By David F. Rooney
Excited and eager to sail Chantilly Kitchen Bed ‘n’ Bath into the future, new owner Nicole Cherlet has some great ideas for the future guiding her way, starting with an Open House this Friday.
The 33-year-old from Winnipeg has been in Revelstoke with her husband Glen since 2008 and has been groomed for the takeover during the last couple of years by Chantilly founder Deenie Ottenbreit.
An ambitious, well-organized, energetic and thoughtful young woman, Nicole has taught English as a Second Language in South Korea, worked at a dude ranch, a heliskiing operation resort and in retail and “even gave the golf course restaurant a try” but it was Chantilly that captured her imagination. She began working there in 2011 and as Deenie began considering retirement last year she recognized Nicole’s value as not just a manager but as a proprietor.
“There’s a reason I like this store,” Nicole said in an interview on Monday, December 11.
Nicole and her husband Glen, a driver for Revelstoke Mountain Transfers and caterer on the side under Begbie BBQ, enjoy good food and believe that you get the best culinary results when you use decent knives and utensils — “not the cheap dull blades and thin metal pots and pans you get at Wal-Mart.”
You can see that ethic at work as soon as you walk in the store. The goods on sale are very good quality but aren’t going to cost you a small fortune to buy.
Ever heard of Le Creuset cast iron cookware? It’s French and very expensive. The brightly enameled exterior of its saucepans and pots are instantly recognizable to any half-way serious cook, as are their price tags, $300 for a 10-inch skillet.
Chantilly carries a comparable line of products from as company called Le Cuistot.
“It’s a knockoff… at one-third the price,” she said.
Thinking and product selection like that puts good quality and economically priced — not cheap — utensils well within the means of most Revelstokians.
That’s important to Nicole because she recognizes that many people in her generation know next to nothing about cooking having been raised by parents who might have known how to cook a couple of things but too often relied on pre-prepared processed foods.
She sees this on a regular basis when women and men her age cruise through the store obviously looking for something particular but won’t ask a question before they float back out the door. Nicole thinks providing them with some basic knowledge about utensils and culinary products will be one of the things she and Glen will offer.
She has already done this to a limited extent but we’ll see more mini-kitchen shows at Chantilly in the future, staring with a cake-decorating course this weekend and continuing on into the future when she completes her plans to install a demonstration kitchen on the shop’s second floor.
Nicole and Glen are planning a trip — her third and the store’s 11th — to Toronto for Canada’s largest trade show, the CGTA Show, January 25-30. And Nicole is actively encouraging Chantilly customers to let her know what kind of products they are interested in.
They can do that by sending her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by coming to the Open House at the shop this Friday between 3 pm and 6 pm.
There will be coffee, snacks, a thank you to Deenie for building this marvelous and successful store and a raffle with some Abeego wraps as the prizes.
Chantilly Kitchen Bed ‘n’ Bath is located at 215 MacKenzie Avenue. It is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 am until 5: 30 pm, on Saturday from 10 am until 5 pm and on Sunday from 12 pm until 4 pm. You can reach it by phone at 250-837-7005 and by e-mail at email@example.com. The store also has an excellent blog located at http://www.chantillykitchenbednbath.com.