7 May 2024

Essential Ingredient in Kingston rebrands as Cook & Co

| Lucy Ridge
Claire wears a branded apron and stands in front of the Cook & Co shop

Claire Smith is the co-owner of Cook & Co. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Cookware store Essential Ingredient has been a stalwart of Kingston shops since 2003, so the owners have decided to give it a little facelift with a rebrand, a move towards independence, and a whole lot of new and delicious stock.

The freshly renamed Cook & Co has a new sign out front, but other than that, owner Claire Smith says that the things people love about the shop will remain the same.

“It’s the same team, the same staff, the same shop,” she told Region.

“What is changing is that we now have more control over what we stock … we’re looking for the best quality at the best price for our customers.”

Display of homewares

The bulk of the store will remain the same, although there will be more products to choose from. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

For example, the shop can now stock products from Simon Johnson, a direct competitor of Essential Ingredient. Claire was also excited to show me the newly stocked Australian-made, lightweight cast iron cookware made by Solidteknic.

Claire also wanted to reassure customers who have allegiances to particular products from the Essential Ingredient line that they will continue to stock those items. And Essential Ingredient gift cards will be valid at the store until 30 June.

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The team spent three months planning the rebrand, but Claire says they came up with the new name fairly early on in the process.

“Cook & Co just seems to encapsulate what we’re about. It’s about more than just cooking: we have tableware, gifts, and products for people who don’t like to cook at all!”

Essential Ingredient first opened in Kingston in 2003, and Claire bought the business with co-owner Kate Wellington in 2012. Over the years, they’ve witnessed changes in the way Canberrans cook and eat.

“We now stock far more specific specialty Asian products – Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese ingredients,” she explained.

“When we took over, we wondered if cookbooks would persist, so we’re pleased that they have!”

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She says they’ve seen recent trends towards non-alcoholic drinks, and people are really loving tinned fish at the moment.

The future of the business includes an online shop with click-and-collect or delivery options, which they hope to have up and running within the next couple of months. They’ve also rearranged the space to more easily accommodate events like cookbook launches, sip-and-shop evenings and other foodie occasions.

Previous cookbook launches include Canberra’s own Emiko Davies speaking about her most recent book, Gohan, and events with Orange-born Sophie Hansen. Claire says they’re looking forward to more authors visiting the store and organising events.

Visit Cook & Co at 25 Jardine St Kingston, check out their new website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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