— From the pages of Taysted #03
Zest! has been owned by gourmet kitchen enthusiast Sharon Landis since 2012 when she found out the store was being sold through a friend. Sharon has experience in accounting and food services (including teaching classes and organizing tasting demos) which have helped make her store so successful. The store has made the shift from culinary gifts to a gourmet kitchen store, focusing on hand-selected items. Many of the items Zest! carries will make you say, “Wow! I never thought of that!” As the products and vision evolve, so does the customer base.
When you enter Zest! you will immediately smell the wonderful aroma of over 60 herbs and spices. You will see a selection of wine & cocktail mixers and accessories, French table linens, cookbooks, cookware, glassware, dinnerware, and specialty house keeping items. Keep walking and you will enter “the Pantry” where you will find specialty foods from local and global sources. And don’t miss the Gadget Wall! Continue on to “the Baking Room” which hosts everything an aspiring baker longs for. The store sells products from 200 vendors, and many of the products have been made in the U.S. This aspect is very important to Sharon and her daughter, Rachel Reese, who attends trade shows with Sharon to make product selections. They both specifically seek out U.S.-made products when looking for new items. Sharon and her employees taste and test out each product before putting it out for sale. Additionally, supporting local businesses is extremely important to Sharon. She enjoys creating a platform for local, licensed, start-up businesses. “We have many talented entrepreneurs here in Lancaster County.” She works mostly with certified individuals who have start-up businesses. Each new food item under consideration is displayed in the store as samples for her customers. If the customers love the product, she will sell it on the shelves.
Taysted also got the low-down on the latest endeavors of Zest! which include a series of cooking classes, a collection of 60 premium spices and herbs, and the addition of a small electrics section. The cooking classes are offered several times each month and are for a maximum of 15 participants. They include topics like “Sauce Making,” “Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals,” and even a “Gluten-Free Love” class. They also offer a class for kids, “ZestChef Jr.”
The delicious aroma you will experience when entering Zest! is attributed to the premium, freshly packed variety of herbs and spices, found on two beautiful French flower carts (which were impeccably built by Sharon’s husband, Jim) in the middle of the store. The beauty of these spice packets are that they are sold in small increments so you can try something new without committing to more spice than you may need. Each shipment is freshly packed, so you’re also able to rotate your spices for fresh ones rather quickly.
The small electrics section, just added to the shop, includes new items such as mixers, immersion blenders with several attachments and espresso machines with names like Delonghi, Kenwood and iCoffee. No matter what you decide to purchase from Zest!, you are sure to be satisfied during your next culinary adventure.
Visit ZestChef.com to sign up for the e-mail list & to check the current cooking class schedule. Choose a class, and call the store to register.
30 East Main Street, Lititz PA