American tabletop company and category leader Fortessa CEO and Co-President Scott Hamberger
announces via video the opening of their new Dubai showroom.
To see the entire collection of Fortessa
products for the hospitality industry, go here:http://www.fortessa.com/
The just completed International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York
showcased a number of terrific tabletop companies and products. overall show traffic was brisk and heavy, with the aisles filled with regional hospitality professionals.
One of the most interesting and best merchandised tabletop displays of the show was the booth by well known New York dealer Sam Tell Companies.
Filled with great displays of top tabletop brands such as Oneida
, Arc/Cardinal, Homer Laughlin, Libbey
and more. Dealer booths are soemtimes difficult to merchandise because of the wide variety of products carried by most dealers, but the Sam Tell
display was a great example of a well-thought out plan with a great tabletop focus. Well done.
New York-based importer Europeaus
had their usual strong display of serving platters, but included this time was a much larger selection of their Italian terra cotta line Piral
. Red clay terra cotta, mankind's oldest cooking material, is available in many sizes and shapes from Europeaus
for use on the open flame, on gas and electric stovetops, in the oven and microwave. The terra cotta material also reduces cooking time by conducting heat more evenly and efficiently.
The Antica finish of Europeaus'
terra cotta line blends with many menus and decors from Tuscan country to Ethiopian cusine to a Mexican hacienda.
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Tabletop leader Fortessa Tableware Solutions
had their usual strong display with the new SPICE collection front and center with several new items added. Fortessa
also showcased their new BASICS line of small serving pieces and their bamboo underliners for their Cassolette line of cast aluminum FORTALITE cookware.
Fortessa's Fortalite Cassolettes now have bamboo underliners available.
French tabletop icon Deshouliers/Apilco
had a great display of some of their upscale designs such as SEYCHELLES (left) which work well for those chefs who are reaching for their next Michelin star. Founded in 1826, the Deshoulières Group is today the leading French porcelain producer, a specialist in tableware products.The product collection is distributed under two major brands, Deshoulieres and Apilco, to satisfy the large number of consumers and fine chefs.
Deshouliers Group's SEYCHELLES is available in Taupe (shown), Noir, Blanc, and Blanc Platine.
And, of course, one of the hits of the show was Steelite's new CRAFT gray....shown here mixed in with several of the other colors...Blue, Green, Brown, and Terra Cotta.
With selecting items for your restaurant tabletop, selecting the right manufacturer is often as important as selecting the right product. Design, quality, and continuity of supply are just a few of the reasons to consider the company, as well as the product. There are many exciting companies right now in the tabletop category, but TabletopJournal will be keeping an especially watchful eye on a handful in 2013.
In no particular order, some of the hospitality tabletop companies that will be on our radar screen are:
Not only in the USA, but in other markets around the world, Bauscher has aligned itself with WMF/Hepp. We think this is an excellent fit and, as of yesterday, in USA, Canada, and the Caribbean, Bauscher has added Luigi Bormioli, another great complimentary product range. Bringing these powerhouse, upscale brands to the hospitality market should make 2013 an interesting year for Bauscher and its portfolio of brands.
It’s hard to mention exciting tabletop and not mention Steelite. The recently announced acquisition of Royal Crown Derby is going to make this UK juggernaut even stronger, especially with the long-term benefits being added by the new factory to be built in Stoke. With the growing portfolio of exciting products showing no signs of letting up, Steelite will remain a company to watch in 2013.
Tuxton China has been slowing changing and evolving for several years. TabletopJournal believes that 2013 will likely be the breakout year for this "off the radar screen” company. New products, new collateral materials, new trade show booth, new personnel.....all signal that Tuxton is ready to play with the “big boys" of tabletop. 2013 should be Tuxton's year.
This UK flatware company has been quietly (ok, sometimes, not so quietly) finding its way onto some of the best restaurant tabletops around the world, not to mention the Victoria & Albert Museum. At TabletopJournal, we love the Studio William inspiration that brings things to market like their new LEAF dessert spoon and their new MEAT BLADES. Look for sensory dining flatware items from Studio William to continue to be used by discerning restaurateurs in 2013.
With more than a year since this marriage took place, expectations are high for this high-powered combination to accelerate to the front of the tabletop pack in North America and around the world. This company has the people, the products, and the supply chain to furnish growing global hotel chains of all levels. The already strong lineup of flatware, dinnerware, and glassware has recently been strengthened by the new STRATA buffet series. Look for this company to really take off in the coming months.
As a part of the world’s largest ceramic manufacturer, RAK Porcelain continues to expand its brand presence around the globe. With the switch in America to the RAK name, this brand will come to be recognized as one of the truly great tabletop brands in the world very soon. Led by designers like Mikaela Dörfel and Alain Vavro, RAK Porcelain’s designs are both elegant and practical. RAK’s “state of the art” production give this company a great edge on quality and costing….all that seems left to do is to continue to build brand awareness globally. TabletopJournal expects big things from RAK Porcelain in 2013.
Libbey has been a company that has quietly gone about its business for a number of years. Always a supplier of great glassware, its World Tableware and Syracuse brands seem to have been afterthoughts, at times. Not the case any more, as TabletopJournal has made note of vastly improved dinnerware quality and expanded flatware ranges to go with a continually improving glassware range – note the recent addition of Spiegelau as a high-end glassware addition. But the real change happening at Libbey is likely a cultural change. Led by CEO Stephanie Streeter, we’ve noticed new changes in foodservice marketing….and re-configured HQ office to allow for better communication, and just a little more spring in the step of the Libbey salesforce lately. TabletopJournal thinks that the global foodservice industry will see a “new”, re-invigorated Libbey in 2013.
Fortessa, through the years, has developed a strong reputation for quality hospitality tabletop products … and, of marching to their own beat. So, for many reasons, Fortessa has always been someone to keep your eye on as it. The launch of their BASICS line and the SPICE collection at the IHMRS Show in New York was very impressive, but TabletopJournal has the feeling that these introductions might just be the beginning of a new push from this company….we're thinking that early ’13 will produce some new and exciting buzz from this tabletop leader.
Ten Strawberry Street
Always a company that was around the edges of the American foodservice hospitality business, Ten Strawberry Street has, to this point, been a great source for rental companies, caterers, and other banquet operators. Strong in retail, it seemed like that was their focus and they were glad to have whatever foodservice/hospitality business that came their way. After seeing their presence at last May’s NRA Show, we won’t be surprised if this “stealth” tabletop source is no longer so stealth. Ten Strawberry Street is one of our top darkhouse hospitality tabletop companies for the coming year.
Elite Global Solutions
Long a supplier of creative melamine, for food service operators, EGS differentiates itself quickly with its catalog, website, and overall image. But, behind the marketing and the sexy literature is a company built upon great product quality and design, supported by legendary customer service. Companies that truly have great customer service (and not just talk about having great customer service) are not as plentiful as you might think. EGS has it and we think that 2013 might just be a banner year for them, so we are keeping a watchful eye on them.
There are a number of other tabletop companies that also merit watching. Corby Hall, Rosenthal/Sambonet, Arc Intl/Cardinal, Candle Lamp/Sterno, Churchill ….are all bringing new products to market, adjusting their way of doing business, and generally, doing some pretty cool things to help operators differentiate their restaurants.
There’s also a few of you out there who asked us not to mention your companies….you know who you are…..who are ready to make some pretty big news of your own.
So, while we’re just getting started, we think 2013 is going to be a very good year!
Just remember…..tabletop matters!
Fotessa's new SPICE dinnerware comes in three colors: Cayenne, Cilantro (shown), and Saffron.
One of the more interesting tabletop products shown at the recent New York show was Fortessa's
SPICE dinnerware. There are other restaurant dinnerware products made to look like hand-thrown pottery dinnerware, but we really like the balance that is struck with Fortessa's
SPICE. With the right combination of natural colors, foodservice practicality, item shape, and overall aesthetic ....SPICE has a casual, hand-made, pottery look, but yet retains all the practical characteristics of vitrified china that the foodservice hospitality industry requires.
SPICE comes in three colors - Cayenne, Cilantro, and Saffron - with all the items that a wonderful family dinner in the Italian countryside might require. This rough-hewn, rustic range has 24 different items in each of the three colors. Large platters (four sizes, up to 14"
) and bowls for sharing, coupe pasta bowls that work well from start to finish, and even small bowls and ramekins for side dishes or desserts....all make Fortessa's
new SPICE a hit of the show in New York.
As the lines between dinnerware (and, frankly, all tabletop
) for the home and for restaurants becomes more blurred, we can easily see Fortessa's
SPICE making its way onto the tables of homeowners just as easily as it will surely find its way onto the tables of today's hottest restaurants.
....you know what we at TabletopJournal like about Fortessa (besides the fact that they make pretty cool products)?
It's that they seem to fall off the radar screen for a time...then they "pop up" with some new, really cool products....seemingly out of nowhere. Nice.
This time we really like their new BASICS collection of cookware and serving items. Color-matched to sit on tables comfortably next to Fortessa's Fortaluxe SuperWhite tableware, BASICS has 31 different items, ranging from small 1.25" diameter Saucepans with handles (shown below) all the way up to 12.25" Oval Bakers.
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Fortessa has been providing solutions for tabletops since 1993 and the new BASICS collection continues in that tradition. Think about it....who else would have TWO sizes (2.25" and 4.25") mini Tagine Dishes? Exactly...
In the BASICS collection there's also round, rectangular, and square cassolettes, traditional and non-traditional creme brulee dishes, and lots more.
And they are ready for the rigors of foodservice since BASICS is made with clays reinforced with magnesium oxide for additional strength and durability.
Fortessa's new BASICS collection features a collection of contemporary shapes and traditional shapes like the Oval Server with handles show above.
Fortessa's new BASICS
seems....well, basic-ally what you've been looking for. Good looking serving pieces that ...look a little better....last a little longer....and cost a little less.
If you're looking for more information on Fortessa or their new BASICS
collection, go here:www.FortessaTablewareSolutions.com
Day 2 at New York's IHMRS Show made for improved traffic in terms of both quantity and quality of buyers attending according to many of the tabletop exhibitors. Here are a few new items we saw in Day 2 that caught our eye and we think that you will find on the tabletops of top chefs and restaurateurs very soon.
Izabel Lam's new MILKY WAY provides a flat, contrasting canvas for chefs' creations and comes in multiple sizes in both square and rectangle shapes.
| |Izabel Lam
, with her tabletop artistry, again leads with her new Milky Way
designs. Coming in multiple size squares and rectangles, the flat, night-sky look of Milky Way
provides a great contrasting canvas for culinary creations of all sizes. Stream
, continues this iconic designer's style of flowing forms with undulating shapes and gentle textures, combined with a contrasting stroke of color across the surface of the round transparent and textured plates.
Michelin starred chefs around the world seek the dinnerware designs from Izabel Lam
to take their food presentations to an even higher level.
This legendary designer's products still remain the favorite of Michelin-starred chefs throughout the world.
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, with two new collections, had plenty of talk about with the many interested visitors to their booth. Spice
is a colorful, agrarian series of dinnerware and serving pieces that will help elevate the dining experience for restaurant guests with its more natural look. Fortessa's
comes in three color styles: cayenne, cilantro, and saffron. Restaurant menus that feature farm-grown, natural items will like the look and feel of Spice.
With their Basics
has taken the idea of portion-sized serving pieces and added the the Fortessa
style of "better looking, longer lasting, and better value"
to them. This new collection is extensive with nearly thirty pieces and a body whiteness that matches nicely with Fortessa's
Fortaluxe Superwhite tableware. Enhanced durability through the addition of magnesium oxide to the body material also adds to the value of Basics
SPICE, part of Fortessa's D&V line of products, combines a casual, rustic beauty with the hidden practicality of vitrified dinnerware.
Gov. George Allen, the Republican currently running for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia, took questions from several employees at Fortessa, Inc., in Sterling Oct. 22. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Trevor Baratko
Accoridng to the Loudon County Times
newspaper, former governor and current Virginia Senate candidate George Allen
addressed employees at Fortessa Inc
., in Sterling Monday, saying his goal if elected is to make sure the federal government gets out of the way of businesses and innovation.
Touching on a common campaign theme, Allen
said he wants to drop the average business tax rate nationally from 35 percent to 20 percent, because the world average is around 25 percent, and America should be “better than average,”
he noted. Allen
, the Republican who’s locked in a tight race with Tim Kaine, another former governor of Virginia, touched also on energy policy, a local approach to education and the Senate’s inability to pass a budget in recent years.“If you didn’t deliver these glasses or those plates or those dishes, would you get paid? No,”
Allen said at the Loudoun County tableware manufacturer. “I think that’s the way it ought to be in Congress – if they don’t get appropriations, budgets, done on time, withhold their pay. We need to get back to the basics.”
supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution for the federal government, and is a major advocate of line-item veto authority for the president.
A former governor, state delegate and U.S. representative, Allen
is seeking to reclaim the Senate seat he held from 2001-2007. He lost the 2006 election to Sen. Jim Webb in a close general election race. Webb is not seeking re-election.
During the question and answer portion of the campaign stop, Debra Taylor, Fortessa’s director of operations
, asked Allen about his thoughts on the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which he voted against in 1993 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The FMLA requires covered employers to provide workers job-protected and unpaid leave for certain medical and family reasons.“I generally don’t like mandates,” Allen
said. “ … I do think any responsible employer will allow families – employees – to have the leave with their families, whether it’s a birth or an adoption or a member is ill.”
went on to say he believes the law has worked well, and he wouldn’t vote to change it if elected.
To read the entire article, go here: http://www.loudountimes.com/index.php/news/article/in_sterling_senate-hopeful_allen_talks_jobs_small_government421/
There seems to be a quiet revolution currently underway in the tabletop supplier community. A metamorphosis that’s subtle, almost unnoticed…..like say, the rise of an incoming tide.
Tabletop suppliers are upgrading both their sales and marketing people in a revolution that quietly, but steadily, is taking place. With creativity among tabletop product categories relatively stagnant (yes, we know there are exceptions...we try to write about them, remember?), companies - both suppliers and operators know that their people..…their “brand ambassadors”, if you will……create a larger and larger portion of their brand impact and influence the marketplace's thinking about their brands. With customer touchpoints and engagement taking the place of traditional advertising, the type and quality of the people who represent a brand is more critical than ever to determining brand essence. With less and less to differentiate the products themselves, customers turn to brand qualities and values to help determine their buying decisions. Often, those brand values (in the customer’s minds…and, after all, isn’t this all that REALLY matters) are determined by the people representing the products and the brand.
A brand's people are often the true differentiators and conveyors of brand values.
Starting with the CEO, brands are symbolized by the people who work for the brand. This is not new, but what is new is the relative lack of differentiation or “commoditization” of much of the tabletop category. TabletopJournal has spent a great deal of time writing about differentiation and how important it is on both the supplier and the operator side. However, the fact is that many of the tabletop products - and restaurants - are remarkably similar and barring any apparent unique points of difference, the buyer’s main decision driver will be price. With such similar products, the overall brand image has become the area to differentiate and the people who represent the brand have become an increasingly important area of differentiation.
Fortessa adds several new Sales Vice Presidents, Dudson adds a VP, Sales for North America, Oneida continues it's upgrade and now, intergration of its new sister company Anchor Hocking, Libbey adds a new Director of Marketing, Rosenthal/Sambonet names a new National Account Manager, Tuxton does the same…..all with the idea that these new “brand ambassadors” will help build each company’s brand essence and culture in a positive direction. After all, often the employee IS the brand. TabletopJournal feels that this trend towards upgrading sales and marketing talent will continue with short term results certainly at the center of the target hiring goals. But, when looking to upgrade the organization, there is also a longer-term "brand makeup” goal that needs to be considered. When looking to add to an organization, how the new employee will contribute to the long-term brand attributes ..or, essence...has to be thought about.
It is true that brands have voices. They all speak … some more loudly than others. That brand voice is made up of all the little interactions that are made with customer, potential customers, and others who may influence the sale or perception of a particular brand. Companies whose employees engage and interact with others in a way that consistently reinforces brand values have the best chance for both personal and brand success. Then, those brand values and messages need to be amplified through content marketing, advertising, and promotion.
evangelism goes beyond simply focusing on cool products and extends to helping other talented, kindred spirits find one another and to help conpanies realize the importance of each and every hire, particularly for postions that have extensive customer interaction. Tabletop recruiter Mike Hawkins
explains it well in his recent article “Recruiting Superior Tabletop Sales and Marketing Talent”
and we are pleased to be able to bring his expertise to both hiring companies and to candidates. Brand building is a long-term journey.
And, the people you hire - your "brand ambassadors"
are often the true long-term brand differentiators.
Choose your people wisely.
In yet another goodwill event, Fortessa
is teaming up with local group Sterling Women
and Reston Limousine
to support Final Salute
and raise money for homeless female Veterans. Final Salute Inc. was founded in 2010 by a female Veteran and cancer survivor who became aware of the large number of homeless female Veterans in the United States.There are about 13,000 homeless female Veterans in the United States today.
From 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 1 at Fortessa, Inc
., headquarters in Sterling, come taste some of the finest barbecue and best brewed beer Loudoun County has offer! There will be a silent auction, door prizes and special sale prices on Fortessa’s tableware. The auction items include a flight simulation experience donated by Lockheed Martin Corp.Register early
to attend the event at a discounted price of $15; early bird registration ends July 10. Or pay $25 at the door. Fortessa Inc
. is located at 22601 Davis Drive in Sterling. Fifteen percent of Fortessa
sales during the week of Aug. 1 will be donated to Final Salute Inc.
Final Salute Inc.
is a nonprofit organization that provides housing and other supportive services to homeless female Veterans and their children.