Rochester, MN-based Cook’s Pantry has marked its third anniversary. The store is owned by Holly Mangelsen, who also owns Acorn Pantry in Siren, WI, as well as a coffee shop and a restaurant. Mangelsen entered the gourmet housewares business in 2006 after noticing that one of the stores she loved to frequent when she was at her second home was up for sale. She opened up Cook’s Pantry three years ago after eyeing the location for a number of years prior.
“We had always said that if this corner became available, we would take it. So while all of that was going on, this spot became available and we couldn’t say no. It all came together,” she said.
However, running two gourmet stores three hours away from each other is not without challenges. While Mangelsen had a customer base and sales records to work off of when she purchased Acorn Pantry, she had to plan Cook’s Pantry from scratch. That meant getting to know what the customers were looking for and taking a couple of hits on product selection.
“There are different demographics and the top brands and the product sales are different at each location,” Mangelsen said.
Mangelsen was named a 2016 GOURMET INSIDER® All-Star for her contributions to the gourmet industry. And while she, she wouldn’t have it any other way, often stepping in to pitch hit anywhere she is needed in any facet of the business.
Cook’s Pantry has also recently added a gift section to its store as it continues to grow and expand to meet the demand of its customer base.