Kitchenware and specialty foods: a match that spells
success for retailers (Continued from page 5)
Everyone seems to agree that
kitchenware and specialty foods go
together like chocolate and peanut
butter, but the real question is how
to develop the assortment.
Coviello and Roberts both caution retailers to get to know their customer
base. When asked if there were
some sure-fire selections for stores
to carry, Roberts was emphatic, “No,
your customer base needs to show
you the way.” Roberts also points
out that a good distributor can be
instrumental in helping set up and
merchandise the specialty foods.
Coviello wants to remind retailers
that working with specialty foods
takes training and expertise. He
prefers to have shelf-stable foods
with a shelf life of at least a year.
“Cheeses are the kiss of death,
unless you’re also carrying wine.
Carrying cheeses has to be done by
someone with a real understanding
of the industry,” said Coviello.
Cheese is just what Now You’re
Cooking’s owner is evaluating for
his store. Fear stocks over 600 labels
of wine in his store. He’s also the
son of cheese makers, so he has an
advantage over many store owners.
And if those credentials weren’t
enough, he explains that he’s from
a town called Cheddar. While he
may have cheese in his blood, it’s
his customers that have been asking
for the addition to his stock.
Fear plans to add cheese and
additional specialty foods that are
not found in the local grocery stores.
He’s not adding on to the store, but
he will be rearranging his current in-
ventory – looking for a more efficient
arrangement within the store. He
estimates that less than 15% of
his total space will be devoted to
About Michael Fear
Michael and Betsy Fear founded Now You’re Cooking, a retail kitchen
store, in 2000. Located in historic downtown Bath, Maine, the store
carries a large selection of cookware, including items from Le Creuset,
All-Clad, KitchenAid, Viking, Cuisinart, and Wusthof. The store also carries
over 600 labels in the wine and beer department, specialty teas, coffee,
and condiments and a large assortment of kitchen tools and accessories
including the “wall o’gadgets.” To reach Michael Fear, call 207-443-1402,
or visit www.acooksemporium.com.
About Bob Coviello
Bob Coviello founded the HTI Buying Group, which offers independent kitchenware
and tabletop specialty retailers the opportunity to buy products and programs from
member vendors on a corporate discount plan. Before founding HTI, Coviello
co-founded Kitchen Etc., a 28 million dollar category dominant kitchenware
and tabletop retail chain. Coviello provides private consulting to retailers in the
kitchenware category and is the author of numerous articles and columns on
the subject of successful retailing. To reach Coviello, call 888-HTI-3380 or go to
About John P. Roberts
John Roberts founded Blackpoint Management Inc., to provide consulting exclusively within
the specialty food industry. Roberts served in leadership positions at Romanoff Foods,
Buitoni, and Riviana Foods as well as other major food companies. He joined the National
Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. (NASFT®) in 1989 as Executive Director/
General Manager, and was promoted to President in 1996. He has served on the National
Board of the American Institute of Wine & Food, the Food Institute, the New York Society
of Association Executives and the Board of the National Executive Service Corps. To reach
Roberts, call 732-272-7343 or visit www.BlackpointManagement.com.