Trend Feature—Getting Back To The Garden: Natural Materials & Nature Motifs Strike A Chord With Customers
The environmental movement is making its mark in the gourmet housewares and tabletop segments, and manufacturers are responding to retail and consumer demand with a plethora of new ecologically-inspired products. Natural materials are attracting increased attention, particularly wood, bamboo, glass, metal and ceramic pieces. Trendy design motifs drawn from nature include leaves, birds and branches, while floral patterns continue to be perennial best sellers. Organic, sustainable, repurposed and recycled products also are becoming more popular, as consumers strive to be both fashionable and earth-friendly.
Austrailian Design Caskata
Natural Olivewood
Rosana Mariposa
Giardino Tabletop Collection
by Rosanna
Recycled Glass Decanters
by Sobremesa by Greenheart
Gregarious Garden Collection
by Mariposa
Show Feature—Exhibitors Expect Positive Results From NY NOW
Show Format
Leading gourmet housewares and tabletop suppliers eagerly anticipate the summer 2013 debut of the NY NOW®, the Market for Home & Lifestyle (formerly NYIGF®).

As part of the Show’s new format, the Gourmet Housewares Show® will be integrated into the Tabletop + Gourmet Housewares neighborhood within the NY NOW HOME collection. More than 300 suppliers of gourmet housewares products and specialty tabletop items will showcase their products during NY NOW, Aug. 18 to 21 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

“The new name hasn’t changed the quantity or quality of innovative new products and leading resources in gourmet products and upscale housewares,” explains Christian Falkenberg, NY NOW director and GLM senior vice president. “Plus, as part of NY NOW HOME, both buyers and suppliers now have access to the New York market two times a year, in both winter and summer.”

Exhibitors say they are looking forward to the change. “As a long time exhibitor at the New York International Gift Fair, Zevro is very enthusiastic about the change over to the NY NOW concept,” declares Corky Durschlag, vice president of sales and marketing for the Skokie, IL-based housewares manufacturer. “As a wholesale company that distributes our products in over 35 countries, Zevro has always felt that New York City, the capital of the world, was the ideal venue for providing our customers the perfect context and environment to exhibit our unique collection of home dispensers (right), housewares and barware.

“We are especially pleased with the ‘total concept’ of bringing all home-related products together into one expanded section so that the buyers who concentrate on the home can focus their time and energy in one area without distractions,” Durschlag adds. “Zevro is always delighted, when exhibiting in New York, that the buyers who attend the show are a rare blending of major department and chain stores, better specialty/gourmet stores and International accounts. The exposure for our company’s products at this show is always exceptional.”

Leading handcrafted luxury tableware company Simon Pearce offers a wide array of complementary products and executives are enthusiastic about the Show’s lifestyle approach. “The broader category for Home, now encompassing home furnishings, home textiles, decorative accessories, tabletop and gourmet housewares, is more aligned with Simon Pearce’s product offerings,” notes James Murray, executive director of design, product development and merchandising at the Windsor, VT-based firm. “The new format is more all-encompassing than simply ‘gift’ and reflects the variety of home, gift and lifestyle products exhibited at the show. It is also more reflective of how buyers are sourcing for their stores today.

“In the past five years, as we’ve evolved to become more of a ‘lifestyle’ company; we’ve begun actively sourcing an assortment of home accents (above, left) that precisely complement our glass and pottery tabletop shapes and designs,” Murray continues. “New York City is the epicenter of fashion, design, culture, art and media. The city is home to influencers and taste makers that help shape and drive consumer trends. The energy of the city provides a source of inspiration for our design team and an ideal location for the sales team to build and foster relationships.  We get a lot of joy from delighting our customers with new expressions of glass and ceramic, constantly reimagining the possibilities and how we can engage with new audiences. New York City is the place to do this.”

California-based luxury apron supplier Jessie Steele will be showcasing new upscale prints (right) and accessories at the August event. “It’s great that NY NOW has consolidated all home-related categories into one easily accessible section,” comments Jovanni Ishaan, sales manager. “The new format will make navigation of the show more efficient and focused; consolidating home-related product categories into one section should improve customer return during the show for many exhibitors—it will make buyers more likely to revisit our booth after walking the floor.

“We offer multiple product categories in the home-related and gift sections,” Ishaan adds. “NY NOW has proved to be of great benefit to our company in terms of reaching a wider audience and establishing our presence in these divisions. We use the feedback received and orders placed at NY NOW as consideration on what new categories to include in our future collections. New York City is known as a trendsetter in fashion apparel, textiles and gift. It’s very important to have a platform such as NY NOW.”

Other companies plan to spotlight accessories and complementary products, including Mexico-based glass tabletop manufacturer Nouvel Studio, which will highlight unique and sophisticated accessories (left) in the Show’s Accent On Design section. “Our change to Accent on Design worked pretty well; we expect more of this success at NY NOW,” notes Michael Kramer, director general. “Our distribution office is located in Connecticut so [the Show] is a good place to keep in touch with our customers. It represents our main point of contact with our customers in the U.S. and other countries in America and Europe. It is also the place where we present our new collections.”

Suppliers of gourmet food and beverages also feel the change will have a positive impact. “We think it’s a great idea that will help customers reach their targets in an easier way, and all in one place,” states Mor Kahan of Brooklyn-based tea and accessories supplier Miss Tea. “This is also great for us, as it will direct the right customers in an easier way. The Show is a great platform to find in one place many new customers that are interested in carrying our products (right.) It is also a great way to get in touch with big/chain companies.”

NY NOW, the Market for Home & Lifestyle will run Saturday, Aug. 17 through Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Passenger Ship Terminal Pier 94. NY NOW’s four comprehensive collections–Home, Lifestyle, Handmade and New–will encompass 100,000 products in 400+ product categories. Some 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide are expected. Information and registration is available online at
Industry Q&A—What are your best-selling natural products or nature motifs in housewares and tabletop products? Why are these doing well?
A “Some of my best selling natural housewares and tabletop products are bamboo bowls, wooden serving utensils and wine bags made from natural materials with a leaf motif; the brands are JK Adams from Vermont and Whetstone Woodenware in Indiana. The type of wooden utensils that have been most popular run the gamut—spoons, whisking forks, spatulas, salad servers, scoops and toast tongs. The most popular items from JK Adams are the bowls and cutting boards. I think these products are doing well because many consumers seem concerned about the health effects of inorganic materials. Many of my natural products are made in the USA. I have many customers express appreciation that I have made an attempt to sell products that have been made in America.”
Cyndi Zippilli, Owner, The American Table, Collingswood, NJ
A  “Bowls made of horn with a chrome rim from Frances Stoia have been great sellers! Forged metal candlesticks are another ‘loved’ item. Stone coasters with local images of cacti shot by my wife Judy Hedelund Adams sell well in our Arizona location. At our resort store in Harbor Springs, MI the sailing- and floral-themed coasters sell well. People love that they can get things from the area, as well as a natural product. [We sell] potpourri in a dish from France and the fragrance is baked into the ceramic and pebble pieces—they are very pretty in looks as well as fragrance. Natural shell salad servers and inlaid knife and fork sets do well, also. Especially in the desert area people love natural stone surrounding them in their homes, as well as outside. Everyone in both our locations loves the outdoors and loves bringing it inside to enjoy all the time. They are more conscious of their surroundings and keeping them as beautiful as they can. So we believe they are moving from plastic, disposable to more natural, long lasting items. We believe in offering our customers things that they won't find everywhere else, so we try to find the unique items for them. We have been around for over 27 years on have seen a lot of changes in the industry, but have always kept to the more natural earthy items that people can treasure over the years.”
Jerry Adams, Owner, A Cool Breeze, Scottsdale, AZ
A  “I definitely see nature as a trend because customers are much more aware of the environment now. We have had great success with recycled products, including clocks and wood frames from AI Paper Design and beautiful bags made from recycled candy wrappers by Nahui Ollin. We have sold tons of recycled items from Wild Eye Designs; the cheese platters made from recycled wine bottles have been very popular. Natural motifs, especially birds and owls, have been popular, including some wonderful clock designs from Present Time. Customers are much more conscious of nature, and they respond to products that have natural or environmental appeal.”
Monesha Johnson, Owner, Pandora’s Box Boutique, Baltimore, MD
A  “Our business is driven by entertaining at home and our customers are fairly sophisticated, so we try to choose products that are both useful and trendy. Our customers tend to respond best to natural materials, organic/sustainable products and natural motifs. We have been very successful with hand-finished natural wooden bowls by Spencer Peterman, as well as natural wood peppermills, and faux-wood handled flatware by Sabre. We’ve also done very well with textured glass vases and bowls in natural motifs from Simon Pearce. People also like cotton table linens and dish cloths with a natural linen or organic appearance.”
Marty Rook, Owner, New Preston Kitchen Goods, New Preston, CT
NYC Feature—Reinvent Dining And Drinking Experiences With New Manhattan Hot Spots
Perhaps one of the best reasons—among many—to visit the newly-renovated Macy’s Herald Square flagship is the debut of Stella 34 Trattoria, a modern Italian restaurant located on the sixth floor of this landmark building. Macy’s partnered with The Patina Restaurant Group to develop this 10,000-square-foot restaurant with seating for 270. Highlights include a trendy Prosecco Bar; an intimate, semi-private dining room; a casual lounge; and a massive 240-foot-long carrara marble and stainless steel dining counter facing the open kitchen and its three wood-burning ovens. “Stella 34 Trattoria is an extraordinary endeavor in department store dining,” states Warren Wolfe, vice president of Macy’s Foods Division. “For the first time in the store’s history, Macy’s will bring destination dining to the sixth floor of our flagship and offer customers a unique vantage point for never-before-seen views of Broadway and 34th Street, matched by a sophisticated dining experience. With the historic renovation of Macy’s Herald Square, we are able to enhance the shopping experience of our customers with extensive dining options that cater to their lifestyles and expectations of the World’s Largest Store.” The restaurant features an authentic Neapolitan menu created by executive chef Jarrett Appell in collaboration with renowned Lincoln Ristorante executive chef Jonathan Benno. The menu includes gourmet standards such as Neapolitan pizza made from Caputo flour imported from Naples and topped with house-made Fior de Latte mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes; salumi, house-made fresh pasta; piccoli piatti, signature Italian antipasti designed for sharing; and an al forno entrée section highlighting the distinct flavors imparted by the wood-burning ovens. For dessert, try the first U.S. outpost of famed Italian gelato maker Vivoli. Stella 34 Trattoria serves lunch Monday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m.  to 10 p.m. For information or reservations, call 212-967-9251.

Can’t get away to the islands for vacation? Take a break from the everyday routine and check out Miss Lily’s, a Caribbean oasis pulsing to the rhythm of reggae, mento, soca and ska beats, all in the middle of downtown Manhattan. Located at 132 West Houston St. between MacDougal and Sullivan Streets, the Jamaican style diner specializes in a modern approach to traditional Jamaican cuisine, offering updated classics including jerk chicken, escovitch fish, ackee dip and plantains, oxtail stew, and curried goat seasoned with scotch bonnet peppers and fiery jerk spices. The location also houses Miss Lily’s Bake Shop and Melvin’s Juice Box, a casual, Jamaican patty bakery, juice bar, cafe, and take-out annex to the restaurant. Miss Lily’s is a collaboration between Paul Salmon, owner of the award-winning Rockhouse Hotel in Jamaica; and Binn and Genc Jakupi, the brothers behind New York nightclubs Bungalow 8, 1Oak, and The Box. Miss Lily’s is open for dinner Sunday through Wednesday, 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Thursday through Saturday 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and serves brunch Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. For information and reservations, call 646-588-5375.
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Show at a Glance
The Tabletop & Gourmet Housewares section of NY NOW HOME is the only industry event to focus on high-end cookware, cutlery, bakeware, small electrics, gadgets, tabletop, kitchen textiles and specialty food. NY NOW HOME presents a comprehensive collection of 1,200 companies encompassing the home furnishings, home textiles, decorative accessories, tabletop and gourmet housewares categories on Level 3 of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Drawing 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and 80+ countries, NY NOW is produced twice annually by GLM Shows and is open to trade only.

Donna Boyle Schwartz, Gourmet In NY editor: or telephone 845.298.9365.

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