GOURMET INSIDER® has announced its selections for the 2017 All-Stars.
This year’s honorees are Stephen and Laura Havlek of Sonoma, CA-based Sign Of The Bear Kitchenware and Tableware; Jennifer Baron of Brooklyn, NY-based A Cook’s Companion; and Nancy and Scott Schneider of Edwardsville, IL-based Chef’s Shoppe Gourmet Kitchen.
Laura and Stephen Havlek continue to be trend-setters in the gourmet housewares retail world. However, it is their unwavering enthusiasm for all of what the job entails — from climbing stockroom shelves to get fresh merchandise for a customer to wrapping a gift purchased in their store — is what continues to shine through.
Baron’s keen business sense is why she was selected a 2017 All-Star. Baron spends a great deal of time on the sales floor. That time well-spent with her customers throughout the past quarter-century has given her a keen understanding of what her shoppers need and when they need it.
The Schneiders were selected for many reasons, but mostly because they are risk-takers. They went out, took a chance and learned several new businesses — such as the finer points of fudge and popcorn — in order to be what their customers needed them to be.
“Our All-Stars are making things happen for them based on their needs for the business. But making things happen for them also means making things happen for their vendors, their staff, their customers and this industry,” said Emily Cappiello, managing editor of Gourmet Insider. “And while all of these All-Stars are on top of their game, they are all continuing to strive to be better.”
To read all of the in-depth All-Star stories, check out the July/August issue of Gourmet Insider. In addition, Gourmet Insider will have additional coverage of the 2017 All-Stars, including video interviews and store galleries, online and on social media throughout the month of July.