Now You’re Cooking, 49 Front Street. Mike Fear, Owner

When did you begin the enterprise? Betsy and I started Now You’re Cooking in 2000, initially taking the space that used to house Shaw’s Office Supplies. Then, over the next three years, the store expanded in both directions to spaces occupied by Bath Jewelry and the Bath Area Chamber of Commerce. We have just started our 17th year.

Why? I wanted to start a small business, and it was important to us that it should be in Bath to serve the community in which we made our home. Betsy would say that I loved cooking stores so much that it was inevitable that I would have to have my own. So, after working with some small business consultants, we opened Now You’re Cooking: A Cook’s Emporium in May of 2000.

What do you offer? The range of products we offer is broad, including bakeware, cookware, cutlery, dinnerware, gadgets, kitchen electrics, textiles, beer, wine, cheese and other foods. There are also wine tastings, cooking classes and kitchen demonstration. Advice and recommendations are also on tap at Now You’re Cooking, as the staff has a combined 95 years of experience in culinary retail.

Why do you love Bath? Bath is in MidCoast Maine, a sweet spot in a lovely state. It is in easy reach of some of the best coastline and communities. Also, Bath is a very walkable size, and it has a wonderful history and a great variety of stores, restaurants and facilities. As Garrison Keillor might say: “If you can’t find it in Bath, you can probably get along without it.”

What might surprise someone about you or your business?

  1. I used to be office manager for the Bath Area Chamber of Commerce, the office of which was located at 45 Front Street. My desk now is within six-feet of my old desk!
  2. Forty years ago, I was a sheep shearer in the West of England, shearing hundreds of sheep each year.
  3. Six members of the staff have worked for Now You’re Cooking for eleven years or more, three for over 15 years.
  4. Chris Toy, one of our culinary instructors, has been doing classes for us for over 16 years. His classes have included pasta making, sushi making, Thai and Chinese cuisine, Mexican food, and much more.
  5. I only have 200 bow ties in my wardrobe!

What are you excited about in the coming year? New products always excite us, and we expect we’ll have lots to look at and try out over the next 12 months. Plus, we really enjoy demonstrating novel products in the store kitchen. This month, we are looking forward to getting a new window—a replacement for the one we lost in last month’s accident. We will enjoy replacing the displays in the window. Personally, Betsy and I are excited about our son Charlie’s upcoming wedding to his partner in life, Heather.

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