Chef’s Shop wins international award
Sheena Trott was “blown away” this week when her store, Chef’s Shop, received the International Houseware Association’s Global Innovation Award for retail excellence.
Mrs Trott runs the store at 44 Par-la-Ville Road in Hamilton with her husband, Reeve Trott.
Their name was put forward by British trade publication Kitchenware International, a sponsor of IHA’s Inspired Home Show in Chicago, annually attended by more than 60,000 people from over 125 countries.
“To be honest I was not really aware of the GIA award,” Mrs Trott said. “It is not something you apply for and you don’t put in an application. You get chosen. Kitchenware International from the UK approached us and said they would like us to be their GIA award winner for 2022.”
They were discovered through their website chefshopbermuda.shopcreated by store manager and buyer Ashley Stokes.
“Kitchenware International is always looking for unique kitchen stores,” Mrs Trott said. “They liked what they saw and put us forward as their GIA winner. The winners are all sponsored by different bodies. Kitchenware International is one of the sponsors. I have looked at previous years (awards) and they have nominated winners within the UK, predominantly.”
The prize is bragging rights.
“We aren’t given anything,” Mrs Trott said. “It is really more the prestige of winning it.”
The Trotts have attended the Inspired Home Show for 20 years, on and off, and plan to be there when the three-day show kicks off on Saturday. They missed a few shows due to the pandemic.
“The Chicago show has a strong representation throughout the US, and a good cross section of new products to look at,” Mrs Trott said.
Their GIA award comes with an invite to a gala dinner at the Inspired Home Show, and their names have been put forward for a grand prize.
The Chef’s Shop, officially called International Imports, was started by Mr Trott’s father, Francis Trott, in the late 1950s and has been selling everything from stoves and mixers to cookie cutters and knives, ever since.
It was first opened on King Street, but moved to its current location in 1983.
“People still come in and say they had no idea we were here,” Mrs Trott said.
But she said they have changed their focus over the years.
“We started out as a strictly commercial installation shop when we were back on King Street,” she said. “My father-in-law was installing kitchens for the Southampton Princess.”
They still cater to professional chefs, but now count many home cooks as customers.
“We have a lot of bakers on the island so we really expanded our range of fondants and sprinkles and baking supplies, and storage being a part of that too, such as cake boxes,” she said. “We have always done the china and glass.”
Their cooking classes are also enormously popular. The classes were put on hold during the pandemic, but will resume in the coming months.
They started a website during the pandemic to help with online orders and kerbside pick-up.
“It is still a work in progress,” Mrs Trott said.
Since the global health crisis began, they have been hit hard by shipping delays.
“We could not get a KitchenAid mixer for over 18 months,” Mrs Trott lamented. “They come out of the US. That was strictly the factory situation within the US. The factory just did not have the staff to meet demand.”
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