The Real Reason Ina Garten Will Never Open Another Store

Did you know Ina Garten once owned a store? Or that her nickname, the Barefoot Contessa, actually came from that store? According to The Cut, before her career as a go-to recipe gal, Garten spotted an ad in a paper in Westhampton Beach about a store for sale. She'd begun losing interest in her job, and decided to take a leap and buy it. That store was called the Barefoot Contessa and she had owned it from 1978 until the mid-90's, even moving it to a larger location in East Hampton and garnering quite the crowds.

As The Cut details, about a year after she sold the store to its manager, her recipe-sharing, media-filled cooking career truly started to take off, thanks to a little help from a Hamptons friend, Martha Stewart. And despite her former store's success, Garten has been telling publications that she won't be opening another. What motivated her to sell and why wouldn't she consider opening another store, especially when so many of her fans would likely flock to it?

Why not open the Barefoot Contessa doors again?

While the illustrious chef and TV personality sells some merchandise in her online shop, Ina Garten is reluctant to open another physical store. Speaking to, she explains that while she thinks store-bought food is fine and can be utilized in everyday cooking, when it comes to opening another store of her own, "I loved every minute of it and it was really the basis of my cookbooks now. But I think that was then and this is now." So it seems the storefront days are a thing of the past and will remain there. 

However, according to Cheatsheet, there is one place you can "visit" to find remnants of the original Barefoot Contessa store. Apparently, in the movie Something's Gotta Give, director Nancy Meyers had wanted to film in Garten's store, but it had already closed, so Meyers "built a fake store using Garten's place of business as her inspiration." We may not get an actual store from the meal maven, but sometimes we have to take what we can get.