A corner for cooks

MARSHALL – Attention foodies! Now you don’t have to drive to Sioux Falls, S.D., to walk down aisle after aisle of enticing kitchen supplies – Maxwell Food Equipment has come to Marshall.

Located on Cliff Avenue since the 1920s, Maxwell Food has been the go-to place for kitchen equipment for Marshall area foodists, said Dee Werner, who owns the store with her husband, Larry Werner.

Larry Werner had worked for the original owner for 23 years and bought the store after the owner retired in 1981 or so.

Looking to add an additional store – they have a store in Spencer, Iowa, as well – they cast their eye on Marshall.

“We’ve kind of always been thinking of Marshall and then our friend Gene Buss mentioned he could work for us in Marshall,” she said.

Werner said Buss used to work at Reinhart Food Service and retired a year ago, but wanted to work as a part-time sale representative.

The Marshall store opened June 30 and had its grand opening July 11.

“It’s been going very well,” said Buss. “We’ve gotten a lot of customers so far – mainly by word of mouth.”

Werner said both the Spencer location and the Marshall location are about 100 miles from Sioux Falls, so it is easy to key an eye on the stores.

She will work at the Marshall store for six months, she said.

“I stay here during the week and go home on weekends,” she said. She will look for additional employees at the end of August.

Werner said Marshall is a “nice city” and likes the bustling U.S. Highway 59 locale.

“We are very happy with the location,” she said. “NAPA just moved in next door…”

Customers have been supportive, she said.

“People are excited,” Werner said. “They say, ‘we’re so glad you’re here.'”

The stores sell commercial and residential kitchen equipment. In addition to freezers and fryers for restaurants, there is an assortment of countertop items such as KitchenAid appliances, Chicago Metallic for baking and cookware such as Swiss Diamond.

“Swiss Diamond is one of the top brands out there as far as cookware,” she said. “It gets high reviews.”

Werner added that she knows a lot of cooks “do their research before buying and know what’s good.”

There is cookware available that is aimed for hotels and restaurants, but “you’d be surprised how many homeowners buy big stock pots,” she said.

Home cooks have many uses for large kitchen cookware.

“People buy these items to brew their own beer,” she said.

In addition, Maxwell’s has smaller ticket items such as colorful ladles and measuring cups which can be found on the “wall of gadgets,” Werner said.

Werner said she enjoys going to trade shows to see the latest in food equipment.

“I love going to Minneapolis, Atlanta, Texas and Vegas,” she said. “I find out what’s new and what’s going to be a big hit.”