Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium of Brandon, Fla., has been selected as The Gourmet Retailer’s Kitchenware Retailer of the Year and the U.S. Global Innovator Award (gia) winner.
Honoring excellence in housewares retailing, the gia program was created by the International Housewares Association in 1999 to honor housewares retailing innovation and merchandising distinction worldwide.
The International Home + Housewares Show (IH+HS) and International Housewares Association (IHA), primary sponsors of gia, will recognize the 2013-2014 winners from more than 20 countries, including Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium, at the 14th annual gia awards at in Chicago on March 16.
The Gourmet Retailer magazine, a co-sponsor of the U.S. gia for independent kitchenware retailers, selected the U.S. winner, after soliciting and reviewing nominations from the industry.
Since 1995, Dave and Karen West have owned and operated Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in Brandon, Fla. The 4,500-square foot gourmet store with a 1,000-square-foot cooking school is the culinary resource in the Tampa Bay Area. The Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium concept allow customers to sample products, purchase retail kitchen tools, and develop cooking skills necessary to become confident home chefs.
Last year, the Wests remodeled the cooking school, expanding the seating for its popular cooking classes. Every week, Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium offers 8-12 classes, everything from demo-style to hands-on on a wide variety of subjects, everything from cake decorating, sausage making, hors d’ouevres and French macarons. The retailer also offers classes for teens and children and recently partnered with Match.com to host singles classes.
“For almost 20 years, Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium has been the culinary resource in the Tampa Bay area,” says Anna Wolfe, Editor-in-Chief of The Gourmet Retailer, a trade magazine covering the specialty food and kitchenware retail industry. “The Wests have continued to raise the bar, improving the shopping experience for their customers and helping them develop their skills – in a fun and welcoming environment. They are proof that it is possible for independent retailers to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.”
Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium will be featured in the February/March issue of The Gourmet Retailer magazine.
"Karen and I are thrilled and honored to be recognized for the accomplishments of our business with this amazing award,” says Dave West. “Our people, our vendors, and our guests keep us focused on the ever-changing right things!"
The gia competition is structured both on a national and global level to honor independent and multiple location housewares retailers for excellence in several business categories including mission, layout and design, visual merchandising, marketing, customer service, staff training and innovation.
Each national winner will travel to the IH+HS where the global gia jury, consisting of four experts representing Asia, Europe and the Americas, plus a rotating group of co-sponsoring trade publication editors, will select the five global gia honorees.
From March 15-18 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IH+HS show attendees will be able to see photo displays of the gia winners from more than 20 countries. The gia Showcase in the Grand Concourse Lobby will feature visual displays of each store’s award-winning efforts.
Banners for the 20+ winning retailers will be hung in the walkway that connects the Grand Concourse and the Lakeside Center.