by Lorrie Baumann
Kitchens used to be spaces defined by the color of their cubical steel appliances. But over the past few decades, they have evolved from quasi-industrial work spaces for the assembly line production of meals into gathering places for the entire family. As they’ve become living spaces rather than just working spaces, they’ve also become a setting in which the home cook can demonstrate good taste in a multitude of ways and add warmth to the space without turning on the oven.
Now, kitchens can be beautiful, worthy of being seen by anyone invited into the home. Thus, the continuing popularity of the open plan kitchen.
As kitchens have opened out, so have the opportunities for you, as you continue to redefine your store to meet the changing needs of customers with an evolving sense of the role they want their kitchens to play in their lives. You’ve become the place they come to gather the things they need to help them enjoy their time in their kitchens. You don’t just help them feed their families; you also help them feed their souls.
The marketplace has a lot of help for you as you figure out how to do this, and many of the vendors who displayed their products at this summer’s Las Vegas Market have ideas for you to consider.
Ganz, a giftware company established in 1950, is offering a Kitchen Clock that features serving utensils and eating utensils to mark the hours. It retails for about $75. The same company offers a variety of decorative plaques, many inspirational and spiritual, but the line also includes some sassy spark. For instance: “The Woman’s Guide to Love & Lasting Relationships,” which advises that it’s good to find a man who makes you laugh, a man with a good job who can cook, a man who is honest, a man who will pamper with gifts, a man who is awesome in bed and then to make sure that these five men never meet.
Timeless By Design‘s Friendship Recipe plaque calls for “2 Cups of Trust, 2 Cups of Mutual Respect” and other ingredients listed on a faux cork board. The model number for this item is 13501, and the same company offers plaques featuring silverware pieces and is featuring a new Spanish line.
Melrose International has a farmhouse collection that features sculptural pieces made of metal to help home cooks create “farm to fork” ambiance in their own homes. Model 66335 GY/BR is a wire basket in a pig design, and 70728 is a metal basket that holds two mason jars. Model 70047 is a 6-inch tall by 11.5-inch wide container suggesting a pig that would work as either a serving tray or platter, and model 70268 is a two-piece set of metal pig platters that retails for about $39.
P. Graham Dunn celebrates its mission-driven family heritage and small family farmers with its range of inspirational and aspirational wood plaques that are handcrafted in the U.S. The Farmer’s Market box, which hangs on the wall, is model PNL0595 and retails for around $30, while the plaque that reads simply “Farmers Market” is new to the collection.
Designs Combined Inc., which has been importing home décor and seasonal products since 2005, offers a line of signs made from corrugated galvanized in that make a definitive farmhouse kitchen statement. Model HK453 reads “Market,” HK454 reads “Kitchen,” and JE577 reads “Organic.” Model JJ213 is a cute ceramic set of salt and pepper shakers in the form of hatching eggs, and MP403 is a ceramic sugar and creamer set decorated with a cow image in relief.
From RAZ Imports, Inc, model 3857244 is a 10-inch set of pig bookends that would be cute for the cookbook shelf, and 3857236 is a 50-inch tall sign reading “Welcome to the Farmers Market” that the company says is a top seller. Model 3810234 is an 8-1/2-inch-tall set of ceramic dancing chef pigs.
burton + BURTON, known mostly for its balloons and party supplies, has jumped into the farm to table spirit with model 1821138, which is a ceramic oval tray that reads “Farm to Table/Table to Soul” and 9732492, its Decor Milk Jug, which retails for $44.
NY NOW has announced the winners of its annual best new products awards competition. The best new product awards recognize and celebrate the extraordinary product offerings from exhibitors across NY NOW, and each of the winning products stood out among hundreds of entries that showcased the leading trends in home, lifestyle and gift.
“NY NOW is the place for many buyers to discover the newest products for their stores, and these awards recognize 10 outstanding products from across the Market,” said Randi Mohr, Group Show Director, NY NOW and Vice President, Emerald Expositions. “This year’s best new product awards winners truly push the envelope delivering superior, stunning and on-trend products in a variety of categories.”
Award winners are:
- Accent on Design®: The Cheese Knife from W&P Design LLC
- Home Furnishings + Textiles: Carly the Cow from Dots by Donna
- Tabletop + Gourmet Housewares: Ripple Menorah from Alex Marshall Studios
- Baby + Child: CB EAT from Chewbeads
- Gift: Gratitude Glass Jars from Gratitude Glass Jars
- Personal Accessories: Birthday Celebration Bracelets from Lucky Feather
- Personal Care + Wellness: Soaking Salt Gift Box from Bee & You
- Artisan Resource®: Hanna Feather Purse from Rarity Handbags
- Handmade® Designer Maker: The Sendak Artist Roll from Peg and Awl
- Handmade Global Design: Felt + Leather Backpack from MULXIPLY
Molly & Drew, known for its beer bread mixes, has created on-trend gift sets with its Mug Cake Kits, which each contain one mug and one cake mix.
The recipient just adds water, stirs and microwaves for a single serving mug cake in 90 seconds.
The company also offers single-serve packets of mug cake mixes that will cross-merchandise with the mugs you’re already carrying too. They come in four flavors: Ooey-Gooey Chocolate, the company’s best-seller; Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel; Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake; and Chocolate Candy Cane.
The mug and mix gift sets retail for $10, and the single serving mixes retail for around $4 apiece.
SCI (Scandicrafts Cuisine Internationale) carries an impressive collection of artistically crafted cast iron teapots. Each teapot is designed with exquisite detail. All uniquely display a warm sense of tradition with a contemporary flair.
Each of SCI’s teapots comes with a matching cast iron trivet. Some sets also include matching teacups. Each teapot includes a removable stainless steel mesh infuser, making it perfect for both loose leaves and tea bags.
Cast iron teapots are ideal since the cast iron distributes the heat evenly inside the pot to better extract the flavors and health benefits of your tea. A distinctively appealing taste is acquired only from brewing tea in a cast iron teapot. Cast iron teapots develop a seasoning from repeated use, producing richly flavored cups of tea that are each more delicious than the last.
Suggested retail prices range from $63.00 to $80.00.
By Lorrie Baumann
The makers of high-end kitchenware and giftware are bringing a gorgeous array of new products that will surprise and delight your customers this holiday season to the summer markets in Atlanta, Las Vegas and New York. No matter which you’re able to attend, you’re sure to find items to entice the passionate foodies and the people who love them to browse and buy at your store this fall. Here’s just a small sample of the products that are making their debut in July.
CB Gifts is offering the New Sips Signature mug, an all-purpose bone china 14-ounce mug with the Sips logo on the bottom. These mugs are safe in dishwasher and microwave oven, and there are 19 different designs to choose from. They’re sold in increments of two per design at a wholesale price of $5.00. See them in the Next Step Reps showroom in Building C at Las Vegas Market.
Vance Kitira is introducing a whole new catalog of items this summer at the markets in Las Vegas, Atlanta and New York. Among the new items are extensions to the company’s Timber Pears candles with new colors. The company launched Lemongrass, Tangerine, Pale Yellow, White, Sand, Sea Foam and Cranberry Timber Pears candles this past spring, and now for the autumn come Brown Sugar, Melon White and Moss for both Large and Slender Timber Pears. The Large Timber Pears candles measure 4 inches by 5.5 inches and retail for $ 11.00 each. The Slender Timber Pears measure 4 inches by 8 inches and retail for $17 each.
The company also offers three sizes of Glitter Pears to create a beautiful glitter story. Available in Red or Ivory, these are unscented, and each comes wrapped and dressed with coordinating ribbons. The original Glitter Pear is 3 inches by 4 inches and retails for $8. A larger one, 4 inches by 5.5 inches, and one that’s 4 inches by 8 inches are new. See them in Building 2 at AmericasMart, Building C at Las Vegas Market or at NY NOW.
Totally Bamboo, the original designer of bamboo kitchenware and the first to introduce the bamboo cutting board, is launching several new products during the summer 2017 markets. Totally Bamboo’s Striped Bar Boards are lightweight and convenient for all your small prep needs. Whether chopping onions or other veggies for a savory delight, prepping fruits for a refreshing smoothie or slicing citrus for cocktails on the patio, your customers will find so many uses for these little boards. Plus, they make great host/hostess gifts!
The Striped Paddle Board measures 9 inches by 6 inches and is 1/2 inch thick. It retails for about $6. The Striped Bar Board measures 9-1/4 inches by 5-1/8 inches and is also 1/2 inch thick and retails for about $6. See them in Building 2 at AmericasMart and in the Next Step Reps showroom in Building C at Las Vegas Market.
Kay Dee Designs is offering textiles for a well dressed kitchen with its Blooming Thoughts collection. The collection includes an Embroidered Hostess Apron, Oven Mitt, Potholder, Krinkle Flour Sack Towels, Fouta Towels and Embroidered Placemat. Both the Krinkle and Fouta Towels are 100 percent cotton. See them in the Next Step Reps showroom at Las Vegas Market.
Nouvelle Collections is offering its Gold Two Tone Tea / Coffee Warmer Set of Detachable Glass Pitcher and 18/10 Stainless Steel along with other items at NY NOW. This is a beautiful coffee/tea/hot chocolate warmer set with a detachable glass pitcher in a 18/10 stainless steel holder. It’s two tone gold ripple design radiates glamour and sophistication, and careful craftsmanship and high-quality, tarnish-resistant materials make a product that will last a lifetime. The set retails for $99.00-$115.00, and it’s part of a collection that includes other gold two-tone items.
Also being shown at NY NOW, ARTEL is offering a Large Pitcher in Black and Double Old Fashioned Glass in Black. These are extensions to the Jungle Deco Collection of mouth-blown, hand-engraved lead-free crystal glassware from the Czech Republic that ARTEL introduced last winter. The Jungle Deco Collection was inspired by Maurice Sendak’s illustrations for “Where the Wild Things Are,” according to ARTEL Founder/Director Karen Feldman. The Large Pitcher retails for $848, and the Double Old Fashioned retails for $213 per glass.
Metallic Evolution will be exhibiting its summer collection in the American Made Collective showroom in Building C at Las Vegas Market. This Canadian-made collection of serving ware is all hand-forged in high quality stainless steel. Part tool, part sculpture, these utensils add a new dimension to the act of serving food. Each piece is individually created so that no two are identical. These utensils are functional as well as a decorative addition to the table.
Gallery Drinkware is exhibiting this summer in the Artisanal LA section of Pavilion 1 at the Las Vegas Market with artistic, reusable glass bottles and drinkware that combine functionality and art in remarkably unique and eye-catching ways. Perfect for indoor or outdoor dining, this beautiful glassware brings the art of Wyland, Guy Harvey, Drew Brophy, and the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to the table. Each piece is limited-edition and decorated in the USA. The 1-liter bottles with 22 karat gold liquid frame and lettering retail for $45.
See this Hand Felted Wool Snowflake Trivet from Arcadia Home on the 10th floor of Building C at the Las Vegas Market. This beautiful snowflake trivet doubles as decor when not in use and would make a terrific hostess gift or everyday present for the home cook. It’s artisan-made of hand felted 100 percent sustainable wool and retails for $22.
Vivajennz is offering its Original Wine Purse. These are stylish beverage purses designed to carry juice for the kids or cocktails for the adults. Each purse is insulated and carries up to 3 liters. They have a hidden pouch to pour from, and the spout is discreetly covered. See it in Pavilion 1 at the Las Vegas Market.
Modway Furniture’s Fairground Serving Stand organizes produce, dishes and serving items. Reminiscent of old time fairs and merchant stands, Fairground features a black lacquered steel frame with four removable produce storage baskets and a solid pine wood storage shelf. Positioned on four left-right mobile steel wheels, Fairground is a stand ready to serve up breakfast or lunch with nostalgic farmhouse charm. Each bin is 14 inches by 10 inches and is 8 inches high. Farmhouse Style Serving Stand retails for $675 and will be shown on the seventh floor of Building B at the Las Vegas Market.
WellnessMats is challenging the very notion of an ‘anti-fatigue mat’ with its latest introduction, the Studio Collection. No longer relegated to the rectangle, the Studio Collection breaks the mold with its striking scalloped and an elegant sunburst semi-circle shapes, featuring stunning designs and available in a myriad of color options. The nexus of creativity, versatility and comfort, Studio offers decorative comfort solutions for the home and for the workplace. Scaled for all areas of the home, Studio is ideal for the kitchen, vanity, laundry room, especially for smaller kitchens, compact areas and for standing desks. The Scalloped Bella mats shown here retail for $99.95 and will be shown on the 11th floor of Building C at Las Vegas Market.
CDI FURNITURE is bringing its Marble Platters and Shallow Ceramic Bowls to NY NOW. Naturally cool, the Marble Platters, available in round and square, white and gray, not only look sophisticated, but they’ll keep a cheese and charcuterie board at the perfect temperature for serving. The Shallow Ceramic Bowls are a nice assortment of six shallow ceramic bowls, with graphic textural patterns that make them attractive as well as functional.