Two longtime Greenville families and supporters are joining forces to bring a new development to the Buncombe Corridor, one of the key areas of need highlighted by the recently updated City of Greenville Master Plan.
At the corner of Butler Avenue and Buncombe Street, construction has already begun on the 11,000-square-foot future home of The Cook’s Station with a target completion in spring 2020.
This new location, across from the Heritage Green urban arts and cultural center, is a joint effort between The Cook’s Station owner Kelly Ballentine Colacioppo, her husband, John, and Dana and Whitney Spinks. Whitney Spinks is the son of Spinx founder Stewart Spinks.
The relocation will result in a consolidation of the two current Cook’s Station facilities, which are separated by a city block in the West End of Greenville. The first floor of the new facility will be a retail store and a new fresh-food component. The second floor will house appliances, a live education kitchen, Le Creuset, and Wusthof knives.
Realizing that the market is right to expand and elevate their current culinary operation, the Colacioppos found common ground in their love for food and passion for downtown Greenville with the Spinkses. The two couples developed a partnership that will combine high-end retail, state-of-the-art appliances, gourmet food and gifts, culinary education, freshly prepared grab-and-go food, and a community gathering spot with plenty of on-site parking.
“We have long sought ways to continue to satisfy and enrich your culinary curiosity while consolidating our entire offerings in one location,” said Kelly Colacioppo. “Partnering with the Spinks family is a dream come true for John and me and it creates a natural synergy of two locally owned retailers who can truly bring a new and exciting experience in retail and convenience to Greenville.”
The two families have much in common, including their long-term loyalty to downtown Greenville, owning successful businesses in Greenville for decades, and being founding members of the West End Retailers Association.
The Cook’s Station originally opened as a residential component to Kelly Colacioppo’s family’s business, Ballentine Equipment. In 1999, The Cook’s Station became a standalone business where it opened alongside Kudzu, a home decor store owned and operated by Allison Spinks, wife of Whitney’s brother, Steven Spinks, becoming some of the first businesses to bring major retail to the West End of Greenville. Steven Spinks was also involved in creating the new partnership.
With the Spinks family having owned and operated Spinx Convenience Stores in South Carolina for almost 50 years, adding a high-end convenience store component to the new operation was a natural fit.
Whitney Spinks, who will act as The Cook’s Station CEO, has always had a passion for food and cooking, even working as managing partner for the former fine-dining restaurant Devereaux’s from 2008-2011. He was responsible for establishing the Spinx Commissary and Fresh on the Go food program in 2011, which provides fresh fruit, cheeses, and sandwiches to the Spinx stores.
“My enthusiasm of partnering with The Cook’s Station is through the roof,” he says. “I foresee our partnership not only exceeding the expectations of current culinary enthusiasts but also attracting a whole new audience to The Cook’s Station.”
Dana Spinks, who has been in the insurance and financial services industry for the past 13 years, brings her project management skills, client satisfaction, and attention to detail in her previous career to the partnership with the Colacioppos.
“We are humbled and excited to learn from them while bringing new ideas to help take a well-established and loved business to the next generation,” she says.
The Cook’s Station will also be adding a new commercial kitchen space to offer homemade prepared food, made-to-order artisan sandwiches, and gourmet salads as well as fresh grab-and-go items. Chef Teryi Youngblood Musolf has been named the new culinary director to help define and execute the menu as well as to create a new culinary curriculum.
Musolf says the state-of-the-art teaching kitchen will allow for an expansion of classes that range from basic to high tech. For food offerings, she is thinking outside the to-go box, she says, to make quick, easy dining with flair and flavor.
“This is not your average sandwich joint,” she says. “We all need balance, and we plan to bring that to your day with thoughtful food that is freshly prepared with as much home-field gusto as possible.”