Tast of NY
Trend Feature—Inventive And Interesting New Gadgets
Double As Great Gifts
Everyone delights in discovering an ingenious new gadget for their kitchen, something that allows them to hone their culinary crafts. Whether it’s a whimsical appearance, fantastic functionality or aesthetic design appeal, new and innovative gadgets are perpetual best sellers in the gourmet housewares business. Gadgets also make great gifts, and therefore are the perfect crossover category for retailers in search of a business boost. Gadgets appeal to the creative cook in all of us, because they make kitchen tasks easier, faster and, let’s face it, just more fun!

Stacky Drinkware
by Zak Designs
Wine Tools Collection
by Savora
Lego Storage Solutions
Herb Keepers
by Sagaform
Show Feature—Gourmet Housewares And Tabletop Exhibitors Showcasing Innovative New Products At August NY NOW
Gourmet housewares and tabletop suppliers are unveiling a host of new and exciting products at the summer 2013 edition of NY NOW®, the Market for Home & Lifestyle (formerly NYIGF®), running Aug. 18 to 21 at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

“The NY NOW HOME collection features the best and the brightest in gourmet products, innovative housewares and upscale tabletop items,” points out Christian Falkenberg, NY NOW director and senior vice president of show producer GLM. “More than 300 suppliers of gourmet housewares products and specialty tabletop items will showcase their products during NY NOW, offering exciting new merchandise to the estimated 35,000 retailers who will be shopping the Show.”

The upcoming August event marks the debut of a new format for NY NOW, which was formerly the New York International Gift Fair. As part of the new format, the Gourmet Housewares Show® will be integrated into the Tabletop + Gourmet Housewares neighborhood within the NY NOW HOME collection.

“We are very excited about coming to the NY NOW Show!” declares Teresa Lundahl, founder of Swedish ceramics manufacturer Mateus. “We are very proud to present our new collaboration with the great designer Tord Boontje, who has designed a lovely platter and a amazing gift box for our collection called ‘Mateus Meets Tord Boontje.’ Our collaboration with Tord Boontje will play an important role, as he is a landmark in the world of design.

“Mateus ceramics include a wide range of different colors and shapes of articles for the table,” Lundahl continues. “We will be presenting a light blue color (above, left) that can be combined with the other colors already presented in the U.S. market—purple, grey and ocean—as well as some new bowls and platters. I think the new color will get quite a good response as it gives even more depth to our concept—showing that all items can be mixed, making your table setting fun and personal! It gives people the possibility to express themselves by creating their own table settings, combining colors and shapes according to their moods and taste.”

VietriItalian housewares and tabletop supplier VIETRI is highlighting its new Dei Medici dinnerware (right) at the August Show. “Our new Dei Medici dinnerware collection is a fresh take on bridal while maintaining our classic Italian heritage,” explains Lisa Boyles, vice president, sales and marketing. “The design honors the Florentine Medici family and their patronage of the arts with its sculpted borders inspired by a Renaissance painting and hand-painted scenes representing Florence and the surrounding villages. Handmade of Italian stoneware in Tuscany, Dei Medici is refined and rustic at once.

“Our newest product launch features comforting color palettes, statement prints and bold patterns reflecting energy and passion, gorgeous gilded glassware, strong yet modest designs and beloved favorites, updated with new appeal,” Boyles adds. “Each piece of VIETRI is authentic and unique, born from the earth and inspired by Italy. VIETRI's products are designed to complement the American lifestyle and celebrate Italy and all that it encompasses—a love of life, people, nature, and simply good living.”

Alex MarshallCalifornia-based ceramics manufacturer Alex Marshall Studios is launching an Urban Dinnerware line (left) in 19 glazes and four sizes: 13-inch charger, 11-inch dinner plate, 8.5-inch side plate and 6-by-2-inch bowl. “It's our interpretation of a coupe design and is made from a high fire porcelain clay body,” points out co-owner Alex Marshall. “It's extremely thin and lightweight but incredibly strong so it can be used on a daily basis. We're also launching two new glazes: honey with charcoal, and black and white. The honey with charcoal is our honey glaze with a couple of charcoal drip lines and dots across the center of each piece. The black and white is gloss black with gloss white, and where they overlap in the middle creates a mixture of the two colors. The honey with charcoal is available in our entire line and the black and white is available in serving bowls, certain accessories, vases and lighting. For our baby and kids' line, we're launching a lavender butterfly, blue rocket ship and blue UFO motifs which are available on our three-piece dish sets, coin banks, picture frames and lighting.”

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 www.nynow.com.
Industry Q&A—What great new products will you be shopping for at the August NY NOW show?
HipsterA “We are constantly searching for new and innovative products that are both beautiful and practical. We focus our attention on contemporary/modern products that encourage people to interact with our products, touch the products and explore their different uses. This year we are targeting our kitchen and bath products because this is the line that seems to drive our store traffic most consistently. Our kitchen lines include Joseph Joseph, Umbra and ittala; these lines offer our customers the quality and attention to design that they expect from us. Although we both expect a certain attention to detail with our products, we still expect them to be fun and practical. A big part of our small success is that we also sell modern furniture. The growth in furniture has given our store new life but we're always searching for new products that will give us that next boost of energy in the store.”
David Friday & Lindsay Herman, Owners, Hipster Home, Philadelphia, PA
Kitchen WitchA “I will be looking for easy-care linens because I find these are lacking in my area and people want a green solution to throw-away napkins but not more work like ironing. I also will be looking for different ways to serve appetizers and small plates to make entertaining easy and stylish. I will be specifically watching for dishes and serving pieces that are elegant but not precious so they can be used every day and are again easy to care for. I think people love the look of fine china and silver—especially the Downton Abbey lovers—but need easy care, since time is at a premium. I am new to retail but have always loved entertaining and setting a great table. The tag line for my store is ‘Conjure Up Old World Entertaining,’ and a kitchen witch is an old European symbol that ensures safety and productivity and counteracts any ill will directed toward your home—a good luck charm.”
Donna Cole, Head Witch, The Kitchen Witch, Dundas, Ontario, Canada
A “Ours is a small specialty gift shop in the heart of the wine country. We specialize in bed and table linens and are always looking for charming items to dress up a table or bed. We believe in color in the country as it complements the outdoors.”
Toni Rothschild, Co-Owner, The Corner Store, Sonoma, CA
TweakA “The way I shop for my store is that every item must have a purpose—it must enhance your life, make things more convenient, smarter, or delight you with whimsy.  This can be anything from a great chopping block to a wonderful potato peeler to a fun margarita glass. I love items that combine housewares with home entertaining; products that are multi-purpose—a salad bowl that can become a centerpiece, for example.  As a small business owner, I like to buy from other small companies that made the leap to entrepreneurship; I am always looking for new vendors that have a great idea. I love to work with people who are happy and love their jobs, because I believe passion translates into great product.”
Tara Riceberg, Owner, Tweak, The Original Giftery, Los Angeles, CA
Cassandra's KitchenA  “We are constantly looking for simple pieces that are multi-functional and beautiful; handmade or rustic tableware pieces that have simple color palettes and minimal or no patterns so that they can be mixed with other pieces that our customers may already own. We strive for a high level of quality so elegant, solid pieces that can be used again and again is what we will be searching for this year. Having grown up in a small town, we know the importance of small businesses and we try to find unique pieces that are made by artisans in small productions. In addition, our customers are always looking for pieces that are American made. This year we will be looking for kitchen tools and tableware that are made in the USA. We strive to be the Ina Garten one-stop-shop. We sell select specialty cookware and bakeware items, accessories and cookbooks developed and utilized by Ina Garten, cookbook author and host of Food Network's Barefoot Contessa.”
Cassandra Schultz (left) & Cintia Parsons (right,) Owners, Cassandra's Kitchen, Fort Washington, PA
NYC Feature—Shop, Eat And Enjoy At Manhattan’s Gastronomie 491
Gastronomie 491Foodies—and their friends—searching for an intimate gourmet shopping experience on Manhattan’s upper West Side need look no further than Gastronomie 491, a unique specialty food market and dine-in café located at 491 Columbus Avenue. Gastronomie 491 was founded by Nicole Ahronee, who identified an unmet need for a neighborhood gourmet market. “We lacked a place to shop for specialty items like a good baguette, a birthday cake or a traditional Italian cappuccino; I once walked 20 blocks on Columbus Avenue looking for a pack of dried fruit for my father,” Ahronee recalled. “Gastronomie 491 was designed as both a shop to find delicious and unique specialty foods, and a gathering place for the local community. Our motto, ‘Prepared in Good Taste,’ dictates everything we do, from the foods we prepare to the convivial atmosphere we strive to create.”

Gastronomie 491 specializes in bringing the best of New York to the upper West Side, according to Cecily Wong, director of marketing. “By selecting the best artisan products from around the city—Billy’s cupcakes, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, Francois Payard cookies, Tom Cat Breads—we create a convenient, curated shopping experience for our neighbors who might otherwise have to travel considerable distances to find these items,” Wong explains. “In house, we specialize in preparing simple, fresh food with seasonal ingredients and a Mediterranean flair. We have a very extensive prepared foods case that rotates regularly and caters to our neighbors in need of a quick, healthy meal.”

Ahronee points out that there has been a huge growth in the gourmet movement in America over the past 30 years. “Our ultimate customer is, above all, inquisitive,” she explains. “Food is an endless path of exploration and not all tastes will suit your palate.  We aim to tempt our customers with excellent products and the healthy, tasty food we prepare daily.  Especially in New York, cooking at home can be difficult and time consuming, so our prepared foods are particularly appealing to an urban lifestyle.

“Recently, there seems to be a national fascination with cheese and charcuterie, so our cheese counter is doing very well,” Ahronee continues. “Other growing categories include organic produce, imported coffee, craft beers and local dairy. Our current best seller is our coffee; we use a unique roast from Italy that is rich and velvety. From our cheese department, we sell a lot of Aussie Magic, which is a soft goat’s milk cheese marinated in herbs.  Another bestseller is L’Amuse, a gouda from Holland that’s nutty and salty with hints of caramel.”

Wong and Ahronee say they will be eagerly shopping the gourmet housewares and tabletop aisles at NY NOW this August. “We’ll be looking for new specialty food items and gourmet trends,” Wong relates. “We’ll also be shopping for food-related books with a unique perspective–books that are less driven by recipes and more about food education.”

Located on Columbus Avenue between 83rd and 84th Streets, Gastronomie 491 is open Sunday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10. For more information, call 212-974-7871.
Facebook Twitter
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: donna@dds-enterprises.com or telephone 845.298.9365.

Click here for previous issues of Gourmet In NY.