Longtime Iowa City residents Susan, Kevin and Alex Felker will open a brick-and-mortar retail kitchen store and demonstration kitchen in April 2020 in the historic Northside marketplace district. The Prairie Kitchen Store will be located at 160 N. Linn St., Iowa City, IA 52245, former site of the long-standing community favorite Motley Cow Cafe restaurant.
The retail store will feature a variety of global and American made kitchen tools, cookware and tabletop serveware for entertaining, along with organic and small-batch specialty food items and unique gifts. The Prairie Kitchen Store’s product lines will prioritize great design, as well as artisan craftsmanship and fair trade practices.
“The fit and feel of the store will be welcoming and casual, with urban and modern design elements,” said Susan Felker, one of the store’s owners. “We’ll have wood display tables, galvanized pipe shelving, and reclaimed wood and brick accents. Colors will be eclectic and bright, tapping into the Northside’s bohemian nature. The store will reflect the energy and creativity that occurs when we all gather over a great meal.”
“We want to help make your kitchen a happy place,” said Kevin Felker, store co-owner. “We value durable, hard working, and useful products; and we want entertaining family and friends to be easier, and more enjoyable. Cooking and entertaining nourishes the soul.”
In addition to retail store hours, the Prairie Kitchen Store will offer cooking demonstrations, classes and other social events. Activities will include community gatherings, author readings, speakers, local chefs, live music, exploring international foods, health-conscious cooking and trivia nights.
Iowa City Downtown District’s Executive Director Nancy Bird sees the store fulfilling an important niche identified within the District’s merchandise mix of their 2019 Retail Strategy. “While a kitchen store will fill an important sweet spot for both community and college needs downtown, what’s really important, though, is that the Prairie Kitchen Store will be highly experiential and serve as a wonderful community gathering spot for downtown Iowa City and the Northside.”
The Prairie Kitchen Store will be equipped with a professional kitchen, and sell craft beer, wine, coffee, tea and a small selection of bakery items to guests during store hours and events. The store will also host a limited number of private reservation events, for those looking for an intimate atmosphere.
HOLIDAY POP-UP SHOP
On the weekend of Dec. 7 and 8, 2019, the Prairie Kitchen Store will operate a holiday pop-up shop hosted by downtown Iowa City women’s clothing store, Textiles, located at 109 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA 52240. A selection of Prairie Kitchen Store merchandise will be for sale and information will be on display regarding the store’s buildout progress, with the owners present to answer questions.
“We’re very excited about hosting the Prairie Kitchen Store’s pop-up shop this December,” said Ritu Jain, Textiles owner. “The store’s products, and especially their events, will be a great draw for downtown Iowa City and something my customers will love. We have needed a business like this downtown for a long time. I look forward to their grand opening next spring.”
ABOUT THE OWNERS
Susan Felker currently serves as an Assistant Dean for the Undergraduate Program in the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. Cooking, baking, and gathering with family and friends in the kitchen has been a lifetime passion. Much like a well-conditioned cast iron skillet, her experience has been seasoned by decades of hosting dinner parties, baking birthday cakes, and creating memorable family gatherings around the table.
Kevin Felker, a native Iowan, has been a lecturer for the Department of Business Analytics in the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa since 2001. His ancho chili and maple glazed pork chops won the 2009 Tippie faculty grill-off competition. His love of Mexican food started at a small restaurant under the Central Street El train stop in Evanston, Ill., and continued while living in Arizona for nine years.
Alex Felker is a 2017 graduate of Iowa State University. He most recently worked as a copy editor for the Ames Tribune, and enjoys the same passion for cooking as his parents. Though he calls Iowa City his hometown, he is a converted Cyclone basketball fan through and through.