Tahlequah main street and area businesses continue to develop, offering area residents new options in shopping and services.
Cook’s Companion and More is owned and operated by Dina Tozzi. She expects her store at 219 N. Muskogee to be ready for business by Tuesday, April 16.
“I’ll have gourmet gadgets and goods, cookware and bakeware, ceramics and porcelain, cutlery, fun kitchen gadgets, cutting boards, coffee and teas, cookbooks, gourmet food lines, home keeping products and Oklahoma local products,” she said. “It’s really gourmet gadgets and goods I’m focused on.”
Tozzi was once a banker, but her real passion is cooking and gourmet foods.
“I love being in the kitchen,” she said. “What I’m trying to do is bring in things Tahlequah might not have, and more unique products than just your normal, traditional kitchen items. And luckily I’m able to bring in things at a price that is reasonable, but fresh but also – things people won’t be able to find even in the state. I’ve got an Italian line [Galli Foods] when it comes to olive oils, balsamic vinaigrettes - these are 18- to 20-year old balsamic vinaigrettes.”
Hours will be Tuesday through Friday. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (918) 431-1220. The business will soon have a website, at www.cookscompanionandmore.com, and a Facebook page.
Another store offering something a little different is Captain Vapor, 1209 S. Park Hill Road. The electronic cigarette and supplies vendor is owned and operated by relatives James Stepp and Mark Stepp. An electronic cigarette, also known as an e-cigarette or personal vaporizer, is an electronic inhaler that vaporizes a liquid solution into an aerosol mist to simulate the act of tobacco smoking. People trying to curb the smoking habit are known to use products like these.
Mark Stepp said the business just opened and is planning to have customers test some new flavor products soon.
“People come in and said they smoke two or three packs a day and they’ve tried the patch, Chantix or have gone cold turkey and haven’t been able to stop,” he said. “The nicotine is only a small part of the problem. If you’ve been smoking for years, you develop all those habits - oral fixation. They talk about [tobacco] being harder to quit than heroin.”
Stepp said information from the industry suggests many smokers who try e-cigarettes increase their chances of kicking the habit.
“[E-cigarettes have] eliminated all 200 carcinogens, including the pesticides they spray on,” he said. “As of this week, we have 26 different flavors, ranging from tobacco to cinnamon rolls. We have 48 flavors that will be here this week that we’re going to have people test. We’re going to pick 10 or 12 everybody likes and start carrying those flavors.”
Stepp said the product presents a system of numbered intensity levels, designed to help a smoker step down his usage.
Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call (918) 506-4035. Online sites – http://capvapor.com, www.facebook.com/capvapor and https://twitter.com/capvapor – are currently under construction.
Retro Styles, 106 W. Fourth Street, is owned and operated by Rhonda Burke and Sarah Honaker, and the pair will be hosting a grand opening Wednesday, May 1.
“We’re going to have a barbecue for the public as kind of a meet-and-greet. We’re going to have some flyers and business cards to hand out,” said Burke. “We’ll be taking appointments for any of our services that day, and we’re going to have a [giveaway] of haircuts and manicures.”
The salon is not officially open, but has been on site since the end of March.
“We’ve been letting people come in as they have wanted to get their hair cut,” she said. “We specialize in hair color and cutting. We do manicures, pedicures, acrylics, and waxing. We do perms and styles for weddings and proms.”
For more information, call (918) 506-4069 or send email to RetroStyles.Salons@ yahoo.com. A Facebook page, at RETRO Styles Salon, is under construction.
Las Maracas, 117 E. Downing, is open for business, said Manager Miguel Ruzo. House are 11 a.m. to 9 p .m., Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p .m., Friday and Saturday; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“We will have two lunch and dinner specials every day,” said Ruzo. “The dinner hours begin at 3 p.m.”
Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Moore said the onset of tourism season should mean more patronage for local businesses.
“We have several groups that are expected to be in town over the next 90 days that will pump money into our local economy,” Moore said.
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