Nook – A Place Handcrafted with Love

February 26, 2015

Nikki and Matt Thompson are opening their first full-scale restaurant on Monday. Photograph by Cristina Manos

Nikki and Matt Thompson are opening their first full-scale restaurant on Monday. 

By Cristina Manos

Nikki and Matt Thompson are no strangers to cooking, love, and community, and they’ve effectively combined those three elements into one location.

Nook will have its grand opening this Monday, March 2, in Downtown at 1 E. Congress St. The Thompson’s and co-owner Todd Anderson melded their strengths so that cooking and business became what is now Nook, a place built on love.

“I realized through the process of getting this place going that I’m actually creating and living my dream,” says Nikki Thompson, as she talks about that gratitude and giggles she shares with her husband Matt when they realize again that they now own a restaurant.


Guests enjoying the meal at Nook’s soft opening.

Nikki and Matt Thompson aren’t even 30 years old, and they are one of those rare couples that have been together since they were 17. Within the last decade they were at each other’s side through culinary school, and ran a catering company for 7 years called 2 Hearts 1 Kitchen. They shared their love of cooking and love for local law enforcement by turning break rooms into cafes at the Pima County Sheriff’s department and at an adult correctional facility.

Perhaps Downtown lucked out a year ago when the Thompsons decided it was time to “grow up” and approached Todd Anderson for insurance needs. In the spirit of the collaborative culture of Tucson, Todd Anderson immediately started to guide and mentor the Thompsons with setting up their business. The Thompsons remember when Anderson said, “The day you want to open let me know. I want to be involved.”

NookCounterA year later the Thompsons and Anderson are bringing it to Downtown Tucson by opening Nook, a new American breakfast, brunch and lunch spot where everything is made in-house, and the full-time baker is already pumping out pastries and bread to grab and go. Nook also offers handcrafted sodas and is the only location in Southern Arizona that carries the hand-crafted Boylan brand of soda in house.

“For us this means we make whatever we love to make. It’s traditional American food with international influences,” says Matt Thompson.

The founders of Nook haven’t wasted any time in getting the Downtown community involved in their new adventure. They sell Exo Roast coffee, feature local artists for 4 weeks at a time on their walls, and carry shirts by Fed by Threads, just to name a few ways in which Nook is already including the broader community. The idea is to showcase as many locals as possible while providing delicious home-made eats at an affordable price.

NookTableWhile visiting with the Thompsons I had the pleasure of tasting a hand-crafted, pork butt hash dish, made from reduced Boylan root beer and spices. Upon the first bite, I was sold! The pork melts in your mouth and tastes like meat candy. It’s combined with finely diced potatoes and topped with an egg. I found myself mesmerized by the amazing flavor of this delicately prepared breakfast treat and can’t wait to bring friends in for brunch.

When you visit Nook you’ll be visiting a hand-made creation founded on love and community. Todd Anderson upgraded the building with his own hands and the Thompsons fill it up with homemade cooking and community kindness. Visit Nook for breakfast, brunch, or lunch and enjoy the carefully crafted creations found in this new Downtown restaurant. For more information, check out Nook’s Facebook page or website.