Kitchen specialty store owner passes apron down to son

Nancy Beykirch used to be a terrible cook. No one would have guessed she would go on to open her own kitchen store. After a trip to Oregon in 1997 she decided she was ready for something new and opened Love to Cook at Kitchen Kneads, the unique cooking store in Logan. Now, after 13 years of a thriving business, Beykirch is passing the apron to her son, Chris. “I needed to kind of move forward in the retirement area,” she says. “(Chris is) young, he has the energy, he has the momentum and the drive and the energy to continue.” Beykirch’s decision to buy the former Kitchen Kneads store came from a combination of her fascination with retail and the ’empty-nester’ syndrome. “The year I bought the store was the year my youngest went on a mission, and I think that was part of me wanting to do something,” she says. “When your children all leave it’s like you’re retired and fired all at once. (The store) was very good to take that void and keep me busy.” Originally, Beykirch planned to open her store in Brigham City where she formerly lived. Wishing to sell Bosch brand merchandise at her store, she found a supplier at the Kitchen Kneads store in Logan who was willing to do business. “She said, ‘sure that’d be no problem, but would I like to buy the store?’ And I thought,” says Beykirch, “well, it’d be a whole lot easier to have a store that’s already established then start going from scratch!” Five weeks later Love To Cook at Kitchen Kneads, a combination of Beykirch’s brand and the existing store name, was born. “The first couple of years were the hardest because, you know, just trying to figure out things and get it together,” she says. “I never did retail before so I learned a lot by baptism by fire. I made a lot of mistakes. I tried to learn from them and do it better.” She overcame those struggles by making a unique and thriving specialty store. Wanting to help others develop the passion for cooking she had, she incorporated weekly cooking classes into her business. “I think most people who cook like to absorb what they see and how people do it and then incorporate it how they want to in their own cooking,” she says. “It’s just a great entertainment, it’s great education and it’s helped people to learn how to cook.” Beykirch owes her own culinary skill to such cooking classes. “I started out as a real bad cook and nobody would eat my food at home, literally!” she exclaims. “If I was cooking they wouldn’t want to eat.” She went to a few cooking classes and “something clicked.” “I could read a recipe and do it and it turned out,” she says. “Maybe that was my thing that I actually read the recipe instead of just kind of thinking I was a creator. Then the more things work out the more it encourages you because you know you’re successful at it.” Beykirch will be sorely missed by her customers who she calls her friends. Her legacy will continue with the business she set in motion by handing it down to her son, Chris. She finds retirement a new and exciting chapter in life. She compares it to cooking. “No matter how much you cook,” Beykirch says, “you can always learn more.” A retirement celebration in her honor will be held at Love to Cook at Kitchen Kneads Saturday, July 31, from 9 am to closing.

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