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Welcome to Fancy Food & Culinary Products' blog, your place to read reviews of the great fancy and gourmet products we find in the marketplace.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Top Shelf Advice

What kind of holiday promotions, events or sales do you offer?

"We always [decorate] the windows. We buy special props. Last year we had snowmen holding whisks and other kitchen utensils. We are known in town for our windows.
“We also have several open houses. We do food demos using products that we sell in the store, such as panini makers. In the middle of December, we offer a Men’s Night Out. We serve beer and pizza, and men can buy presents. We offer gift-wrapping and gifts with purchase. We’ve done it for two years and it’s been busy and fun.
“In town, an Art Walk is held the first Friday of the month. In December, it usually coincides with the Tree Lighting. We and the rest of the stores stay open extra hours.

-Erin Earles, manager at Epicure in Anacortes, Washington

"We decorate and we will have a holiday open house. We also have holiday music playing in the store. I’m going to run a gift registry in early December. We have a lot of men in the area that like to cook, and their wives come in to see what they may want.
“Another thing I do all year round is what I call the Tuesday Special. I come in on Tuesday and write on the blackboard a certain special item, say hand soap, that is 20 percent off. The special runs the entire week, but it brings customers in on Tuesday to see what is on special."

-Karen Tuccero, owner of A Passion for Cooking — The Kitchen Store in Madison, Connecticut

"Every fall, in late October, we have a Nordic Ware Day. We use the holiday cookware to make holiday food, and we cook and bake all day. Anytime we cook or demo, sales go up. We also have cooking classes that focus on holiday foods. During the holidays, we bring in merchandise, such as items from Trade Associates Group, and use them in part of the store’s decorations. We also offer free gift-wrapping.

-Barbara Freeman, owner of Kitchen Outfitters in Savannah, Georgia

"We do a Vendor Day event on a Saturday afternoon in the latter part of November. We invite vendors in to demo their products. We do the demos one at a time, and each vendor gives away a prize. We invite people through our Cooking Class newsletter that goes out four times a year. We charge a fee of $10 a person.
“We also invite local cookbook authors to come in to teach a class and do a book-signing during the year. We do an additional book-signing close to the holidays. I also find one big thing to put on sale during the holidays. Last year it was a Scanpan 9.5-qt. Dutch oven for half price.
“Also, in mid-November we invited 26 people to come to a Wusthof event. We charged $10. Each person was set up with a cutting board, knife and fruits and vegetables. Each was led through a demo of handling cutlery, cutting, and maintaining the knives by a Wusthof representative. They had time to ask any questions as well."

-Martie Sullivan, owner of Sweet Basil Gourmetware & Cooking School in Scottsdale, Arizona

"The first Friday of each month, we have music and food for our customers. During the holidays, it is a bigger event. Every Saturday during the holiday season, we have culture and food demonstrations. We will make a holiday treat native to some country, such as special Swedish cookies. At Thanksgiving, we offer cooking classes, including Native American cooking classes. And of course, we offer classes for baking pies and cookies. After Thanksgiving, on Black Friday, we don’t have a big sale. We try to create a more comfortable setting. People can come in and enjoy a glass of wine while they shop."

-Donna Okarma, manager of Rudy’s — A Cook’s Paradise in Twin Falls, Idaho