Two women not quite ready to retire took over a kitchen consignment store, renamed it The Classy Kitchen and spent the last year building a clientele of art-appreciators.
“We’re not a thrift store,” Linda Klein, one of the owners said, “You can tell by looking at it, and we don’t take anything cracked. You just don’t pay three times as much.”
Linda Klein and Terri Mainwaring own The Classy Kitchen on 7th Street and Glendale Avenue in north central Phoenix. It was recently recognized as “Best Kitchen Boutique” by the Azcentral.com, which they say brought in customers from Prescott, Tucson and all around the Valley.
The store has a hand selected inventory. They offer high-end, china small electric appliances, dishware, coffee mugs and all that could be possibly found in a kitchen.
Klein and Mainwaring old time friends and exercise buddies decided to open The Classy Kitchen while on the treadmill pondering on what project to take up next.
The co-owners agree that the success of their store is because of the loyal customers and neighboring businesses that have reached out and eager to help.
The Classy Kitchen is celebrated its first anniversary Feb. 6 through Feb. 8.
Looking back on the year, Klein’s favorite aspect of it all is the people that come in she said. The Classy Kitchen gets professional chefs, caterers, sometimes collectors and now even group of regulars.
“We know people by name. We have a gal, Meg, that comes in every Saturday and she says ‘That’s my day off and I love coming here,’” Mainwaring said. That’s one of the great qualities of owning a small business she said.
Klein says she loves the location, an old house with a kitchen built in the dead center of it. The kitchen is put to use with cooking and floral arrangement classes they also host.
Both owners do not have art or culinary backgrounds, but Linda said you gain an appreciation when you are around this environment and you do the research.
Klein said one thing that has struck her is the idea of “kitchen stuff with a story.” These things happen, the serendipitous connection when people come in and purchase something that once meant a lot to somebody else she said.
We always say don’t consign anything you are emotionally attached to Klein said, but we always make sure our items always have good homes.
“We can’t afford advertising. When you sell used spoons you can’t afford that, but we pride ourselves in good customer service,” Klein said.
Mainwaring said that one of the main goals for the next year is to attract different demographics. We need to zero in on 20- to 30-year-olds she said.
“The newness has not worn off. The honeymoon is not over. We still get excited about going in everyday and working,” Mainwaring said.