By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The latest business opening on the coattails of a resurgent downtown will be a store catering to foodies.
Jessica and Tom Andrew’s Downtown Kitchen Store is geared toward both moderately-priced and gourmet-level home kitchen tools, pans, appliances and food products.
DKS opens Nov. 1 — its grand opening party will be that night starting at 6 p.m.
Jessica first thought about opening a kitchen store two year ago, but she’s always been a fan of home cooking. Her mom taught the lesson that “dinnertime was a bonding time with your family,” she said.
Their store is located at 401 S. Grand. It’s remodeled inside and out — the interior brick walls were previously covered in plaster and as they started designing their vision, Jessica and Tom decided to let some of the red brick show through the walls in a rustic but hip fashion.
At the heart of the store is a functional kitchen, so that patrons can try out something before they buy it.
“If you want to buy a product from us, we want you to be able to come to our demonstration kitchen and demo it to make sure that product is right for you,” Jessica said.
Soon, they will have the store’s name and logo painted on the outside of the two-story structure.
DKS is located adjacent to the Enid Event Center and David Allen Memorial Ballpark. Part of their strategy is to remain open past regular hours to attract out-of-town attendees during ball games and events. Having a boutique retail store helps solidify Enid’s progressive image, especially alongside its renovated downtown.
“When people come from out of town, you want them to see a lively downtown. You want them to see things going on,” Jessica said.
The shop will be more than a literal brick-and-mortar retail outlet. She said she expects to finish a website within the month to facilitate online sales, and with the help of local chefs, DKS also will offer cooking classes in its kitchen. She welcomes ideas for meetings and parties.
As they travel, Jessica and Tom have taken cues from other kitchen stores in major metros. With what they stock, DKS won’t be a carbon copy, though.
“It’s really finding out what’s best for your community,” she said. “What’s best for New York might not be what’s best for Enid, America. It’s knowing your clients and knowing your area.”
They know Enid well; both have lived here their entire lives. Tom took over the family business, Andrew Real Estate, and Jessica’s mom, Lindy Chambers, led Main Street Enid for almost two decades before retiring. Chambers will help out at the store, Jessica said.
Stores devoted to cooking and higher-end kitchen supplies have become a popular boutique retail option for food hobbyists. It’s no accident.
“With food network and the different cooking shows, my goodness. They’ve just transformed the way people think about cooking,” Jessica said. “It’s not just gourmet meals, now you can cook a 30-minute meal thanks to Rachael Ray.”
The Andrew family consider themselves originals in the food revolution.
“We definitely wanted to be a part of that. We’ve been foodies all along, but now everybody else is just catching up with us,” she said.
The grand opening party for the Downtown Kitchen Store is 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. There will be door prizes, giveaways, food samples and one-night-only discounts on certain items.