26681 Tue, 11/27/2012 - 10:00am
By Allison Zisko
Nambé continues its push into housewares with the introduction of CookServ, a cookware collection that it believes is as beautiful as it is functional.
The collection of belly-shaped, double-handled five-ply sauté and sauce pans comes under the Nambé Gourmet brand, a newly created, separately positioned brand that reflects the same “quality standards and high design” that Nambé is known for, according to President Robert Varakian. The collection was quietly introduced at the New York Tabletop Show this past fall and will be fully heralded at the International Home + Housewares Show in March.
The tabletop company first dipped its toe into housewares about two years ago with the introduction of design-focused, mixed-material pantryware. Its spice rack, specifically, served as a “turning point” for the company because it was its first “pure kitchen” effort and was well-received, Varakian said. “It gave us the encouragement to get into housewares in a big way,” he said. Serving pieces, which the company is well-versed in, as well as paper towel and utensil holders, soon followed. Then came cookware.
In developing the line, Varakian said, the challenge was “How do we make cookware look like Nambé?” The goal became to create a line that was as functional as anything on the market, but beautiful as well, according to Varakian. It also wanted to create a collection that is truly stove-to-table and, since they could double as serving pieces, could be used in entertaining. “We’re not approaching cookware to try to be your non-stick omelet pan,” Varakian said. “We’re focused on pieces that can be used in entertaining.”
So it decided on the belly shape instead of a straight-sided design, and it opted for double-riveted handles. The pieces are five-ply, heavy-gauge stainless steel that work with gas, electric or induction cooktops and are dishwasher safe. Pieces include four sizes of sauté pans, three sizes of sauce pans and a paella pan.
Nambé Gourmet will have its own distinctive packaging that proclaims features and benefits but ties into the Nambé brand. It will be presented in the same retail channels that carry Nambé tabletop, Varakian said. The collection will officially launch at the Housewares Show in the spring and ship at the end of the first quarter.
Considering the amount of money consumers invest in their kitchens today, Varakian believes there is room for high-end, design-oriented countertop items and cookware. He said he asked himself, “Why hasn’t this been done before? It’s such a natural opportunity.”
Varakian believes the cookware will appeal to gift-givers, self-purchasers and brides. “It’s probably the biggest thing we’ve done,” he said.