Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Only the best
Does anyone question that I loooove kitchen stores? I think not. When I buy my tools, I want quality, long lasting items. The problem is sometimes being able to decipher whether or not the quality that I want comes with the price tag. I'm smart enough to not assume that just because a wooden spoon is within the four walls of Sur La Table and priced at $25 that it is going to be the best wooden spoon out there. In fact I know this is not true.
I went to college in a tiny little town in the middle of Indiana called Winona Lake, and, while Wal Mart was certainly always 8 minutes away in the next town, Winona Lake had quite a standard of what businesses were allowed to be within its city limits. The water front was dotted with artisans and small shops. One of which is what I consider to be the best thing (if not the only good thing) that comes out of Indiana.
I was too wrapped up in college to care about domestic things, but when I graduated, got married, and started taking care of a house, my mind immediately went back to Whetstone Woodenware. The story is that the owner was a furniture makes and that his wife asked him to make "a wooden spoon that would not break." What came out of it was an entire business model. They have cutting boards, spoons of all shapes and sizes (the flat paddle is my favorite, and I literally use it every day), rolling pins, tongs, etc...all hand carved from wood! I'm telling you, these are by far the best kitchen tools that money can buy. Seriously, this guy could be charging three times as much as he does, but keeps all his merchandise at small town, midwest prices.
In this economy, and especially during the holidays when businesses expect a rise in sales, it's so important to support small businesses. And really, if they're selling the better product for the better price you have no excuse. This year, skip Williams Sonoma and browse through Whetstone's website instead. Instead of dealing with parking and crowds, you can sit at home on your computer, put on Christmas music, and sip tea all while you shop!