AUTUMN Gift Fair 1-3 March 2015 ASB Showgrounds, Auckland www.giftfairs.co.nz
Paper from responsible sources
Visual Clutter Revamping a small store
The Design Depot wins 2014 gia New Zealand Award
A Business on a Mission The CHOPPING BLOCK
See us on Stand 3050
Plan your visit now. Login and confirm your details or register for free online.
WINTER Gift AND Homeware Fair
SPRING Gift AND Homeware Fair
Autumn Gift and Homeware Fair
7-9 JUNE 2015 Horncastle Arena Christchurch
30 AUG - 1 SEPT 2015 ASB Showgrounds Auckland
1-3 March 2015 ASB Showgrounds Auckland
www.giftfairs.co.nz Images compliments of: DQ, LisaSarah, Old Mill Road, Stewart Sales and Service, The Limit and Le Creuset NZ
30 41 37 34
Exhibitor & Retailer Profiles
New Product Showcase A sneak peek at whats hot this year Exhibitor Listing A comprehensive reference to all exhibitors Product index Exhibitors’ offerings arranged by category
112 111 102 117
5 4 3
Brand index Who stocks that brand?
Fair details Your show at a glance - from parking to site plan
Fixing the De Minimis Threshold Support the change
Exhibitors and floorplan A visual reference to your favourite exhibitors
29 28 10 12 16 18 21 22 25 26
Keynote Speaker Presented by Mark Johnston, Retail NZ
NZGTA Terms & Conditions
Colour Cues Resene
Cut Above Remarkable retail from around the world
International Click and Collect Growth ACRS
IRD Provisional Tax made easy
Revamping an Small Store Compliments of NZ Retail
Service IQ Staff Training
gia Winner The Design Depot
Retail and Business Management Massey University
Front cover imagery provided by Splosh, Stand no. 2071 Website: splosh.com.au
Commerce Commission Product Safety is your responsibility
its weight in awards. Simply visit the Ford stand today and you could win a Fiesta Sport. Loaded with smart technology and impressive fuel economy, it’s designed to keep up with your busy lifestyle, all while being the most eye-catching car on the block. FIESTA Sport with 1.0L EcoBoost ™ engine
HOW TO ENTER To be eligible to enter the competition, an individual must:
• Formally register and be validated onsite as a genuine trade visitor at one or more of the NZ Gift & Homeware Fairs, or South Island Hospitality Show (SIHS) in 2015 (the Event) prior to the close date. • Visit the Ford Motor Company of New Zealand Limited exhibition stand at the Event, and have your issued Event visitor badge scanned. Each visitor to the Event is entitled to 1 entry only per NZ Gift & Homeware Fair/SIHS event attended in 2015. CONDITIONS OF ENTRY Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these Conditions of Entry: 1. By entering the competition you agree that you have read, understood and accepted these Conditions of Entry. 2. The Promoters reserve the right to change the terms and conditions of the Promotion without prior notice and at its discretion or extend, postpone or discontinue the Promotion at any time. 3. Entry is only open to New Zealand residents aged 16 years or over who own a valid New Zealand driver’s licence. Employees and contractors and the immediate families of employees and contractors of the promoters and other agencies associated with this promotion are ineligible. 4. The promoters reserve the right to verify the validity of entries and to disqualify any entrant who tampers with the entry process or who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these Conditions of Entry. 5. Promotion commences 01/03/15 at 09:00am. Entries close 04:00pm on 01/09/15 and no entries will be accepted after this time. Draw will take place on 02/09/14 at Level 1, 99-107 Khyber Pass Road, Grafton, Auckland, New Zealand at 8:00am. The winner will be notified by mail, email or telephone (at the option of the promoter) and the name of the winner may be published on www.giftfairs.co.nz website on or after 07/09/15. Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 6. The first valid entry drawn will win a 2015 model Ford Fiesta Sport EcoBoost Automatic vehicle (including full registration and on-road costs, but excluding insurance). The promoters may at their absolute discretion substitute this prize for a prize of equal value without notice to the entrants or winner. The prize is not transferrable or exchangeable. 7. The promoters are not responsible or liable for: a. late, lost or misdirected entries; b. any incorrect or inaccurate information, either provided by entrants to the competition or generated by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilised in this competition, or by any technical error that may occur in the course of the administration of this competition; c. any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorised access to or alteration of entries; and d. any loss or damage whatsoever (including personal injury) which is suffered (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss) as a result of taking the prize, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law. 8. The promoters collect entrants’ personal information in order to conduct the promotion. If the information requested is not provided, the entrant may not participate in the promotion. By entering the promotion, unless otherwise requested by the entrant, each entrant also agrees that the promoters may collect and hold the information, and use it in any media for future promotional, marketing and publicity purposes without any further reference, payment or other compensation to the entrant, including sending the entrant electronic messages. Entrants’ personal information may be disclosed to lottery departments and winners names published as required under the relevant lottery legislation. A request to access, update or correct any information should be directed to XPO Exhibitions Ltd or Ford New Zealand via their websites. 9. All entrants warrant that they are not contravening any national laws by entering prize draw. The promoters are: XPO Exhibitions Ltd, Level 1, 99-107 Khyber Pass Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023; Ford Motor Company of New Zealand Limited, Private Bag 76912, Manukau City, Auckland.
FOR 4129 XPO Fiesta Sport GF HP vf.indd 1
16/12/14 4:32 pm
Dear Visitors, Welcome to the first New Zealand Gift & Homewares Fair for 2015. Welcome to AUTUMN GIFT 2015
Published by XPO Exhibitions Ltd
Published for NZ Gift & Homeware Fairs
We hope you’re back from solid trading through the holiday period and looking forward to viewing an array of brand new product to fill those empty shelves. We’re excited to bring you such a great selection courtesy of many hundreds of exhibiting wholesalers, distributors, importers and NZ manufacturers! The New Zealand Gift Trade Association (NZGTA) has been busy in recent months meeting up with Retail NZ - recently rebranded from what was the NZ Retailers Association - namely to better foster relations between our strong long standing organisations; exploring ways we can build more education forums/seminars at these fairs, and finding common ground on legislative issues impacting our related industries. You’ll likely see more of Retail NZ working with us the organisers to develop added value and industry engagement opportunities for retailers at the NZ Gift Fairs. The NZGTA are firmly supporting government lobbying efforts led by Retail NZ to remove what is known as the “de minimis threshold” – an exemption on GST and duty benefitting international retailers selling product online to kiwi consumers where the product value is less than $400. The exemption is creating an unfair competitive advantage to overseas online retailers relative to NZ retailers visiting these fairs who sell comparable giftware in store that is subject to GST. Should the government eradicate the threshold then not only will it help national retailers compete but the nation can also capture a valuable new source of tax revenue! So how can you help support a change? Visit the show information desk outside of halls 2 & 3 where you can scan your badge to show your support. We’ll send the register to Minister Hon. Bill English in the coming weeks, in addition to a strongly worded letter that you’ll see within this magazine. We’d also encourage you to go and talk to the friendly crew at Retail NZ in hall 3 about other initiatives that can help you as NZ retailers. Finally it’s always a good idea to join in the conversation on these hot topics of importance for NZ retailers by following the NZ Gift & Homewares Fairs on Facebook. Together we can make a difference. Enjoy the fair!
XPO Exhibitions Ltd Level 1, 99-107 Khyber Pass Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023 P O Box 9682, Newmarket, Auckland 1149, New Zealand
NZ Gift Fairs Team Exhibition Sales Sandra Gorringe 09 976 8330 email@example.com Neil Cording 09 976 8356 firstname.lastname@example.org Operations Chantelle Walker, Nick Batty Graphic Design Louise Brosnan Marketing Irene Smith, Jeff Edbrooke Accounts Brenda Dunn Events & Sales Director Tony Waite Managing Director Brent Spillane Contributors Michelle Hespe, Gary Bowering, Fiona Beale, Inland Revenue, Commerce Commission, NZ Retail, ACRS, Resene. Cover photography Splosh Magazine layout Louise Brosnan Print Management Compass Print Management
Regards Brent Spillane & Tony Waite
Service providers’ advertising enquiries email@example.com
The listings and information provided in this magazine are supplied by the exhibitors. Whilst all care is taken, XPO Exhibitions will not accept responsibility for incorrect information. Editorial opinion and advertising statements printed in Gift do not necessarily reflect the views of XPO Exhibitions Ltd and its staff, unless expressly stated.
BRENT SPILLANE Chairman NZ Gift Trade Association
TONY WAITE Event & Sales Director XPO Exhibitions
The NZ Gift Trade Association is an association representing more than 450 wholesalers, importers and manufacturers of gift and homeware in New Zealand. For more information head to pg 118 or visit www.nzgta.org.nz .
RESTROOMS Toilets are located in Halls 1 - 6 as indicated on the map to the right. NEW ZEALAND GIFT TRADE ASSOCIATION Executive Officer, Fiona Beal will be on hand throughout the Fair to answer any questions you may have, pertinent to the New Zealand Gift Trade Association. ACCOMMODATION The NZ Gift & Homeware Fairs are pleased to offer you special rates on accommodation from the following Hotel Partners. Use the booking form on our website www.giftfairs.co.nz or call the hotel directly. Please remember to quote the promo code: xpo2015 to receive the reduced rate. These are the best rates available at these hotels, all properties look forward to making your stay as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. Please note: Rates are subject to availability. Rendezvous Hotel Auckland cnr Vincent St & Mayoral Drive, City Centre 0800 887 808, firstname.lastname@example.org
VENUE ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, Auckland, New Zealand The ASB Showgrounds are located at 217 Greenlane Road West - about
10 minutes from the city centre. Terms and Conditions of Entry
The New Zealand Gift & Homeware Fairs are trade only events 1. Genuine trade buyers only will be admitted to the Fair. 2. All visitors to the Fair are to register and wear their Entry Pass which must be visible at all times. 3. No product may be removed from the Fair. 4. Children under 16 are not able to attend. Babies in back or front packs are welcome only upon completion of a waiver form. NO prams or strollers will be allowed access to the Fair. 5. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of exhibitors, no video or still photography including via mobile phones. 6. Exhibitors are at the fair to sell their products. No selling or distributing of marketing material to the exhibitors at any time during the Fair or within the Fair venue. Non-compliance will result in eviction from the exhibition. 7. No smoking anywhere in the venue please. 8. Please note: Accompanying guests are able to attend on the first 2 days of the Fair only. A guest pass may be obtained from the registration desk. There is a $20 charge for the pass. 9. XPO Exhibitions reserve the right to refuse admission to the Gift Fair. XPO Exhibitions also reserve the right to revoke registrations at any time where it is deemed necessary. REGISTRATION DETAILS You can now manage your NZ Gift & Homeware Fairs “membership” online. You can log on with your username and password at any time and update your contact details to ensure you are kept up to date with all the NZ Gift Fairs news. If you have previously attended a Gift Fair you will receive an email at the start of each year asking you to confirm your details. Once your registration is complete and your ID has been verified you will receive a barcoded email. This barcode will give you access to all three Gift Fairs in that year. Please print off the barcoded email and bring it with you on the day of the Fair for express entry. If you have never visited a NZ Gift Fair before you can save $20 by pre- registering online at www.giftfairs.co.nz or phone 0800 367 976. All visitors must have their own individual registration. If you are not submitting your ID prior to the Fair please remember to bring it with you on the day. Once you are registered you will be registered for all NZ Gift Fairs in the future. GIFT WEBSITE & GIFT TRADER Your user name and password will be the same as your registration logins. GIFT MAGAZINE It’s a good idea to plan your visit in advance – using the directory in this magazine is the best way to pre-determine what products you want to see. Remember to bring this guide with you to the Fair. Additional copies are available for sale, $15 per copy. GIFT FAIR INFORMATION DESK For any enquiries at the Fair please stop by the Info Desk located in the foyer of Halls 1 - 3. During the Fair you can also call the Info Desk on 09 630 4555. CAFES For your convenience, cafes are located in the food court outside Halls 1 - 3, as well as outside coffee carts throughout the venue. LUGGAGE STORAGE There are storage facilities available. You will find them at each of the registration areas and in the foyer of Halls 1-3. Note: NZ Gift Fairs takes all care for your luggage however we cannot take responsibility.
Pullman Auckland Cnr Princes Street & Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland Central 09 353 1000 / Fax 09 353 1002 email@example.com
The Quest Newmarket 31-39 Davis Cres, Newmarket 09 520 3000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Giftmobile There will be a free morning and afternoon Giftmobile transport service provided by the Gift Fairs to take visitors from the above hotels to the Fair. This will run approximately every 30 mins Times Sunday/Monday 7.30am–10.30am, 5pm–7.30pm Tuesday 7.30am–10.30am, 2.30pm-4.30pm. For airport runs outside of these times please email info@giftfairs. co.nz or call 0800 367 976. Info will also be available at hotel check-in. Drop off and pick up at the Fair is at Gate 2 on Greenlane Rd. TAXIS & AIRPORT SHUTTLES Available on request at the Info Desk in the Foyer or prior to the Fair. Airport transfers for multiple passengers - Super Shuttles 09 522 5100 Green Cabs 0508 447 336 Taxis will be advised to collect passengers from Gate 2 on Greenlane Rd. BUS Visit www.AT.govt.nz CAR If you are driving from South to North exit the Southern Motorway at Greenlane and turn left into Greenlane Road. If you are driving from North to South exit the Southern Motorway at Greenlane and turn right and go around the roundabout into Greenlane Road. The ASB Showgrounds are located approximately 3kms along Greenlane Road West. PARKING Alexandra Raceway provides parking at a daily rate of $8 cash only. Entry is via Greenlane Rd or more conveniently from Campbell Cres (behind the Caltex Station). From there you can access the ASB Showgrounds through Gate 4 and start your visit at Hall 1. Limited Free Parking is available in Puriri Drive with access via Gate 4.
EXHIBITION FLOOR PLANS PLAN OVERVIEW
Alexandra Raceway Car park Entrance
Alexandra Raceway Car park Entrance
Registration Womens Toilets Mens Toilets Cafe
Halls Cloak Room Show Information
Registration Womens Toilets Mens Toilets Cafe
Halls Cloak Room Show Information
ECO FRIENDLY By displaying this table talker at their stand the exhibitor declares that they have Eco Friendly product on their exhibition stand that complies with the Guidelines for Green Marketing document issued by the New Zealand Commerce Commission.
Exhibitors with the Kiwi symbol next to their name have declared that they exhibit product which complies with the Country of Origin guidelines issued by the Commerce Commission. To view these guidelines please visit www.comcom.govt.nz
SHOW ONLY SPECIALS
Many exhibitors have Show Only Specials. You can download a list of these from our website or look for Show Only Specials table talkers at the Fair.
If you see this table talker displayed at an exhibitors stand make sure you pop in and check out the New Product they have to offer.
Chiba Enterprises Ltd Caro & Jerrat Ltd Flower Systems Ltd
Jasnor (Australia) Pty Ltd
Watime Holdings (2002) Ltd
Future Presence Ltd
Live Wires New Zealand Ltd.
3171 & 3196
Bright Idea Solutions Co Waxglo House (1983) Ltd
Image Gallery Iconic Designs Maxim Displays
Dale Borland Marketing (1993) Ltd
ETR International Hot Art Ceramics
Sweetpea Marketing Ltd Stewarts Sales & Service Ltd
Bee Dee Bags Pty Ltd
Peppers Trading Co The Soda Press Co Global Playtech Ltd
Lilyfield Ltd Namaskar
Melric International Ltd Diamond Bay Imports Aquarius Design Ltd Espial Marketing Ltd Well Presented Ltd Provence Imports Ltd Independence Studios Lonergan Trading Co Ltd Allen Trading Company Gift Trader
Amberlene Accessories Ltd
The Aromatherapy Company
Calico Cottage Fudge Systems Ltd
Kerr Cowan Ltd
Crystal Ashley Designs
Korowai Products Ltd
Until Pty Ltd
Office Products Depot Tania Tupu Jewellery
Ribbon N Blues Ltd Pacifica Skin Care Ltd
Inzspired Ltd Essents Co Ltd
Old Mill Road
Le Forge Tikitibu Ltd
Enhance Accessories NZ
Caroline Mitchell Ltd
NZ Dimensionz Ltd
Nuzilla Limited 100% NZ Ltd
Preston Hamilton + Company Ltd
The Seriously Good Chocolate Company
Omega Imports Ltd
The Herb and Spice Mill Company Ltd
Armano Home & Garden Collections Kaku Ltd (Formerly Glassyzone Ltd)
Electronic Wholesale Ltd Ali Davies - The Fabric Queen
3rd Rock Ceramics Dimples by Jane Anne
Charisse Contemporary Jewellery
Beckett Books PGNZ Limited
Paradise Products Furniture Road Ltd
Omni Products Ltd
K O Imports
LisaSarah - Designs in Steel
Red Letter Jewellery
Book your seat for this insightful seminar now! Visit www.giftfairs.co.nz/seminars.php for more information TIME 12.00-1.00PM
Monday 2 MARCH
Futureproof & grow your retail business In order to keep up with changing trends it is important to look to education and knowledge to help protect & grow your business. In this enlightening & useful session Associate Professor, Jonathan Elms will use his experience to coach and guide you through some of the more practical ways that retailers can pro-actively build their business through education, of themselves, and their staff. Associate Professor, Jonathan Elms is the first academic to hold the Sir Stephen Tindall Chair in Retail Management at Massey University.
Seminar AREA, Upstairs Mezzanine, main foyer
Tickets $10 PP
Light refreshments will be provided
Download a Registration Form at www.giftfairs.co.nz or email email@example.com
In Association with...
SEMINAR PROUDLY PRESENTED BY RETAIL NZ
Retail NZ is delighted to present, along with the NZ Gift Trade Association, this seminar by Associate Professor Jonathan Elms, Sir Stephen Tindall Chair in Retail Management, Massey University. I’d encourage you to attend this fantastic seminar at Monday lunchtime, on how to future-proof and grow your business through education. We’ve been working hard to ensure that we represent our sector at local and central government, and to ensure the needs of the retail sector are at the forefront of politicians’ minds. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible, and discussing how Retail NZ has negotiated some great membership benefits designed to make your retail business more profitable. Please pop along and say hi. We’d love to chat. Mark Johnston, CEO, Retail NZ
COLOUR CUES The trends have come around to perennial favourites – deep blue reds, the striking tone of black and near black, the soothing restfulness of duck egg blue and greyed blues and the bold pops of orange and yellow to add a touch of upbeat liveliness.
R emember your childhood… that playful streak, your there somewhere!) and be spontaneous, add that bold happy colour you’ve always loved for a touch of fun. Sure it might not last 10 years but the enjoyment you’ll get out of it in even a short period will far outweigh feeling trapped by safe choices. Colours should inspire you, help you feel at home and reflect who you are. There is a sense of rejuvenation and reintroducing happy memories of the past to the present, bringing the favourites from our childhood into the lives of our own family. Dusty and smoky, there is a new palette of colours coming through that feel timeless, gently weathered and softened over the passage of time. Easy to live with and coordinate, they’re a sophisticated alternative to cleaner pastels. They bring with them a sense of being more grounded and less airy than the pastels of recent years. Reds are strong and powerful, with influencing blue tones, such as popular Resene Pohutukawa and Resene Jalapeno. Fire engine red is not to be ignored with hues such as Resene Havoc. The bold pops of colour are still popular for a quick hit of uplifting colour and as a useful device for wayfinding, with colours such as Resene Daredevil and Resene Turbo perennial favourites. Browns are turning more yellow toned, making them more complementary with wood. Warm dark browns, such as Resene Sambuca, are sought after; an excellent sophisticated pairing with timber or to contrast other colour choices. willingness to embrace the new and the joy and wonder in the smallest of things? Embrace your inner child (it’s still in
Once the complement, it’s now a feature. Deep grey, such as Resene Gumboot, appeals to those who yearn density and depth but don’t want to commit to the starkness of black. We’re seeing the tones of beige turn greige as they cool into greys and lose some of their warm beige edges. Beige is still big, but greige offers a new sleeker alternative for those looking for something new. When it comes to green, the coming trends are diverse. On the dark side there are the earthy camouflage and nature inspired shades that would look right at home in the deepest jungle with hues such as Resene Seaweed. On the lighter side there are the striking bright look at me greens, such as Resene Limerick. For something a little more restful there are fresh mint and airy greens, such as Resene Kandinsky and Resene Secrets, light on the senses. Neutrals as always are the balance. The backdrop to the brights, your favourite accessories, the respite from busy life and the soft cocoon you can use as a launch pad as you progress down the path to bolder choices. Blackened neutrals such as the Resene Black White and Resene Alabaster colour families are on the upswing and work well with the deep grey accents.
Use colour blocking and stencilling to combine favourite colours and really show off a space.
Stripes once strictly only for wallpaper, are increasingly being painted on in a range of hues and widths for a personalised look. While vertical stripes have been traditional, they’re finding themselves reinvented and rotated into the horizontal. No longer limited to just walls, stripes have found themselves onto the floor and more recently even ceiling areas, making the most of the
Grey has hidden depths; sometimes blue, sometimes green.
COLOUR FEATURE PANTONE COLOUR NEWS
Transform all your
surfaces into the artwork, don’t let your creativity stop at the wall.
canvas available. Transform all your surfaces into the artwork, don’t let your creativity stop at the wall. Ceilings, once pure white, are increasingly at least tinted to neutral hues and increasingly being painted to complement or accent the wall colour. In bedrooms and living areas, wall colours that extend from the walls onto the ceiling, create a sense of cosiness and a relaxing cocoon of colour. Bold feature colours on ceilings are the next frontier for colour lovers, a new twist on a feature wall. For many natural surfaces, the look is pared back and minimalised. Rather than covering up the raw beauty, the key is to enhance it. Natural materials tend to show their age very quickly, so the trend is to finish them in clear finishes to protect them into the future so they keep their natural good looks for longer. Think concrete wax on concrete floors and benchtops, clear finishes on timber and water repellents on exterior concrete, protecting the surface but not changing the aesthetic; keeping the look true to the original character. Natural materials tend to show their age very quickly, so the trend is to finish them in clear finishes to protect them into the future so they keep their natural good looks for longer. Where walls once used to be just a pretty colour, now they are becoming part of the function of the house, particularly in the heart of the home or office where people congregate. Think a write on whiteboard painted onto your office meeting room or your kitchen wall for reminders, notes and sharing information. Or for the more nostalgic, a blackboard wall taking you back to the days of your childhood, where life was all about being hands on and creative, rather than being tethered to technology. Where once there were rules, guidelines and boundaries, now there is free will, free choice and endless possibilities. The only limit is your imagination. So throw off the shackles and dive in; a world of colour is waiting for you. View all these colours and more at Resene, www.resene.co.nz, 0800 RESENE (373 363).
Credits; Top left pic Colours by Debra Yearsley All other images courtesy of Habitat plus – 1 look 4 ways interiors.
The Autumn Gift 2015 Attendance Fair prize is a trip for two to Byron Bay. Byron Bay has a unique reputation as a famous beach town - a low-rise, funky and relaxed town maintaining a small-town soul where the coastal surf culture has a barefooted, alternative-lifestyle blend. Enjoy its unique vibe with long balmy days, endless beaches, fine food, amazing night life - its a surfers paradise. If you like being busy there is, live music, nightclubs, parties, art exhibitions, pool comps and other nightlife to enjoy. You will soon find why some say the weekends easily turning into weeks and months you may even find dreadlocks are a serious consideration! Flights ex Auckland, Airport/Hotel/Airport transfers. Pick up and drop off at Coolangatta Airport. 5 nights at the Apartments Inns in a Studio, also included is a 3 Hour Kayak with the Dolphins. www.giftfairs.co.nz Pick up an entry form at the registration desks Terms and Conditions Apply
M ichelle Hespe catches up with Shelley Young, owner of Chicago-based cooking school and gourmet retail store, The Chopping Block. It’s a business on a mission to get the US cooking. The Chopping Block is Chicago’s largest recreational cooking school and gourmet retail store, and yet so much more to so many people. From cooking demonstrations for newbies flexing their cooking wings to hands-on cooking classes where good home cooks can advance from their comfort zone, The Chopping Block is out to get everyone cooking confidently. Remarkable retail from around the world, presented by the International Housewares Association (IHA).
Celebrity chefs and TV shows revolving around cooking have exploded across the globe over the past decade, and the phenomenon continues to gain momentum. In its wake, it has inspired millions of people around the world into having a go in the kitchen, and a mass of others into enthusiastic home cooks.
As more people embrace cooking and then become more serious about the ingredients and what they eat, it becomes more of a competitive industry by the day.
So Young knows that she has to keep on her toes to keep The Chopping Block at the forefront of the scene. “We do a lot of research to keep ahead of the pack,” she says. “We are always looking for new product no matter where we are, including when we travel. The Internet is also a great resource. We don’t do a lot of specific travel for buying, but rather incorporate our research into our personal travel.” Young also makes the point that her business does not have a focus on celebrity chefs as she is more interested in providing her customers with great cooks who know how to pass on their knowledge. The worldwide boom in cooking, and the subsequent focus on produce and where it comes from has also led to more products and produce being available to the average person, because there is more demand for it. “We don’t need to carry as many exotic ingredients as we once did because they are more readily available to the public now,” explains Young. “For instance you can get Mirin at a nice supermarket these days. And people prefer more hands-on classes now, rather than watching demonstrations.” Young also differentiates The Chopping Block from the rest of her potential competitors by not being another store with a focus on new gadgets. “We don’t carry gadgets,” she says with passion. “We carry tools and products that our customers need and truly make a difference in the kitchen. We carry things that are beautiful as well as functional.” It’s not just about keeping people cooking that will keep The Chopping Block growing, but about also keeping them inspired and informed, and knowing that
And for those who love their food with wine, The Chopping Block offers wine classes so that customers can learn about different varietals and how to properly pair food. The company also plays host to corporate team building events and organizes private cooking parties. No one is left out. Whether its learning about the basics in cooking; knowing how to cook for kids and mastering the art of healthy living, to enrolling in an intensive Boot Camp of cooking, The Chopping Block is as flexible and inspiring as it is innovative and forward-thinking. “Our mission it to ‘Get this Country Cooking’,” says owner and founder of The Chopping Block, Shelley Young. “We are not a store that teaches cooking classes to improve retail sales. We are a school that sells product that supports our customers achieving optimum results in the
“We do a lot of research to keep ahead of the pack,” ...“We are always looking for new product no matter where we are”
they can rely on The Chopping Block to keep them on-trend in a time when there are so many offerings saturating the Internet. “Our cooking classes, private events and retail product mix provide a plethora of new ideas and stories to tell,” she says. “Whether it’s a new ingredient, class or cooking trend that is happening or that we want to happen, we certainly like the idea of starting our own trends in Chicago.” Being a trendsetter is something that will always keep customers coming back to The Chopping Block, but Young is also very aware that she and her staff need to keep focused on their mission statement, as it is so easy to incorporate many more ideas into a business and for the core of it to then become diluted. “Being in a company like ours where there are a million new classes to offer, new products to carry, new culinary trends to explore and business ideas to chase, it is very easy to get sidetracked from what your core business is,” she says. “Everybody has ideas for what you should be doing in your business. The challenge can really be to keep laser focused on your core business. There have been many times over the years where I have gotten sidetracked chasing a new idea, and I have learned to be very careful with that as you can lose valuable time and money chasing cool ideas that haven’t been well thought out.” In fact, that is the advice that Young gives to anyone who is considering starting a business. “If I ever start another business, I would never do it without creating a Mission Statement – a vision for the company – and then spend the time, and put in the effort to identify the core values of the company. If I had done that in the beginning, it would have saved me tons of time and money!” Another crucial facet that continues to help the growth of The Chopping Block is social media, because let’s face it, you only need to look at Facebook, Instagram and blogs these days to see that a lot of people like to post photos of the meals they’ve cooked, the cakes they’ve baked or the food they’re eating.
and they tend to feel more free when it comes to feedback online. No matter how crazy some of it is, there is usually a thread of truth in it if you are open enough to hear it. If you actually do something about it, it is a golden opportunity. It allows you the chance to offer a response, which helps you to articulate who your target customer is and weed out others who are not.” The Chopping Block is not just a business – it’s the foundation of a community that has a healthy approach to living, as its people are continually learning about good food and where it comes from. “I think the cultural element of the work we are doing is the most rewarding,” says Young. “It is also the most misunderstood and perhaps least appreciated. We have been focused on building a healthy organization for years now, instead of focusing on growth and revenue. We think that meaningful, rewarding and lucrative growth can only happen on top of a solid foundation, and the biggest part of that is a healthy organization.” To learn more about The Chopping Block, visit www.thechoppingblock.com. For information about more unique concept stores and housewares retailers in Chicago and for detailed Chicago housewares retail maps, see www. housewares.org/show/attend/nonUS.aspx. To learn more about the International Home + Housewares Show and to pre-register for the 2015 Show, taking place in Chicago on 7-10 of March, visit www.housewares.org.
“Social media is a wonderful way to engage in meaningful communication with our customers and to learn what they are interested in,” says Young.
And although many businesses find negative social media commentary disheartening, Young loves it. “I actually love the negative feedback,” she says. “Most of the time you don’t get to hear what your customers are not happy about,