In business for more than 40 years, Cooks’ World has been a staple in the Rochester, NY community. The independent gourmet housewares outlet has been known in the area as a store for people who love to cook and it carries staples that both home cooks and professional chefs have come to know and love.
However, said Chris Wiedemer, owner of the store and a 2018 GOURMET INSIDER® All-Star, even if your business is healthy, there is no time to rest on your laurels. Those in the independent gourmet channel have to keep moving forward, especially when it comes to its Millennial customer base.
“The Millennials are an interesting group because they have all the tools to go get anything they want. We understand the importance of that, we understand the relevance of that,” Wiedemer said.
He said that he and his staff are always trying to tap their Millennial customers when it comes to product mix. They ask questions about what they are looking for and what products may complement a purchase. However, he added, he has also found help by accident – through the store’s bridal registry.
“The bridal registry has been a huge help for us when it comes to seeing trends with the Millennials,” he said. “We have an online registry, like a lot of independents, and finding out through the registry what they might want that isn’t in our store, that’s been a great source for us.”
And, he said, while he does have the hard evidence in front of him when it comes to Millennial shopping trends, Wiedemer also said he relies on his gut and his many years in business, too, when selecting product.
“My instinct tells me that Millennials want color and want new materials, but yet they also want what their grandmother used that they know still works. Cast iron is a great example. Every Millennial I know seems to want a cast iron piece,” he said.