BY CARMEN SIERING
Samantha Eibling and her brother, George Huntington, along with Eibling’s husband, Doug, may be the most recent owners of Goods for Cooks, but as far as they’re concerned, they’re simply minding the store.
“It’s almost like a stewardship,” Huntington says. “It’s a business that doesn’t change a lot.”
The trio took possession of the venerable cooking supply store, at 115 N. College, on September 1 from Andrew and Charlotte Appel. Since then, previous owners Beth Hollingsworth and founders Charlotte Zietlow and Marilyn Schultz (who started the business as Goods, Inc. in 1973) have stopped by to offer well wishes, congratulations, and advice, if needed.
Eibling, 43, and Huntington, 61, grew up in Bloomington. Both graduated from Bloomington High School North and Indiana University. Eibling met her husband at IU while he was earning his master’s degree from the Kelley School of Business; he currently works at the Kelley School as a development officer. Huntington served as the longtime general manager of Bloomingfoods.
Huntington said buying the business just made sense. “We have the means to do it, and we’re all very passionate about food and cooking,” he says. “When I saw the article [about the store being sold], I wondered who I knew with experience in the hard goods side of retail. And it dawned on me that my sister does. So when they visited, I planted that seed. And then we pursued it.”
Eibling, who has worked in retail, including a stint in a kitchen supply store, says she and her husband, who previously worked running tournaments for the Ladies Professional Golf Association, have moved from city to city for more than a dozen years.
“We’ve loved every place we’ve lived, but it never felt like home,” she says. “We would come back to Bloomington every six months or so and read copies of Bloom and get depressed because we felt like we were missing out. So when this opportunity came up, we thought it was a great idea. I mean, I still have cookie cutters and rolling pins from Goods from when I was a kid!”
As with any change of hands, the new owners plan to make a few tweaks here and there. “Every previous owner has put their own stamp or signature on the business, and I suppose we will, too,” Huntington says. “But we aren’t going to change a lot. It’s still Goods for Cooks, for goodness sake.”