A chef cooking at Cooks of Crocus Hill
Cooks of Crocus Hill is leaving 50th & France after nearly 19 years in the Edina neighborhood. An email that went out to customers today said “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you in the North Loop.” Cooks opened a smaller store in the trendy Minneapolis neighborhood last year, and also maintains locations in Stillwater and the original, on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.
“The desires and demographics of the Cooks’ customer base are changing and we need to change with them,” owner Marie Dwyer says.
“Cooks has always been about the dinner table,” Dwyer continues, in a written statement. “Tasty meals serving as a catalyst for creativity, exploration, inspiration, and education. Conversations with friends and family. Stories and discoveries. None of this has changed. The way we deliver the experience has been changing and we are adapting to meet new and ever changing opportunities.”
In other words, Cooks plans to focus more on its partnership with Kowalski’s Markets. Cooks of Crocus Hill currently has a department within Kowalski’s stores in Woodbury, White Bear Lake and Shoreview. Dwyer says the collaboration will eventually be expanded to all Kowalski’s locations. Next up: the Uptown store on Hennepin Avenue—which might be a bit more palatable to longtime Edina customers than the east metro stores. As Kowalski’s explains on its website: “Known for their wide assortment of culinary items, service and expertise with a focus on their community, their employees and a philosophy of joy and connection, Cooks isn't just a brand, it's a way of doing business.”
A way that requires less expense for the independent retailer, and more guaranteed traffic flow. These days, foodies are more likely to buy their Le Creuset pot online, but they’re probably still visiting the grocery store to fill it.
Cooks’ final day at 50th & France is March 18. No closing sale is planned (just bonus rewards points for shoppers)—merchandise will transferred to the other stores. No word yet on what will take the high profile storefront on 50th.
“We have valued our time at 50th & France,” Dwyer says. “We greatly appreciate the relationships we’ve nurtured and we look forward to continuing these relationships in new and even more inspirational ways. We may be transitioning out of one store, but we are definitely not going away.”