Austin goes gourmet

Published 7:52 am Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bob Nelson and fiance LIsa Martin talk about the new addition to the Restaurant Warehouse last week. - Eric Johnson/

Bob Nelson has a vision to create an Austin one-stop location for gourmet cooking needs.

On Nov. 8, he and his fiance, Lisa Martins, will open the doors of a new Austin store that will do just that.

The home gourmet store — Home Kitchen Warehouse —is being built inside the building that currently houses The Restaurant Warehouse located at 10th St. NE., a business Nelson has run for the past five years.

The nearly completed addition to the Restaurant Warehouse. - Eric Johnson/

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Plans for the gourmet store came after customers of the Restaurant Warehouse began asking for top quality cooking products. That, paired with Nelson’s love for gourmet food, was enough for him to start seriously considering the business plan.

A chef by trade, Nelson was also excited by the idea to provide a location for gourmet needs in Austin — eliminating the hassle of having to drive to the Twin Cities or Rochester.

Nelson and Martins began seriously planning the new store in June. By August, the remodeling work had begun.

“We said, ‘Let’s just go ahead and make it a gourmet store,’” Nelson said.

In its current phases of remodeling, the space is beginning to take shape. When all is said and done, the back of the store will be home to a cooking area, fit for public cooking classes.

The front of the store will feature premium cooking products from around the world, including unique imported spices. Every month, Nelson said the store will feature a different spice blend — for fun.

Bob Nelson and fiance Lisa Martin stand in the nearly finished preparation area at the Restaurant Warehouse last week where, when completed, Nelson, a former chef, will give demonstrations. - Eric Johnson/

Items that are in the store weren’t ordered without quite a bit of thought, Nelson said.

“We did a lot of cookware research,” he said.

For those looking for items that aren’t in the store, Nelson said he’ll have a catalog order policy.

When they open the doors on Nov. 8 for the ribbon cutting ceremony, Martins and Nelson said they’ll be prepared to deal with the Holiday rush and will have plenty of opportunities for those seeking good deals.

For more information on Home Kitchen Warehouse, contact Bob Nelson at 434-7714.