I sat down with Jim Henkens for a chat about his new store, Marine Area 7, here in Madison Valley. It’s a kitchen store with new and vintage items for sale, including cookbooks, wine, pantry items, linens, and tools. The store is located at 2814 E. Madison.
What title would you give yourself — you do so many things!
Photographer, kitchen-store owner
What drew you to the Madison Valley area?
This is definitely a nice little storefront. We did a lot of research on which neighborhoods would support this kind of place and we thought this would be a great choice. It already has a built-in network of home-related stores that bring people in. And we didn’t want to pick a place with a super loud, busy nightlife.
What made you want to open up your shop?
I’ve been doing food photography for a dozen years or so and we’ve collected so many props and you get to a point where you have no more room for things and you can only re-use props so many times before people start to notice the same cutting board in all your pictures. At first we were thinking about doing all vintage things but we started adding in cookbooks and pantry items and that’s what this turned into.
So are you a good cook?
I think so, yeah.
What do you like to cook?
Well I really like to cook outside — I like barbecuing, my friends have a pizza oven...I’m definitely not a vegetarian.
How did you get into food photography?
I love to travel and I love food...I started photographing chefs and then it evolved into working on cookbooks.
What’s your goal for the store?
Our goal as a store is to find out what people want - whether it’s the vintage stuff or the pantry items...so far it’s been a bit of everything. Our big goal is to get the kitchen in the back ready to go for classes and demonstrations - stuff like pickling and canning and all kinds of cooking.
Is there a story behind the store name?
There are a 13 marine areas in Washington and number seven is the San Juan Islands. We (my wife and I) have a cabin up there where we do a lot of food photography and dinner parties and go crabbing and it’s just a very inspiring area. You have to fill out all kinds of forms for fishing and boating up there, so we just kept writing “Marine Area 7” and when we couldn’t think of a store name, we thought that sounded good.
What do you think is the best gift in the store?
I think you can never go wrong with a cookbook. And there’s the wine which is a good bet for the vast majority of people. The gourmet pantry items are always a good choice. And from there everything becomes a little more personal, I think.
Marine Area 7
2814 E Madison St.