By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Tupelo’s specialty cooking store, A Cook’s Place, is downsizing and moving.
Owner Jody Lehman told customers Friday she will close her current location at 136 S. Industrial Road at the end of the year.
A reincarnation of the store will open Nov. 3 as a booth inside Joyful Creations Gift Market, the former Flowerdale Marketplace on McCullough Boulevard. The booth will sell gourmet coffees, food and gift items.
For about two months, she’ll have the booth and the current store open for holiday shoppers. She emphasized Monday she has new seasonal merchandise arriving in the store, plus she’s discounting other merchandise for the holidays.
Her cooking classes will wrap up at the end of the month.
Lehman opened the store in 2004 and developed it into the must-go place for kitchen gadgets and cooking classes. Over the years, she added merchandise, including a bevvy of specialty ground coffees that became best-sellers in her store.
Other popular items include specialty kitchen cleaners and soaps, cookware, cutlery, kitchen tools, linens, barbecue items, pottery, loose-leaf tea and baking items. The store carries Viking cookware, Le Creuset cookware and Wusthof and Kershaw cutlery.
But, Lehman said Monday, she found it hard to compete with big box stores and e-commerce. She opened six months before Bed Bath amp& Beyond came to Tupelo, but said BBB was a big supporter of her store. She cited a change in shopping trends for her store closure.
“Retail is just not what it was,” she said Monday. “I want to do it differently. … Food is what works best for us.”
She’s renting a small space at Joyful Creations and is on the waiting list for a larger space. Her offerings at the booth will be mainly food, but she hopes to add cookie cutters, linens and “some gadgets where it makes sense.”
She’s started discounting her merchandise at the store and will start selling her fixtures and items in her demo kitchen in December. She encouraged customers to talk with her early if they want a specific fixture or item from the kitchen.
For more information about the store, go to www.facebook.com /ACooksPlace or follow the store on Twitter (@cooksplace).