Are You an Artiko Chef? New Store Offers Frozen Help for
Cooks At All Levels
by Judy Silberstein
3, 2003) “Are you an Artiko Chef?” asks
Ariane Kemper, owner of Artiko, the new store at 1212 West
that sells an assortment of frozen foods for both everyday
family eating and special entertainment events. An Artiko
Chef, by her definition may be anyone from a non-cook looking
for a home-heated meal to an ambitious gourmet cook who uses
cut-up frozen ingredients to speed the process.
According to Kemper, at 4 pm, most of us don’t have
anything planned for dinner and are frantically trying to
shop, buy and prepare a healthy meal in the few remaining
minutes before starvation strikes. “The irony is that
in these days and times, more and more people want to eat
at home but they don’t want to cook,” she said.
That’s where she believes Artiko fits in with its assortment
of frozen appetizers, entrees, vegetables, snacks and desserts.
The motto is Cook Fast. Eat Well. Enjoy Life.
Kemper developed the Artiko concept after traveling in Europe
and encountering frozen food stores with high quality items. “ I
wondered why we didn’t have that,” she said. “The
technology was there - it just wasn’t available here.”
organized her store around 23 waist-high, glass-topped freezers
stocked with over 350 items, many of them imported
from Europe or developed specially for Artiko. There’s
a small kitchen at the rear of the store, where she whips
up samples and she’s open to suggestions. Recent additions
include lo-carbohydrate meals such as the one featuring salmon,
basil pesto and a squash medley. “We
had a lot of requests for lo-carb,” she
As a typically over-stretched professional woman, Kemper
was drawn to the Artiko concept as a way to relieve her own
domestic load. “The burden of cooking falls on the
woman, and I found that profoundly unfair.” She admits
to being one of Artiko’s best customers.
Kemper offered a tour of the store, the Anselmo family stopped
in for the first time. “Wednesdays are tough days,”
said Pam Anselmo, whose young daughters Gillian and Gabby
were helping her pick out dinner. “With swim practice
we don’t get home until late.”
“My mom cooks every day,” offered Gillian. “This
is perfect,” said her mom, who left Artiko with something
for everyone, including something from the toddler section
for her little one at home.
The crispy-mashed potatoes in the shape of letters or animals
are a big hit with the under-three crowd, said Kemper. Another
big hit over the holidays were trays of petit-fours. “One
woman ordered over $500 of petit fours and appetizers for
a birthday party,” she said.
The store is open 10 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday
and 12 pm to 5 pm on Sunday. You can reach Artiko at 1-888-278-4567.
A website is in
the works and will be found at www.artikochef.com
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