Ms. Jeannie Choo Lee MW leads the LUCARIS Master Wine Seminar at the Ballroom in the Conrad Hotel Bangkok
On May 2nd, Lucaris Crystal
lead by Ms. Sunsanee Supatravanij, Managing Director of Ocean Glass PCL
, in association with Thailand’s Best Sommelier Competition 2013, hosted the Lucaris Master Wine Seminar
at the Ballroom in the Conrad Hotel Bangkok.
Master of Wine Seminar was conducted by number one Asia Master of Wine Ms. Jeannie Choo Lee
, featuring Lucaris
Hong Kong Hip Collection. Several Thai dishes were chosen by Jeannie Choo Lee MW to pair with Australian Leeuwin Estate
Art Series wines.
The event was a great success and attracted 135 wine business professionals, leading sommeliers for around the country and wine connoisseurs.
From left: Mr. Joe Sriwarin, Managing Director of Wine Professional Services Co., Ltd, Ms. Jeannie Choo Lee MW, Ms. Sunsanee Supatravanij, Managing Director of Ocean Glass PCL, and Mr. Harald Feurstein, General Manager of Conrad Bangkok
other standard products such as Lucaris Crystal, Studio William flatware, Chelsea glassware, and dKe dinnerware. Supplying the entire tabletop, MCIC has built quite a following in an incredibly short period of time. The new website also has a downloadable version of the MCIC 2013 catalog.
Great products, great people....and now, a great new site.
The Lucaris BLISS series of crystal wineglasses has been a hit for MCIC since the very beginning.
To see the new website from Merchandise Connection International Corp
and learn more about their wide portfolio of products, go here: http://www.merchandiseconn.com/
A company that continues to grow and impress is Merchandise Connection International (MCIC).
From top to bottom, the lineup of tabletop products that these folks have is truly impressive. Lead by Studio William
cutlery and Lucaris
also has dKe dinnerware that's a refined, bone white..translucent, yet durable body...that works well in the best white tablecloth restaurants.
A new addition for 2013 to the MCIC
lineup of products are slate trays from Scotland's The Just Slate Company.
With the popularity of cheese and charcuterie boards growing, MCIC's
slate boards offer a unique way for restuateurs to differentiate the dining experience for their guests.
MCIC's new 2013 catalog showcases the entire range of their product offering from top to bottom with nearly 100 pages of great hospitality tabletop products.
Since bursting onto the U.S. hospitality market, Merchandise Connection International has always offered an abundance of styles and shapes in dinnerware, glassware, cutlery, and now, slate serving pieces. Through stringent quality control, effective management and efficient teamwork, the company has achieved a significant position within the North American tabletop industry in a very short period of time.
So, whether it's the refinement and durability of LUCARIS crystal, the new slate serving trays form JUST SLATE COMPANY, or MCIC's CHELSEA barware....Merchandise Connection International is ready to prrovide you with great tabletop products at all levels.
Value-priced CHELSEA glassware fits perfectly for today's growing fast casual dining segment.
A relative newcomer to the hositality scene in America - Merchandise Connection Internation Corporation - has opened a lot of industry eyes in an incredibly short period of time. With great products at great prices ....and, even better service.... MCIC has made big waves in the glassware, flatware, and dinnerware segments on America's restaurant and hotel tabletops. TabletopJournal recently at with MCIC's CEO Kian Forouzesh to discuss the interesting company that he and his team are building. Here's what he had to say.....
What is the current vision you have for MCIC?
Although we are beyond the start up phase, we still like to call ourselves a startup because we are a work in progress. The current vision is that we would like to cover all the tabletop aspects – dinnerware, flatware, glassware – at a variety of price and quality levels. We started as a medium price/quality dinnerware company, then added flatware, glassware to fit that segment. Then, as our customers demanded, we grew into other levels – first in the higher end products, and then eventually into more basic, banqueting and catering level products - in those same categories. So, our vision is to be a complete source of tabletop across a variety of price and quality levels as our customers dictate. We want to be a complete tabletop supplier able to fit into our customer’s budgets for all their foodservice outlets from employee dining and cafeteria on up to high-end, white tablecloth restaurants.
Your product range is already wide ranging in terms of quality and categories….are there any holes you’d like to fill in the MCIC product offering?
Yes. We have a fantastic program of dinnerware at lower and mid levels with products that are correct with their quality and also offer great value. But, we would like to add a dinnerware at the very top of the market. Our accessory line is excellent, but at the very high end tip of the dinnerware market, we would definitely like to expand.
However, keep in mind that every single product line we have, we truly believe in. We do not have products simply to show them. We must believe in the product and its place in the market, before we decide to get behind it. So, sometimes it takes a while to find the right “fit”.
What is the criteria you look for when you are considering a new brand or product?
First, we consider the quality and how it fits with where it is priced. It has to be the right value. There is value at all quality levels and, hopefully our products are seen by our customers as good value whether they are buying our low-mid tier products or our upper end lines.Secondly, when we consider a new product we think about how will it fit into our existing product range? It must help us round out our tabletop offering and not simply be a duplicate of something we already have. Ideally, it will be complementary to our current products.
Are there any other brands/products or categories that you will be adding to the existing portfolio?
Of course. We are a company that always is looking to grow. As we speak we are in negotiation with a European manufacturer for tabletop accessory pieces that we feel the chefs will love. We hope to have these products available for our customers this Fall. There are other categories that we are discussing, but those are a bit further out so, I am hesitant to speak about them now. But, we definitely are looking to grow.
What should the marketplace know about the Studio William flatware line that differentiates it from others in the hospitality market?
Studio William products are not just another flatware line, but rather they are designed as pieces of art, that add to the culinary experience. William Welch - owner and head designer of Studio William – has this in mind when designing each piece. For instance, none of the Studio William pieces are over-sized in order that the guest can enjoy the dining experience at his or her own pace so that the food can be truly tasted, rather than just feeding the stomach. The designs are not traditional – I would not call it “modern” but the Studio William designs are really 21st century in their style. The forks fit much more nicely in the mouth, are balanced better and therefore, easier to pick up….overall it’s just a different dining experience. There’s nothing I would want to compare to Studio William. Most product are designed by a designer, then manufactured by a manufacturer, then finally, marketed by someone else. So, the process is not connected. Studio William designs, tests, manufactures, and markets … so they are involved in every aspect it all from beginning to end to insure that this product is being brought to market the right way. Burg Al Arab in Dubai is a very happy Studio William customer and Studio William is a preferred vendor for Hilton properties, as well.
Studio William - MCIC's flatware company - differentiates the dining experience by designing sensory eating utensils at a variety of price/quality levels, with design at the forefront.
MCIC has been involved in the foodservice and hospitality markets for approximately four years. Often, it takes time to gain traction as a supplier that operators have trust in, but you have had exceptional success early on. Tell us about some of those successes.
Fortunately, we have had a number of very good successes. For instance, with the Lucaris glassware line we have been able to show decision makers, in chain hotels in particular, its strength and durability, the clarity, and how well Lucaris showcases their wine offerings. Lucaris has often been used in wine tastings around the world and won awards for its ability to enhance the taste of the wine. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we have Lucaris as the preferred glassware for the St. Regis brand at Starwood Hotels, for instance. Customers won’t choose Lucaris because wins awards or it is well known in the Pacific Rim, they choose it because it is a great glass, an excellent value, and will work well for them operationally.
St Regis Bal Harbour in Florida, truly a Starwood flagship property is using Lucaris throughout the entire property. So, we feel very good about Lucaris, along with our other glassware and where it will go in the marketplace. We also are fortunate enough to count among our customers Rosewood’s Crescent Court in Dallas and a number of other prominent hotel properties throughout North America.
Studio William flatware is set to welcome guests at the about to openGrace
restaurant in Chicago, with Grant Achatz disciple, Michelin starred Chef Curtis Duffy.MCIC has glassware, flatware, and dinnerware. Are there any other categories on the horizon that you are looking to bring to the market?
Lucaris BLISS stemware brings a great cost-value and practicality proposition that America's winelovers seem to be embracing.
I had mentioned earlier that we will soon announce something in the serving accessories area, but we are a young company and we are always looking for cool, new complementary products.When people see the exciting products such as Lucaris, Studio William, and DKE dinnerware that MCIC is bringing to the marketplace, what should they do to get more information or to purchase them?
The best way to contact us directly is through our Website: www.merchandiseconn.com
. That way, we can respond quickly with the required information. Also, we address our customers’ needs by either mapping them to one of our sales representative in their geographical location, or if a representative is not present in that specific location, we will support them directly though our own company.Ok, final question. We know that you, and the entire team at MCIC, have been working very hard to introduce your product lines to the North American hospitality market. But, it seems that in addition to great tabletop, hospitality people also love great music. What’s on the Kian Forouzesh iPod?
I listen to everything, depending upon my mood, from classical to hard rock. Usually, it’s classical music when I am working with papers, reading, or writing emails. When I’m driving its hard rock, heavy metal…Korn is my favorite….crazy stuff. When I’m at home, I put on lounge music, grab a glass of wine, and try to relax. So, everything has its place.
When Lucaris Crystal
, the Thai manufacturer of upscale wine glasses, launched in Mumbai recently, Indian wine writer Subhash Arora
was there to cover the event. In entering the fashion concious Indian market, Lucaris
employed the creative brand positioning strategies of combining with Swarovski Crystal Charms
as enticement to purchase .... and launching at top Mumbai restaurant, Indigo
, whose chef/owner Rahul Akerar
has become synonomous with hospitality excellence in today's India.Lucaris
is the higher-end glass producing division of the 33-year old Ocean Glass Company
of Thailand which has captured a big chunk of the Indian wine glass market share because of the proper shape - designed on the lines of Riedel,
but at affordable prices. According to Arora, Ocean/Lucaris
has been successful in the India hospitality market by offering price competitive alternatives with similar quality to upper-end luxury brands.
You can read Subhash Arora's entire article by going here: http://www.indianwineacademy.com/item_6_523.aspx
In America, Merchandise Connection International
is the exclusive importer for Lucaris
. To learn more about Lucaris Crystal,
go here: http://www.lucariscrystal.com/
Well known through many other parts of the world, Lucaris crystal is expanding its reach to new markets such as Norht America and India.
Lucaris is the preferred glassware for St. Regis hotels.
, known for its world-class crystal wineware made its foray in India with the launch of the limited edition Lucaris Crystal Charm Collection
, Crystal Wine Glasses and Crystal Charms made with Swarovski elements. The collection which epitomizes style and luxury was launched at the elegant & exquisite soiree amidst the splendid setting at top restaurant Indigo
on September 21st. Lucaris & Indigo
hosted the ‘The Perfect Encounter Dinner
’ in the presence of some of the prominent names of the Mumbai social circuit like Narendra Kumar, Avantika Khilanchand Raju, Laila & Ricky Lamba, Monisha & Ravi Jaisingh, Malini and Rahul Akerkar, Kora and Puru Raj Kumar and many others.
brings to India for the first time the crystal stemware for the most enjoyable dining and wining experience. The launch was kick started with a blindfolded wine tasting session followed by the food & wine pairing dinner. Each guest was asked to rate the various wines served to them as they remained blindfolded. The sparkling night saw the guests enjoying the wine served in the special crystal wine glasses and crystal charms made with Swarovski elements and of course the scrumptious delicacies served at the venue. All in all the launch of Lucaris
limited edition collection launch was a dazzling show as it showcased its impressive collection.
For the consumer market in India, Lucaris
, limited edition Crystal Charm Collection will be exclusively available on shopping.indiatimes.com
only for a limited period.
Speaking about the launch, Sunsanee Supatravani, Managing Director Ocean Glass PCL, said,“Luxury industry in India is growing faster & has a huge potential for fine luxurious glassware. Everyone who attended the launch adored the timeless elegance and designs of the collection; and we are overwhelmed by the response we have received for our collection. Lucaris Crystal Charm Collection exudes extraordinaire grandeur with its world class quality & design. Launching in India had always been on our wish list and now that we are here, we hope to create a name for ourselves”
Inspired by modern Asian cities lifestyle, Lucaris with its sheer blend of statuesque design & superb functionality evokes the wining senses, resulting in an exciting new complementary dining & wining experience. Extremely durable Lucaris glassware boasts of exceptional clarity and brilliance along with new lead-free and barium-free crystal glass composition.
, widely known throughout the Pacific Rim for its high quality stemware and recently introduced into the North American market by Merchandise Connection
, is a major sponsor of the about to begin World Gourmet Festival
in Bangkok, Thailand. Being held at the Four Seasons Hotel
in Bangkok, the event runs Sept 3- Sept 9
and features two special seminars:
1) Wine Master Class with LUCARIS by Jeannie Cho Lee
2) Galvin Lim’s
Dinners Featuring Wine Pairings by Jeannie Cho Lee
Info on these events is shown below. To learn more about Lucaris Crystal
, go here: http://www.lucariscrystal.com/
To find out more on Lucaris in North America
, go to Merchandise Conenction International's
website at: http://www.merchandiseconn.com/new/
crystal at Merchandise Connection International
looked even better than I expected yesterday. The titanium cystal stemware - titanium provides extra durability - got positive reviews from all who looked at it. Beautiful clarity....durable wine glasses.....and great pricing. What more could you want?
Here's a link to the Lucaris facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucaris-Crystal/100002133436260
With Gene Williamson at the helm for the U.S. hotel and restaurant market, Merchandise Connection International (odd name - GREAT products) will definitely be heard from - soon - in the major American markets.