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Merchandising for Gift Sales

By Micah Cheek

Jill Foucré, Owner of Marcel’s Culinary Experience, has a tried-and-true strategy for last-minute gift sales. She has arranged the front of her store to be accessible to customers running in for a quick hostess gift or holiday item. “We do a ton of walking in and not knowing what [they’re] looking for,” says Foucré. “We have an array of products that cover an array of price points. If you come in and say, ‘I want to do something super special,’ we can cover that too.”

Marcel’s specializes in arranging little collections of two or three items arranged by theme. A food product like artisan dried pasta or a spice blend can make a nice centerpiece for some small items. “I love really great quality food products, [like] a really nice olive oil. Not so much a bottle of wine, but something I would cook with. Something you wouldn’t buy for yourself,” says Foucré. “We also have things like salt boxes – we’ll do that with a nice salt, or a mill. We have a lot of cocktail accessories, and we’ve got some really fantastic bitters that we can build into a cocktail thing.”

For folks who don’t know what they are looking for, Foucré recommends having some go-to items to recommend. “One of the things we always tell our staff is, ‘Always have three or four things in mind.’ I don’t want the staff there hemming and hawing. Because we carry a lot of local artists and food, we really try to be unique,” says Foucré. Handmade or unusual items are good suggestions, because it lowers the chance of the gift receiver getting multiples of the same gift. Handmade serveware has that individual look, and also makes itself a handy container for other items. “We carry a lot of different ceramic bowls – some of them are dipping dishes, some of them are ice cream bowl-sized – and we do tons of stuff with those. We’ll take a bowl, we’ll put in maybe a salt or herb blend and an olive oil, or something like that. Those tend to be very popular,” says Foucré. “The vessel will be part of what they bought. It they’re doing a baking thing, a glass bowl becomes part of the gift.” Bowls from ceramic companies like Carmel Ceramica can make a statement. Inspired by the beautiful gardens seen over Carmel, their porcelain Flower Garden collection has a hand-carved design and is safe for use in both dishwashers and microwaves.

Having a range of seasonal items available is an easy way to supply this need during the holiday season. “I love seasonal things. I love the things that you put away and bring out again,” says Foucré. “We generally have a very good selection of seasonal home décor things.” Even seasonal items aren’t needed, something printed with a statement shows that the consumer put some thought into what the receiver likes. “We have a lot of kitchen towels that aren’t seasonal,” says Foucré. “ellembee, they do towels with saying on them, and we sell literally hundreds of those. When you’re going to your book group and want to bring a little something, they’re great and a little irreverent.”

Candles on their own can seem like bland gifts, but a little something extra can make them special. “We sell a lot of scented candles in jars. We have them from a company called Lasco, Detroit Rose, we have a lot of different kinds that are great for hostess gifts,” says Foucré. “They can be a standalone, and we have a lot of fun matches we can sell them. Skeem [Design] sells some pretty matches in jars, we almost always will sell them.” Skeem Designs has matches in multiple colors and designs, packaged in tins and jars with different symbols and sayings on them. Some sets even have lines of poetry printed on the individual match sticks.

A World of Creativity at Las Vegas Market

Dorothy Belshaw, President Gift+Home Décor, International Market Centers, has been working overtime since she joined the organization upon her departure from the company that produced the NY NOW trade show to improve the selection of gourmet housewares and giftware that’s offered in the Las Vegas Market’s showrooms. Over the last year or so, we’ve seen those efforts come to fruition with expansive displays in the temporary booths in the Pavilions, a collection of exhibit spaces across the courtyard from the three main buildings that house the Market’s permanent showrooms as well as Building C, the permanent home of many gourmet housewares, tabletop and giftware collections. This year’s Winter Market offered an impressive array of hot new products.

CASOFrieling launched the CASO German Design VC300 Vacuum Food Sealer, which the company is positioning as the premium quality choice for fresh food storage and sous vide cooking. The system provides an airtight seal every time, and a double sealing bar with electronic temperature control ensures the seal’s durability. The vacuum pump offers both power and precision, and the unit offers a vacuum roll storage box that eliminates clutter and simplifies use, while a snap-out bag cutter makes it easy to customize bag size. The unit retails for $199.99.

PrintFrieling is also offering the CASO Air Fryer, a sleek countertop appliance that uses high volume hot air circulation technology to fry food with little or no added oil. The Air Fryer features digital touch controls with six presets for popular fresh and frozen comfort foods and a large LED display. Temperature is adjustable from 140 to 400 degrees F, and there’s a 60-minute timer with automatic shutoff. The removable parts are all dishwasher safe, and the stainless steel interior wipes clean. The unit retails for $199.95.
Capresso frotherCapresso showed off its froth MAX Automatic Milk Frother, which offers patented frothing technology that delivers maximum milk froth at the touch of a button. There are three temperature settings and a large capacity – 8 ounces for frothing or 12 ounces for heating without frothing. The machine comes with two frothing disks and one heating disk and retails for $59.99.

The Capresso 8-Cup Perk features durable stainless steel construction with a glass view-through lid. It can brew four to eight cups of coffee in less than a minute per cup and has an automatic keep-warm function. The drip-free pouring spout and detachable power cord simplify serving, and it’s countertop-friendly, with a heat-resistant base that’s safe for any surface. It retails for $59.99.
Kuhn Rikon_Easy Cut

The Kuhn Rikon Easy Cut operates with a pull mechanism that rotates the blades in the four-cup container to slice and grate cabbage, potato, carrots or cheese. This energy-efficient design is safe and incredibly fast, and the high-quality stainless steel blades on the cutting discs stay super sharp. The Easy Cut retails for $80.

The Kuhn Rikon Wine & Champagne Bottle Sealer is dependable enough to allow the wine bottle to be stored on its side. The sealer is made of stainless steel with an expandable silicone gasket that keeps flavor in and air out. It’s 1.5 inches in diameter and 3.25 inches high and retails for $10.

PeugeotPeugeot’s Tahiti Duo Mills are now available in a fresh new color palette inspired by the seasonal colors of nature. Each set features gracefully curved 6-inch pepper and salt mills made from beech wood in France. Each set includes one mill with its mechanism optimized for pepper and one for salt. These mechanisms are highly efficient and fully adjustable, offering a consistent high-output grind. At $65 per set, they come in Spring (green and yellow), Summer (blue hues), Autumn (two shades of orange) and Winter (chestnut browns with red undertones). See them along with the Peugeot Whisky Set and Peugeot’s Mahe Mill, which features Peugeot’s iconic spice-specific mechanism in a simple design that has no shaft, which allows more room inside for a greater quantity of peppercorns or sea salt.

RSVP Old BensonRSVP International, Inc. offers its Old Benson Bottle Butler. Available in chrome and brass finishes, this is a remake of a 1930s classic inspired by Rollin Kirby’s political cartoons of Senator Andrew Volstead, father of the Volstead Act that ushered in Prohibition. The RSVP Old Benson Bottle Butler is 6-1/2 inches tall and features a corkscrew and bottle opener that will provide a humorous focal point in gin joints, speakeasies, bars, kitchens and homes. Zinc alloy construction provides strength and resistance to corrosion, and it’s dishwasher safe. The Old Benson Bottle Butler retails for $16.95.

pils01Endurance® Pilsner Glass from RSVP is made of dishwasher-safe 18/8 stainless steel with satin exterior and mirror interior and has a 16-ounce capacity. It retails for $19.95. For further information about the RSVP products visit www.rsvp-intl.com or email Krista Jenkins at kristaj@rsvp-intl.com.

lodgesMenus and Music was at the Winter Las Vegas Market with “Dining at Great American Lodges,” a cookbook with recipes from legendary lodges, national parks lore and wilderness art along with a music CD that blends bluegrass, country, western swing and jazz inspired by traditional American songs. Perfect for those who like to dance around the kitchen while stirring the stew and enjoying a nip of the cooking wine, “Dining at Great American Lodges” comes gift-boxed. For more information, visit www.menusandmusic.

Abbiamo TuttoAbbiamo Tutto brought new patterns in its ceramic glasses and coaster set collections, which now include 11 patterns. The glasses are 6.75 inches tall, and the coasters also act as lids. They’re designed by Donna Marie Territo, founder of Abbiamo Tutto, and made in Italy.

Reversible Veggie PeelerWidgeteer’s Rotating Vegetable Peeler is a smart peeler that adapts to the user’s preferred method of peeling and converts from a vertical position to a horizontal position with a simple sliding motion. Its stainless steel swing blade provides quick and effortless peeling for any kind of vegetable, and a built-in extractor removes potato eyes with ease. Comfortable to use, it’s also dishwasher safe. It retails for $12.99. For more information, visit www.widgeteerinc.com.

catstudio towelcatstudio offers original designs featured on embroidered pillows, dish towels and drinking glasses. [Image: catstudio tumblers] The original Geography Collection by catstudio is comprised of all 50 states and an ever-expanding list of cities, international and favorite vacation destinations. The new, licensed Collegiate collection features a growing number of university campuses. In all, there are more than 200 designs.
The pillows retail for $158 to $228, the dish towels for $20 and the glasses for $14.75 to $16.25. You can find the company at www.catstudiosales.com.

The collections from B by Brandie include dinnerware and stainless steel flatware in designs that combine elegance with drama and the innovative Olivia Wine/Champagne Combo Glass pictured here. [Image: BbyBrandie] Each of the items exemplifies luxury presentation and a host who dares to stand out in a crowd. The five-piece flatware place settings retail for $84, the Olivia Wine/Champagne Combo Glass retails for $64 and prices vary for the dinnerware items. Visit wholesale@bbybrandie.com for further information.

DEMDACObyDesign Toasting Bottle Socks from DEMDACO protect and insulate wine bottles. They’re made with double knit construction and turn a bottle of wine into an inspired gift. They retail for $9. Also look for the Uncorked & Unwind wooden wine lanterns that elevate the wine gift bag by doubling as lighted home decor and wine gift packaging. See more at DEMDACO.com. [Image: Demdaco]

WellnessMats’ new Studio Collection challenges preconceptions about the “anti-fatigue mat” with striking scalloped and semi-circle shapes in stunning designs and a myriad of colors. WellnessMats are inherently antimicrobial, easy to clean and stain resistant, so Studio is ideal for the kitchen, especially for a smaller kitchen, but these mats will also work in any other room in the home. See them at www.wellnessmats.com.

Park DesignsFarmhouse Inspired Flour Sack Dishtowels from Park Designs are made of 100 percent cotton. These flour sack fabric dish towels feature designs that pair nicely with the trend for farmhouse-style living. There’s a Duck, Rooster, Pig and a Cow, each themed with the lyric from a nursery song. They each measure 19 inches by 28 inches and retail for $8. Visit www.parkdesigns.net.

Vestiges offers a kitchen towel collection featuring geographical designs created in collaboration with students from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. These 100 percent cotton pique towels are printed with environment-friendly inks for high quality products that can help you add local flavor to your product assortment. Get more information by emailing mary@vestigesinc.com.

The Bloom Apron, designed by Bonnie Christine, from Peking Handicraft Inc. is hand printed on 100 percent cotton and features dart detail on the front. It measures 28 inches by 32 inches and retails for $29. The Bloom Kitchen Towel, also designed by Bonnie Christine, carries out the cheerful spring floral theme and features crochet trim. The suggested retail price for the towel is $10. Email sales@pkhc.com.

Celebrate Fabulous at Las Vegas Market

By Lorrie Baumann

Las Vegas Market has been working hard to expand the range of products that will be of interest to Kitchenware News readers, and the hard work is paying off. This winter’s Las Vegas Market has a lot to see in the showrooms and pavilions along with a grand opportunity to meet The Fabulous Beekman Boys, who are emerging as thoughtful spokesmen for a generation that values fresh, local and seemingly effortless design and cuisine. Also, they’re both fun and funny.

joshBrentHorizontalKnown as The Fabulous Beekman Boys are Brent Ridge, physician and former Vice President of Healthy Living for Martha Stewart Omnimedia; and his partner, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, advertising executive and New York Times bestselling author, The celebrity duo began developing their unique and chic brand strategy when they purchased the historic Beekman 1802 Farm in Sharon Springs, New York, in 2007 and then had to start figuring out (fast) how to pay the mortgage and make new lives for themselves as gentlemen farmers after the national economy took a dive in the Great Recession. The pair launched a line of goat milk cheeses and soaps, and quickly added other artisanal items to the Beekman 1802 brand. The popularity of the brand spawned a reality television show, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” now airing on the Cooking Channel; they also competed and won the grand prize in CBS’s “The Amazing Race” in 2012, and their Beekman 1802 product line of gourmet foods launched in Target stores last November.

Celebrities aside, there’s much to see this winter at the Las Vegas Market. Here’s a small sampling.

AvoSeedo is a cute little gadget for the folks who like to save their avocado pits and sprout them for new trees. You remember how to do that by sticking toothpicks into the sides of an avocado pit and balancing the picks on the rim of a glass of water? Well, this is a little boat into which you set your avocado seed and float it in a bowl of water. In a few weeks, the avocado seed germinates and begins to grow.

avoseedo_with_plant_avocados_cmykAvoSeedo comes in four different colors: evergreen, transparent, cyan and pink, and in two retail packages, a single pack that retails for $8 and a three-pack that retails for $20.00. For more information, email Daniel Kalliontzis at AvoSeedo LLC: info@avoseedo.com.

European ExcellencyEuropean Excellency will be showing off a gorgeous line of three-ply paper napkins imprinted with a wide variety of floral, abstract, butterfly, food related, Easter and Christmas designs. The napkins are made in Europe, and only environmentally friendly, water-based paints are used for the designs. Luncheon, cocktail, round and snack sizes are available. For more information, call 949.374.7757 or see them in Pavilion 1 at the Las Vegas Market.

Design ImportsIf cloth napkins are a better fit for your customers, consider the Farm Fresh Stripe Napkins from Design Imports (DII). They come in a set of four, and each napkin measures 18 inches square. They’re 100 percent cotton, so they can be machine washed in cold water on the gentle cycle, and they go in the dryer on low heat. The set of four retails for $14.99. See them in the Design Imports Showroom in Building C at Las Vegas Market or call 1.800.344.4115.

Next Step RepsApropos by Home Essentials is debuting the Marble & Mango collection of cheese paddles and cutting boards made from marble and mango wood for a new twist on classic design that echoes the design trend that’s seeing more use of marble in kitchens. The 18-inch-long Brown & White Triangle Marble Cutting Board from the collection retails for $35 to $40, while the 20-inch Brown Round Marble Cutting Board retails for $50 to $60. A set of four White Marble 4-inch Square Coasters retails for $15 to 18. For more information, call Next Step Reps at 760.731.7445 or see them in the Next Step Reps showroom in Building C at the Las Vegas Market.

CTW HomeThe CTW Home Collection offers a vintage-inspired K-cup caddy that’ll fit beautifully into the same kitchen that has a Marble & Mango cheese paddle or cutting board hanging on the wall. The Roast Coffee K-Cup Caddy is 8-1/2 inches wide, 11-3/4 inches tall and 6 inches deep and retails for $45. It’s offered without a minimum order. See it in the CTW Home Collection showroom in Building C in the Las Vegas Market or call 1.800.433.5054.

Top ShelfTop Shelf Glasses is bringing trendy to the table with Double Wall Stemless Wine Glasses. Two pieces of glass are fused together with designs on both glass walls to make glassware that truly makes a statement. They’re dishwasher safe and retail for $17.99. See them in Building C at the Las Vegas Market or find out more by calling 888.808.4001.

Brilliant Imports Ovalate trayA tray has a way of transforming a group of several objects from clutter into a collection, and Brilliant Imports is offering a couple of hand-woven fiber trays from Bali that will lend a subtle note of elegance to just such a tabletop collection or a display of spice bottles or utensils on the kitchen counter. The Circle Rattan Tray is 12 inches in diameter and retails for $55. The Ovalate Tray is hand-woven from ate grass and measures 12 inches wide by 15.75 inches long. It retails for $50. To find out more, email Brilliant Imports, LLC at info@brilliantimports.com or see them in Pavilion 1 at the Las Vegas Market.

To the MarketYour food is handmade, so why shouldn’t your table linens be? TO THE MARKET offers a nine piece table top set embellished with delicate kantha stitching. Cotton sari is used to make four napkins, four placemats, and one table runner, all with one solid and one patterned side. Designed by TO THE MARKET, the set is constructed by Basha, a co-op that employs survivors of human trafficking in Bangladesh. Find out more by calling TO THE MARKET at 859-740-9498 or the TO THE MARKET booth at Las Vegas Market.

Totally BambooHonor your veteran with an Official Licensed Military Board from Totally Bamboo. These serving boards would be fantastic for serving cheese or taking out to the patio for next summer’s barbecues, and in between-times, they’ll make a gorgeous plaque to hang on the wall of the man cave, dining room or family room. They’re 12 inches in diameter and retail for $30. For more information, visit the Next Step Reps showroom at Las Vegas Market or call Totally Bamboo at 760.471.6600.

The Las Vegas Market runs January 24-28 in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the Pavilions open January 24-27.

Skoy Magnetic Sink Rail

Visit Skoy at booth number S3256 at the IH+HS or at www.skoycloth.com

Karen Peterson and Michelle Lundqvist, creators of the Skoy Cloth, proudly introduce the Skoy Magnetic Sink Rail. The Skoy Magnetic Sink Rail was designed in Denmark and features a stylish stainless steel construction. It is the perfect place to keep your dishcloth. Peterson says, “The Skoy Magnetic Sink Rail is designed especially for dishcloths, it sits away from the sink so that air can circulate around the entire cloth, allowing it to dry quickly.” Unlike most sink rails with suction cups that harbor bacteria, the Skoy Sink Rail is magnetic and allows for easy cleaning.  It attaches easily to most sinks using two strong magnets that are placed under the sink. This eliminates the need for screws or other hardware. The Skoy Sink Rail retails at $24.99.

Skoy Enterprises also has its full line of Skoy products at the International Home and Housewares Show. Including the Skoy Cloth and Skoy Scrub. Be sure to stop by Skoy’s booth, S3256, where Karen Peterson and Michelle Lundqvist will be happy to tell you more about their company.

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