Cincinnati, OH-based Artichoke has been selected as a U.S. Global Innovator Award (gia) winner through the program sponsored by the International Housewares Association. GOURMET INSIDER® is the U.S. sponsor representing housewares specialty retailing.
The store, owned by husband and wife duo, Karen and Brad Hughes, opened its doors in April 2016.
Artichoke’s unique merchandising and product selection strategy follows its open concept approach and highlights a showroom aesthetic. Most of the products are showcased outside of their packaging for customers to touch and feel and often an entire product line is represented by only one piece. While this is not always feasible for independent gourmet housewares stores, Artichoke has taken this concept and run with it.
The Hugheses have received an array of accolades for Artichoke. The store was named one of Food Network’s top kitchenware stores in the nation in July 2016, was given the 2017 HTI Rising Star award, named the winner of the 2017 Second Act award from its local community chamber of commerce and was named a 2018 Gourmet Insider All-Star.
And, said the couple, while becoming a gia winner was always in the back of their minds, the concept took a backseat to the development of their business strategy. That, however, proved to be the key to success for the owners.
“When we first attended the International Home + Housewares Show six years ago, we saw the gia award winners for retail stores and at that moment, I decided this level was something Artichoke needed to aspire to. It is an incredible honor to receive this award and we are humbled and grateful to have been chosen,” said Brad Hughes.
Added Karen Hughes, “This is such a phenomenal honor. On our very first trip to the IH+HS, prior to even developing a business plan for our store, we attended the gia award presentation and were so impressed with the quality of the winning stores. We held that up as a benchmark for ourselves, and from the very beginning, we felt the absolute pinnacle would be to receive this recognition. We can’t believe we have received this incredible honor,” she said.