Just in time for the busy Thanksgiving holiday shopping week, Cookbook is open and stocked! Of course, this is not news to anyone who has been there for the past several weeks and has been kindly sending us texts and IG messages. Gosh, we’ve even been there shopping several times ourselves since their very quiet opening on October 30th. At the request of the owners, who are also our neighbors, we are now officially sharing the news!
“We wanted to open it quietly to keep it contained for our staff,” explained co-owner Jon Shook this week. “We have a lot happening in the space, people are coming in, there have been some lines and generally we have been able to control the opening so it’s not too crowded and we can keep the shelves full.”
There is a lot happening in the space! The store is stocked with a wide range of items and all the staff is new so Shook wanted to make sure everyone is trained so they can speak knowledgeably about the ingredients. He told the Buzz, that a well-trained staff is an important part of managing customers’ expectations so they have a great first experience and are not disappointed.
“Overall, we are really happy with it. Not that everyone has been perfect, but it’s been much better than I would have thought would happen,” said Shook.
Shook and his team have done a wonderful renovation of the former Chan Dara restaurant while keeping the footprint of the quirky building on different levels essentially the same. They have added a ramp on the side for greater accessibility to the shop and the cafe patio space and have been delighted at the number of guests with strollers who are taking advantage of it.
Speaking of the cafe, it has been open for just one week for dining on the courtyard patio.
“People are starting to find out the cafe is open,” said Shook. “There’s room to make it busier.”
The cafe is open every day from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. There are two menus, breakfast is served from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. with lunch and dinner until 8 p.m. Everything is available for dining in or taking out. They also serve beer and wine.
For years, neighbors have longed for a market. And, we now we have one.
“It’s been sweet to see so many people we know on Larchmont,” said Shook. “We are just starting to scratch the surface, we are thinking about the long-term sustainability not just opening up. It’s been fun and the reaction has been good.”
Shook told us he’s looking forward to this week.
“I’m excited to see how it goes with Thanksgiving since it’s such a big shopping week,” said Shook.
You can pre-order your Thanksgiving turkey in various sizes. Cookbook also offers a selection of side dishes, turkey stock for making gravy, a shortcut opportunity for those who want to get deep in the kitchen, explained Shook. There are also fresh-basked pies and biscuits.
Or, you can shop in the market which is stocked with seasonal produce and specialty items curated by the Cookbook team.
“We are bringing in these fantastic cranberries from Massachusetts,” said Shook. “We will have ingredients in our produce department that you won’t see in the farmers markets and even flowers that you might not find there as well.”
All the containers used for their prepared foods are recyclable or biodegradable. All the cafe products are sold in biodegradable materials like paper bags. Shook said they are trying to limit the amount of plastic they use. They even had a compost program they run and they recycle all the boxes. They buy produce from local farmers, with the occasional exception of special products like the Thanksgiving cranberries.
There’s a wide range of prices that Shook feels reflect the premium quality of the ingredients and the products in the shop. The Cookbook brand has been serving customers in Echo Park and Highland Park for more than a decade. Shook and his partner, Vinny Dotolo bought the company in 2020.
“People are discovering the shop and learning how to use it,” said Shook. “We see it as a daily market, a place where you can feed yourself and skip the work, or pick up a gift to take someone’s house”
Shook hopes customers will come in every day to check out what’s new as they rotate stock and add more items.
“Cookbook is a discovery, every day will be different,” said Shook.
Cookbook Larchmont is open daily from 8-8 p.m. hours, they will be closed Thanksgiving day. Today at 8 p.m. is the last day to order for Thanksgiving. Orders can be placed online or in person.