DALLAS–More than 150 retailers and manufacturers in the gourmet kitchenwares industry gathered in Atlanta for the fifth-annual Gourmet Catalog Retail Summer School, which ran concurrently with the recently completed Atlanta Gift & Home Furnishings Market.
The event provided members with interactive training and in-depth education on today’s top kitchenware products as well as direct feedback on key products for vendors. The two-day event included presentations from such Gourmet Catalog vendors as Wüsthof, Peugeot, Emile Henry, Mauviel, Tovolo, iPinium, Creo, Revol, Picnic Time and Zwilling. Celebrity chefs Elizabeth Karmel and Fabio Vivani were also on hand; Karmel presented her new line for Revol while Viviani showcased his new Fabio line for Picnic Time.
On the second day of Summer School, store members took individual small-group classes led by 12 of Gourmet Catalog’s vendors, including All-Clad, Browne, HIC, iCoffee, KitchenIQ, Le Creuset, Lekue, Messermeister, Scanpan/Global Cutlery, SodaStream, Viante and Vitamix. In these more intimate presentations, vendors demonstrated new products and gave tips and ideas on how to best sell the products in-store.
“This was a great event and I can’t thank the stores and vendors enough for participating,” said Janis Johnson, president and founder of Gourmet Catalog. “The summer school event more so than any other that GC hosts, really connects stores and vendors on an intimate level where learning is the most valuable. Not only do stores learn exclusive product information, but vendors learn so much from independent retailers, things that only those on the front line can grasp and convey.”
In a statement released by Gourmet Catalog, Theron Foley, national sales manager of All-Clad, said, “All-Clad was thrilled to participate in our first-ever summer school. We find great value anytime we can reach out to our Gourmet Catalog members in person. This smaller-scale learning allowed us to be interactive and hands-on with retailers, which facilitated a mutual exchange of open learning that can’t happen over e-mail or phone.”
Gregg Smith, buyer for The Cook’s Warehouse, added, “The Gourmet Catalog Summer School provides an opportunity to interact with our vendors and build relationships that benefit us both. The training session groups are small enough to allow a large degree of participation between members and vendors, which helps everyone learn.”