Friday, September 19, 2014

Long-Time Laurelhurst Resident And Mrs. Cooks Owner(In UVillage) Celebrating 38 Years With Celebration This Week-end

Many neighbors may not know that Mrs. Cooks, an all-things cooking store in nearby University Village, is owned by a long-time Laurelhurst resident, Carol Bromel.

Carol started the store 38 years ago and is having a big celebration at the store this week-end with discounts, drawings and cake.
Carol started Mrs. Cook’s in 1976 on Sandpoint Way in the space that is now the jewelry store and was in that location for 5 years before moving into University Village around 1981. 

She moved to Laurelhurst in  1974 and added "for you neighborhood history folks that’s about the time the power station by Laurelhurst Park was blown up on a New Year’s Eve."
Carol told the Laurelhurst Blog staff:
I started the business essentially because I was an elementary school teacher at a time when there were very few teaching jobs. I had worked in retail off and on and enjoyed most, the experience I had working in a kitchen shop in Denver. When my husband and I decided to settle in Seattle, opening the store seemed like a logical thing.  
We named the store after my husband’s grandmother, Hylie Cook. She loved to cook and gave me a box of family recipes when I joined the family. We thought it would be a nice tribute to her and a bit of a play on words.  It was very much a do it yourself store, we built the shelves, papered the walls, we even had a giant rubber stamp that we used to stamp our name on the brown paper bags.  
When the opportunity  arose to move into University Village I took it, we doubled our space and added a larger selection of items. This was the time when Woolworths was still there, Ernst and Lamonts. There was a huge sunken rock garden down the center of the stores and we were in the location that is now Brighton.  
Sometime later the Village was sold and began the transformation that you see today. At that same time we moved into our current location again doubling our size and adding yet more merchandise.  Every time we find some new wonderful thing at the gift show I think, where on earth will we put it! So far we have managed to find a home for all the things we find and love.  
When I think back to the first store opening and remember spreading out the Le Creuset on as many shelves as I could so that the store would look like it had more merchandise than it actually did I am amazed to see it now. 
So there you have it, we are an independent retail store, locally owned by me.  We have a terrific staff,  people that love to cook and love to make sure we have all the new hot gadgets. They are knowledgeable and approachable, they like nothing better than to talk about their favorite things.  
We have great prices, and a wide assortment.  We like to offer a wide range of choices, something for everyone from the novice  to the pro. We pride ourselves on using what we sell. We like to say that—“ all our cookware is used. By us!”  We constantly have new customers tell us that as an independent store, they were expecting us to be high priced and unapproachable and that they were surprised and delighted by our selection, pricing and friendly staff.  
We have a “lending library” so that if you are thinking about  getting new cookware you can try it and compare before you buy.  
We do book signings and cooking and product demonstration on Saturdays, we have a Bridal /Gift registry on our web site.  We also gift wrap, ship and offer gift cards. 
We have supported the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Appreciation Day, our local schools,  the Make-a-wish Foundation and numerous other worthy causes.

The website says:
My husband and I built Mrs. Cook’s around the idea learned by Hylie Cook that great cooks cook to have fun. They cook for the thrill of a new recipe, the excitement of new smells and flavors, the surprises that come with experimentation. They love to see oil streaming into a silvery pan, to smell sautéed garlic in the air, to feel dough squeezing through their fingers. The best thing to come out of cooking is the act of cooking itself – whether you’re making a masterful soufflé or your first batch of chocolate chip cookies.  
Jeannie Hale, Laurelhurst Community Club President, said of Carol:
She has a long standing commitment to the neighborhood.  Mrs. Cooks has consistently donated beautiful items for the drawings at our neighbor appreciation celebrations.   LCC is grateful to have still have one last Laurelhurst business owner represented in the UVillage since Miller Pollard closed its doors in January of 2011.
 Mrs. Cooks carries "A History of Laurelhurst" written by former long-time Laurelhurst resident Christine Barrett, who lived for many years at Laurelon Terrace, which was torn down in January of 2011 and replaced with a new wing of Seattle Children's Hospital.

Follow Mrs. Cooks on Facebook or go to the website.

(photo courtesy of Mrs. Cooks website)



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