Anne and Tom Connor, owners of the Panhandler kitchen store on Telluride's main street and now of its regional sister, the Panhandler of Montrose, are ready to help everyone in the region outfit their kitchens for the holidays.
The Connors opened the Montrose Panhandler store this summer, located in an airy street level storefront in the new Milestone Building. Since July, the store (which offers the same lines of quality kitchen goods and appliances as Telluride's Panhandler) has received accolades from food-loving members of Montrose's rapidly growing community. With approaching holiday festivities revolving around food and the kitchen, the Connors look forward to settling into a busy season at both store locations.
"With all of the holiday baking and cooking about to take place, we're expecting to see a lot more action in here," Anne Connor said this week from her post behind the counter at the Panhandler in Montrose.
Popular cooking trends are reflected in the floor displays at the store, which highlight some of the top-selling products for the holidays. Fondue pots are especially hot during the chilly winter months, as are quality waffle makers, Connor said. The Panhandler carries an array of both, ranging from the very popular electric fondue pot by Russel Hibbs (No need to deal with messy Sterno burners!), to specialty pots for chocolate, cheese and broth. Available waffle irons include the massive DeLonghi iron, which can make up to six waffles at once, and a professional waffle maker complete with a stand that allows for the device to be flipped over to create perfect, golden waffles.
Evening fondue parties and family waffle breakfasts aside, the Panhandler in Montrose carries a wide array of some of the market's finest cooking supplies for any kitchen need. Calphalon, All Clad, Mauvile Copper, and Le Creuset pots, pans and baking pieces can all be found at the Panhandler, and are renowned for their quality and longevity in even the busiest kitchens. Holiday chefs especially appreciate the convenience of large KitchenAid stand mixers, which come in a variety of bold colors. Quisinart food processors are big time-savers this time of year, said Connor, adding that it's hard to go wrong with a fine kitchen gift for your family's cooks and bakers.
In fact, the Panhandler in both Montrose and Telluride are accepting holiday registries.
"It's the perfect way to get exactly what you want for your kitchen," Connor said, adding that customers who purchase gifts from a registry will receive 20 percent off that item. (The Panhandler stores also offer a bridal registry.)
The Panhandler has been welcomed with open arms in the Montrose community. "There really wasn't any kind of store like this in Montrose, so we thought that with all the new growth around here, as well as the fact that so many people travel here to shop from around the region, that this would be the perfect place to test out a store expansion," said Connor.
The plan to expand the Panhandler into the regional market has worked beautifully so far, with the new Montrose location already boasting a loyal local following. The store regularly offers cooking classes, led by regional restaurant chefs and caterers, in its kitchen, built right into the store's front counter. The classes are popular and sell out every time.
Prior to Telluride's Noel Night on Wednesday, Dec. 7, the Panhandler in Montrose will celebrate a similar tradition - Noel Day, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Customers will be given a free gift with every purchase over $50 or more and can pull from a grab bag of discounts.