Store offers every essential for cooking
d.a. Niels Gourmet Kitchenware is the largest privately owned kitchen store in western Canada
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At a time when many Winnipeg businesses are struggling, there’s one that’s been going strong for over 20 years. If you’re a foodie, a chef or just someone who loves to create in the kitchen, there’s a good chance you’ll know d.a. Niels Gourmet Kitchenware.
Located a short drive from Polo Park at 484 Berry St., the kitchenware store stocks fun, functional and high-end cookware and bakeware, specialty knives, tabletop items and gadgets from around the globe. The huge inventory of high-quality merchandise and everyday food preparation implements, displayed floor-to-ceiling, offers every essential that might be needed for cooking, both practically and esthetically.
From butterfly and brontosaurus cookie cutters, pineapple slicers, melon ballers and taco racks to vibrantly coloured serving ware, a wide assortment of kitchen tools and appliances including tomato squeezers, mandolins, toasters, blenders, food processors, coffee, waffle, and ice cream makers, meat choppers and carving knives, if you like being in the kitchen there’s something in this store that’s bound to capture your interest.
With over 50 years of experience in the food service, restaurant and kitchenware business, owner Neil Baker has learned to recognize high-quality products and keep an eye on new trends. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Baker incorporated in 1999 and opened a 2,000-square-foot store in the city. Five years later, as a result of growing interest, he expanded into a 6,000-square-foot space and has been running the successful business since. The unique name combines the owner’s name with those of his wife and son, adding to its recognition as a local business.
d.a. Niels Gourmet Kitchenware is the largest privately owned kitchen store in western Canada. Baker attributes its longevity to the wide range of practical products in stock.
“We sell a lot of kitchen knives, a lot of Japanese products, high-end coffee grinders… products from around the world. We have things that may be hard to find. We do get a lot of chefs and cooks looking for new and best products, mostly home cooks. Chefs come in for knives.
“We had different price points originally. We’ve been pushed into the higher end by the big boxes,” Baker explained, noting that inventory includes the more exotic high quality brand names.
For many who spend a lot of time cooking up delicious things in the kitchen, it’s worthwhile to pay for more durable products. Customers like Laura Wilson, who loves to cook and bake appreciates the quality and selection of items and the attention to customer service, enjoy the store for all it provides.
“d.a. Niels offers a unique shopping experience to culinary enthusiasts,” Wilson said. “Their products are very good quality and the variety is second to none in Winnipeg. The staff are knowledgeable about the products they sell and that seems to be a dying service in retail so it’s comforting to know the staff can answer questions and that they stand behind the products they sell. I like that you can find beautiful quality products that stand the test of time.”
Baker, still passionate about his work after over five decades in the business, savours the time spent with the people he sees every day.
“I like interacting with suppliers and customers. It’s sort of a happy place, people are looking for things and we have them. I have terrific staff. I’ve never had such good staff,” said Baker, who has two full-time key people working alongside him as well as three to four part-time staffers.
“It’s hard to know what you should be buying. It’s very personal, so many different shapes and sizes. The knowledge of our staff, that’s everything, our pride is in customer service.”
“Debbie and I love to come to work every day,” said long-time staff member Daphne Boon, who’s been with the business for two years less than her fellow staffer’s decade.
“We love to interact with the d.a. Niels customers. Neil strongly believes customer service is our first priority and we try to acknowledge all customers with a friendly, ‘Hello, how can we help you today?’ Over the last few years we have seen tremendous support from the local community and value this support for small business. We love our customers. d.a. Niels is a culinary paradise, a destination that welcomes all.”
The store brings in customers from around the city to explore the plethora of kitchenware neatly organized in wall displays and on metal shelves.
It’s not uncommon for people on the way to the airport to drop in to buy a one-of-a-kind gift for themselves or for someone else to take along with them before embarking on their flight.
d.a. Niels Gourmet Kitchenware stocks gifts for every occasion, offers gift registries and curb-side pickup. The store is open Monday to Friday 10-6, Saturdays 10- 5 and Sundays 12-4. Visit: www.danielsgourmetkitchenware.ca to view store products and favourite featured recipes.