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IHA Exec Jeff Murphy Dies in Yellowstone Fall

Jeff MurphyJeff Murphy, 53, Vice President, International, at the International Housewares Association, passed away June 7 during a hiking trip to Yellowstone National Park. Murphy’s death was the result of fall near Turkey Pen Peak in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, according to National Park Service officials. He went missing on Wednesday and a search began Thursday when his wife notified authorities that he had not checked in.

“All of us at Yellowstone extend our sympathy to the Murphy family for their tragic loss,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk in a statement.

“On behalf of IHA and the housewares industry, our collective heart goes out to Jeff’s family,” said Phil Brandl, IHA President & CEO. “Jeff will be missed greatly here at IHA… he was a very intelligent professional, team player and a warm-hearted, kind person. He was a great friend to all, and IHA staff and his many colleagues around the world are struggling with this tragic news.”

Murphy joined IHA February 1. Although his tenure as an official IHA staff member was short, Murphy was a long-time member of the Association through his work in international sales for more than 20 years, and a familiar face to the global housewares industry, Brandl said.

Before joining IHA, he served as vice president of international sales at Wilton Brands LLC for more than 13 years, where he presided over a significant global growth for the company. Before that, he was an international sales consult, working with clients such as Nordic Ware, Progressive International, Home Products International (Homz), Pfaltzgraff, Anchor Hocking Glass and Wilton Brands.

Murphy is survived by his wife, Erica, and children, Collin and Megan. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held July 8 from 6 – 11 p.m. at the Westwood Tavern, Schaumburg, Illinois. A GoFundMe account has been established in Jeff Murphy’s name www.gofundme.com/jeff-murphy-memorial.

IngenuiTEA teapot

Adagio1This teapot from Adagio Teas infuses the tea, and leaves zero chance for a mess. When tea is ready, simply place it atop your cup. This will cause a valve at the bottom to release: crystal-clear tea flows down, while the mesh filter retains all the leaves at the bottom. Easy to clean and dishwasher safe and made in Taiwan of food-grade plastic. It comes with a durable stainless steel mesh filter and “BPA-free” pre-printed on the multi-lingual box.

Star brite Introduces Outdoor Collection Homecare Products

Star brite’s new Outdoor Collection Premium Golden Teak Oil and Outdoor Collection Premium Teak Cleaner and Brightener for all wood furniture makes teak care and restoration easy.

Outdoor Collection Premium Teak Cleaner and Brightener transforms the two toughest steps of wood preparation into one easy task, saving time, effort and money. Step 2 is applying the finish coat; Outdoor Collection Premium Golden Teak Oil features an ultra-refined tung oil base combined with premium polymers for unsurpassed beauty and protection against rain, snow and UV exposure. Outdoor Collection products are easy to use on indoor and outdoor furniture while ensuring professional-grade results even by first-time users. If consumers have any questions, they can call Star brite’s Help Line to get advice from a Star brite Teak Tech.

Outdoor Collection Premium Golden Teak Oil and Outdoor Collection Premium Teak Cleaner were formulated using Star brite’s 40+ years of experience as the boating industry’s top-rated manufacturer of products engineered to enhance the beauty of teak and other fine woods. Consumers can rely on Outdoor Collection teak products to protect their fine wood furniture from everything Mother Nature can throw at it. Star brite’s Outdoor Collection line was developed in response to the demand for quality products to serve the outdoor furniture market due to the popularity of outdoor kitchens and backyard or poolside entertainment areas.

Vitamix Builds Smarts and Style into Ascent Series

Vitamix_A2300_Black_RightVitamix® has introduced its Ascent™ Series blenders, a new line that redefines the form and function of high-performance blending. This unique blender series combines state-of-the-art design with power and precision, along with intuitive controls and a family of interchangeable SELF-DETECT™ Containers.

“Our teams started from scratch when creating the Vitamix Ascent Series machines,” said Anthony M. Ciepiel, Vitamix Chief Operating Officer. “We went to our customers and said, ‘What are your challenges? How can we make the blending experience better for you?’ We then took these findings, combined them with the lessons we’ve learned as a company over the past 96 years, and engineered and designed an appliance like no other on the market.”

Vitamix Ascent Series machines feature a clean, easy-to-use interface provides a sleek look, while the controls are intuitive and user-friendly. “The Vitamix design language is evident at every angle in the Ascent Series,” said Ciepiel. “From the crisp signature side profile lines to communicate performance within, to the enticing interface that invites users to experience a new culinary adventure, every design element contributes to the distinctive style of the world’s finest blender.”

A variety of high-end finishes—including metallic finish options on some models—add another element to the Ascent Series blenders’ elegant look. As with previous Vitamix blenders, the new machines also feature a powerful motor, and a precise timer ensures optimal results. Vitamix Ascent Series machines are the first Vitamix blenders that come with a 10-year full warranty, reflecting the Vitamix tradition of high-quality, long-lasting blenders that stand up to frequent use.

Vitamix_AscentSeries_64ozContainerEven the containers for Vitamix Ascent Series blenders have been reimagined. Each Ascent Series machine comes with a 64-ounce container and a clear lid, allowing users to monitor blending without interrupting it. The lid plug doubles as a measuring cup for ultimate convenience, and the redesigned spout on the 64-ounce container features a narrower opening for easier and cleaner pouring into smaller serving dishes.
Along with the full-size container, Ascent Series machines can be used with additional Self-Detect Containers: a 20-ounce cup and an 8-ounce bowl, which come with lids that are perfect for blending and serving, taking along or storing. The dishwasher-safe containers are available in convenient Blending Cup and Blending Bowl Starter Kits.

Vitamix Ascent Series blenders are the first to offer a complete family of containers with Self-Detect technology and wireless connectivity. For now, that means the machine reads each container and automatically adjusts program settings and maximum blending times, and will not power on if the container isn’t sitting properly on the motor base. In the future, it means consumers will have a blender that is ready to evolve with them and with the latest technology.

Four different Ascent Series blenders are available. All feature a built-in digital timer that automatically begins counting up when a variable speed is chosen, and counts down if a program is selected on a machine with pre-programmed settings. Model A3500 includes five pre-programmed settings (smoothies, hot soups, purées, frozen desserts and a cleaning cycle), touchscreen controls, and premium finishes. The built-in digital timer is programmable. Model A3300 has touchscreen controls, and the built-in digital timer is programmable. Model A2500 offers three pre-programmed settings (smoothies, purées and frozen desserts), and Model A2300 features the built-in digital timer, sleek new design and new container technology of other Ascent Series blenders.

Maple Run Emporium Celebrates Six Years in Potsdam

Maple Run Emporium is celebrating its sixth anniversary at 49 Market Street in Potsdam, New York. The shop opened on April Fools Day 2011, and has been expanding its offerings ever since.

“The original idea was to sell maple candy and maple syrup,” said Owner Mary Hilton. “And it just snowballed. We’re not only a specialty maple shop, but also a kitchen store, gift shop, art gallery, and gourmet grocery. Ultimately, that’s an emporium!”

With more than 2,000 square feet available in the historic brick building, there was room to grow. The shop now features an Artisan Gallery of local artwork including paintings, pottery, wood-turnings and baskets. The shop’s main aisles showcase an impressive array of cookware, knives, cutting boards, utensils, textiles, stemware and books.

Maple specialty foods remain the focus of the shop, and there are continually new entries to this niche. “The current trend is bourbon-barrel aged maple syrup,” Hilton noted. “We had only one brand a few years ago, and now we have five.”

She also pointed out the popularity of maple-smoked products. The smoky maple wood flavor is featured not only in syrup, but also cheese, tea and salt. Maple syrup and maple sugar also add flavor to some unexpected products such as sardines, cocktail mixes and soy sauce.

Having the opportunity to taste a multitude of maple concoctions led Hilton to introduce the Maple Run Emporium brand of gourmet foods, which now includes maple teas, maple coffee, maple seasoning peppers, a maple chocolate drink mix and pancake mixes. The most recent introduction is Maple Organic Tea, which was just released this year.

The fragrance of maple is also a wonderful addition to scented products, Hilton said. The scent is created with essential oils and essences and added to formulations for the Maple Run Emporium brand of kitchen and bath products, which includes lotions, hand creams, body scrubs, candles, soaps and cleaners. So far this year Maple Run Emporium has introduced two new hand creams – Maple & Lavender and Maple & Rum.

“I’m always excited to find a unique new item and put it on the shelves,” Hilton said. “When people come in and ask ‘What’s new?’ I am absolutely delighted to show them!”

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