Prairie Kitchen Store will open in the old Motley Cow Cafe space

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Kevin (left), Susan and Alex Felker in the Prairie Kitchen Store, which is still under construction, Aug. 18, 2019. — Matt Steele/Little Village

The Northside Marketplace location that was home to the Motley Cow Cafe for nine years finally has a new tenant. But instead of catering to those looking to dine out, the Prairie Kitchen Store will feature kitchen tools and cookware, as well as cooking demonstrations and classes for those wanting to make dining at home a better experience.

“We want to help make your kitchen a happy place,” Kevin Felker said in a written statement. “We value durable, hard working, and useful products; and we want entertaining family and friends to be easier, and more enjoyable.”

Felker co-owns the Prairie Kitchen Store with his wife, Susan, and their son, Alex.

The Felkers are longtime Iowa City residents. Susan is an assistant dean for the Undergraduate Program in the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa, and Kevin is a lecturer in the Department of Business Analytics at Tippie. Alex moved back to Iowa City, after attending Iowa State University and working as a copy editor at the Ames Tribune.

All three are passionate about good food.

“Cooking and entertaining nourishes the soul,” Kevin Felker said.

“The Prairie Kitchen Store’s product lines will prioritize great design, as well as artisan craftsmanship and fair trade practices,” according to the store’s website. “We’ll feature organic, small-batch specialty food items and unique gifts alongside everyday kitchen tools and serveware for entertaining.”

The store will also host “events [that] will bring the community together for cooking demonstrations, classes and other social events like author readings, local speakers, live music and trivia nights.”

The Prairie Kitchen Store on Iowa City’s Northside, Aug. 18, 2019. — Matt Steele/Little Village

The store at 160 N Linn St isn’t scheduled to open until April 2020, but Prairie Kitchen Store will have a pop-up store within Textiles on the Ped Mall during the first week of December.

“We’re very excited about hosting the Prairie Kitchen Store’s pop-up shop this December,” owner of Textiles, Ritu Jain said in a statement. “The store’s products, and especially their events, will be a great draw for downtown Iowa City and something my customers will love. We have needed a business like this downtown for a long time.”

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  1. “We have needed a business like this downtown for a long time.”

    Well, maybe, and I wish them good luck. Anyone else remember Chef’s Kitchen, next to the Englert on Washington? It was a kitchen wares store that gave cooking lessons too. It lasted only a few months as I recall, then turned into Chef’s Table restaurant, then some asian restaurants, then today’s Iowa Chop House.

    1. I do remember. It was a lot of fun to walk around in, and great samples of oils and vinegars, but I have to admit to mainly walking around and considering buying things, not really ever buying much. Now, with Amazon and the like, I’m wondering if they can make it. I wish them well.

    2. Actually, the kitchen store on Washington was called The Prairie Table. The new one on Linn sounds very similar.

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