's Pantry this week following the build-out of the teaching kitchen and painting the retail area. Owners Holly and Jake Mangelsen hope to open the shop early in November with a grand opening scheduled for Nov. 9.
"We're really excited. It's finally happening," said Holly Mangelsen.
The plan is for the store to cater to "creative home cooks and those that aspire to b e" by carrying a selection of kitchenware, cutlery, gadgets, storage gear and more.
Mangelsen and Bonnie Flodin, who's moving here to manage Cook's Pantry, are now busy hiring between five to 10 employees to staff the store.
Many people have been keeping an eye on store since it was first announced in March. While the Mangelsens would have like to have seen this project come together a little sooner, they haven't been idle in the past few months.
They run a popular store, Acorn Pantry in Siren, Wis., plus they recently opened the Chattering Squirrel Coffee Cafe next to that shop. Despite being located in a town with a population of 900, Acorn Pantry was named one of four Impact Merchants of 2013 by a retail industry magazine called Homeworld Business. The Mangelsen's tiny 600-square-foot shop was honored along with three retail giants —Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Dillard's.
"It's kind of wild," she said of being on the same list as those legendary names.
The Rochester shop will give them something they don't have at Acorn Pantry — an abundance of space.
"We'll have a wider selection, more categories and just more of everything," she said.
Plus there will be classes on food preservation, baking, knife skills, holiday entertaining and other topics in the store's kitchen. Mangelsen also plans to bring in chefs from the Rochester area's many restaurants to share their knowledge.
"We want to expand the whole culinary experience in Rochester," said Mangelsen.