If you have ever replaced an appliance, remodeled a kitchen or bath, or built a home from the very beginning, you may have heard of, or called upon, Artisan Kitchens and Baths in historic Black Rock. The building at 200 Amherst Street was once home to Buffalo Cooperative Stove Company that manufactured Amherst Stoves from the mid-1800’s for nearly a century, and some might say it is ironic that this former foundry now sells some of the most unique stoves and appliances on the market.
Kevin Telaak, and the rest of the 3rd generation family members, formed Artisan Kitchens and Baths in 1990. He states, “With 10,000 square feet of showroom space we have the ability to showcase unique and exclusive appliances that you wouldn’t see anywhere else, while easily accommodating any budget.”
Their first and second floor showrooms include 11 vignettes of custom designed kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms with high-end names such as Sub-Zero, Dacor, Miele, Viking, and Wolf along with lesser known “niche” brands like Hestan, Bluestar, American Range, Fisher Paykel, LaCornue, and Thor. Beware, walking through the showrooms is quite an experience, and one that can lead to lust for an amazing six-burner stove you never knew you desperately needed (I speak from personal experience).
These vignettes allow clients to visualize remodeling possibilities, while in-house design and sales teams are available to work with clients to create a space for their home that is unique to them. Everything from appliances to countertops, cabinets, sinks and faucets are available in this one location, easing the stress of large remodeling and building projects.
While their showrooms are a feast for a foodie’s eyes, what many people might not know is that tucked away on the second floor is a 1,900 square foot culinary loft where business, cooking, education, and entertaining meet in a most unique and fun way.
Back in 2009, the upstairs showroom – equipped with 3 fully functional kitchens with oversized islands – hosted Nickel City Chef, a series of live cooking challenges that pitted WNY’s professional chefs against one another. For ten seasons, chefs used a locally sourced secret ingredient to create unforgettable concoctions in front of sold-out crowds. During this time Kevin and his wife Samantha recognized the growing number of food lovers in Western New York and knew they needed to expand the space to provide a more intimate connection with food and cooking.
The Artisan Culinary Loft opened in April of 2017 with five cooking stations allowing up to six adults to work per station. Each is outfitted with 36” Wolf ranges, Sub Zero refrigerators, Wolf microwave drawers, touch-activated commercial-grade sinks, and all necessary equipment such as KitchenAid food processors and blenders. Though Nickel City Chef is no longer in production, the Loft has become a unique venue for private parties, corporate events, and educational classes. Most of which can be organized to be with a Nickel City Chef such as Adam Goetz of CraVing Restaurant or Krista Van Wagner.
Samantha Telaak is the Loft’s manager and says that the space is quite diverse in what it can be used for. She has helped plan intimate dinner parties with private chefs, bridal showers, cocktail parties, and wedding rehearsal dinners. Because of the ability to utilize the showroom area, a Loft party can accommodate up to 60 people for a sit-down dinner and up to 100 people for a cocktail party.
But the attraction for many is the lure of the kitchens. Along with the five island stations is a 22 by 6 foot “master island” of sorts with bar stool seating for up to 18 people. It is here that the “Chef’s Table” takes place, where a professional chef prepares a gourmet meal before guests, along with wine pairings.
It is gastronomic experiences such as this that set The Artisan Loft apart from other facilities, and according to Samantha, what you want to do with your event is really up to you. You can have the Loft bring in a professional chef or you can request to have your own. You might like a chef to prepare and serve your guests, or you may prefer to have a more interactive experience having guests prepare their own meal or a portion of it under the guidance of a chef. Maybe you would like the event to be completely catered. Maybe a corporate team-building event is what your business needs right now. Perhaps a girls-night cooking class and wine tasting is in order? It is all up to you. Samantha and her team can create an event to suit your needs.
Additionally, the Loft works with Independent Health and their division, Healthy Options, to host monthly nutritional cooking classes as well as customized private events. Independent Health brings a chef to teach cooking skills and meal preparation, while a nutritionist tweaks the recipes to make them more healthy and nutritious. These hands-on events are open to the public for a fee via registration through Independent Health, and are a reasonable way to experience the kitchens at the Loft.
^ Artisan Culinary Loft – photos by James Cavanaugh
To get back to business, a side effect of the Culinary Loft is the opportunity for people to experience and work with high-end appliances possibly for the first time. It also doesn’t hurt that to get to and exit the Loft you need to walk through the incredible showrooms. The Telaaks have managed to create a one of a kind business that enables people to enjoy what they sell in one of the most intimate of settings, a shared meal.
Come and see for yourself by visiting the showrooms. Business hours are Monday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Free parking and no appointment required.
If you are interested in hosting a party or event in the Artisan Loft, give Samantha Telaak a call at (716) 423-2390.