A Laurelhurst resident and Blog reader would like to invite the community to Mrs. Cook’s, (2685 NE Village Lane) in the University Village on Sunday from 1-2pm for a free book signing with ‘Senior Nomads,’ Debbie and Michael Campbell. The neighbor, who works part time at the store, said she he is a huge fan of the Senior Nomads.
Mrs. Cooks has been owned for the past 40 years by a long-time Laurelhurst resident, Carol Bromel.
The Seattle Times recently featured her.
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.
The Sunday book signing for “Your Keys, Our Home” (published October 2016) by ‘Senior Nomads’ Debbie and Michael Campbell invitation says:
An avid cook who has prepared meals in more than 125 kitchens and nearly 60 countries, Debbie will also share what she has found to be the ‘must have’ cooking tools for any kitchen – including the tools she takes along with her on her travels.
Debbie and Michael Campbell have redefined retirement and inspired people of all ages through their travels abroad. In July 2013, on a suggestion from their daughter, Debbie and Michael sold their sailboat, car and most of their belongings, rented out their house, packed their rolling duffle bags and left their home in Seattle for the adventure of a lifetime.
Little did they know, when they checked into their first Airbnb rental in Amsterdam, that they would sell their home in Seattle two years later and continue their travel adventure indefinitely. Now in their fourth year of non-stop travel, they’ve stayed in 125 Airbnb rentals from Athens to Armenia and have visited nearly 60 countries, with no end in sight to their adventurous lifestyle.
Your Keys, Our Home,” chronicles their journeys, paying tribute to the many hosts who have helped them make each stop in their journey their home. Discover their tips and tricks and how they get the most out of each stay, all while spending little more than they would have spent settled into their rocking chairs in Seattle.