Zest is a new kitchen supply and cookware store that opened during the pandemic in downtown Billings at 110 N. 29th St.
Zest carries everything from copper core pans and gnocchi boards to 12 types of whisks that each serve their own purpose in the kitchen. Managing member Marguerite Jodry says the store caters to both the experienced and novice home cook.
“If you are just getting into cooking and you are looking for the right tools for the job, or if you are a very experienced home cook and you are looking for something to help spark your passion in the kitchen, we try to carry a little bit for everyone,” Jodry said this week.
Jodry says that some of the best-selling items are their All-Clad brand pots and pans, knives, and the various small gadgets in the store that people find useful when browsing.
Before Zest came to downtown Billings, Jodry said her family had been looking for a small business opportunity in the area for a couple years. Jodry said she had been used to being self-employed and wanted to get back into it. Opening a kitchen supply store proved to be the best option.
“We knew that we really wanted to open a business in downtown Billings… So, we started looking into the different market opportunities and talking to people about what they thought downtown could use and it kept coming up over and over again that people really miss having a kitchen and cookware store,” said Jodry.
According to Jodry, the last kitchen supply store in Billings closed about six years ago.
After opening Zest in the former Children's Museum building, Jodry said that the COVID-19 pandemic started to take a toll on the store.
“We actually had our grand opening then we started experiencing some of the challenges of the pandemic, with staff having potential exposures and just realizing that we really need to make sure that both our staff and our customers are going to be as safe as possible,” said Jodry.
Jodry said to keep everyone safe, there is a strict mask-on policy while in store, and surfaces are being cleaned throughout the day. She says Zest also has a website where customers who do not feel comfortable in the store can shop online.
Jordy said major suppliers of kitchen supplies are backed up at this time. She said if customers are not able to find specific items in the store, she will work with them to get them what they need.
Even though the pandemic has caused added challenges for Jodry and her family, she feel the business can also benefit from more people choosing to stay home and cook their own meals.
Jodry says that on the Zest website people can find tutorials and recipes to help people become more familiar with different cookware.
For more information about Zest and their hours visit zestbillings.com