Our Story

   Established 1979   

In 1979, Margaret Junkhan established her kitchenware store after several years of teaching French cooking classes with the Ames Continuing Education Program. She saw a demand for a store, within the Ames, Iowa community, when cooking starting to become the "in-thing" to do with Julia Child coming to the horizon and awakening interested in French cooking. 

After 39 years, Margaret transitioned the store ownership to Mindy Bergstrom, a Minnesota native, who wanted to transplant roots in the Ames community. Mindy was a regular customer, when visiting family in Ames, for a handful of years prior to purchasing the business. 

Although under new ownership in 2018, Mindy has kept the same values Margaret had for 39 years. 

  • Customer Service

  • Over 20 years combined Team Experience

  • Quality Products

  • New and Interesting Gadgets

Cooks' Emporium is involved with the Ames Chamber of Commerce, Cytes as well as the Ames Main Street - Downtown Ames organization where Mindy serves on the Executive Board since 2019.

In The Press

March 3, 2018: Ames Tribune - New Owner of Cooks' Emporium Planning 2019 Remodel


March 9, 2018: Gourmet Insider - Cooks' Emporium gets New Owner


March 2, 2019: Gourmet Insider - HTI Annouces 2019 Best of Award Winners, Cooks' Emporium Rising Star Retailer


March 12, 2019: Gourmet Insider - Cooks' Emporium Remodel Marks One Year with New Owner


April 12, 2019: Ames Tribune - Cooks' Emporium Reopening its Doors after Remodel


April 15, 2019: Gourmet Insider - Cooks' Emporium Reopens


May 20, 2019: Ames Tribune - Nook & Nest opening on Main Street this Saturday, Cooks' Emporium sister store


October 16, 2019: Gourmet Insider - Cooks' Emporium Celebrates 40th Anniversary


October 17, 2019: Ames Tribune - Cooks' Emporium Celebrating 40 years in Ames' Main Street


November 1, 2019: Ames Chamber of Commerce - Mindy Bergstrom named Entrepreneur of the year


November 18, 2019 7AM: KHOI Radio - Local Talk: 7:40AM Mindy Bergstrom promotes Small Business Saturday

December 31, 2019: Ames Tribune: New Downtown Business Aims to Create a Waste-free Future


March 12, 2020: Supplies run low Businesses affected as COVID-19 concerns continue to rise


May 14, 2020: Small Businesses take a long view on reopening


July 31, 2020: Nook & Nest expands next store with Stationery


October 21, 2020: Woman who Create


November 13, 2020: Z.W. Mercantile relocations near sister stores


Kitchenware for Creative Cooking

COVID-19 UPDATE as of November 2, 2020:

Monday - Friday: 10am - 6pm

Saturday: 10am - 5pm

Sunday: Noon - 4pm


Store Floor is open with new shopping guidelines.

Closed on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day.

Customer Service: 515-233-4272

Email: CooksEmp@gmail.com

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©2020 Cooks' Emporium