Richmond Hill residents David and Barbara Freeman were recently honored by being appointed to the Retailer Advisory Board for Gourmet Retailer magazine. The national publication is delivered monthly to virtually every cookware store and gourmet food market in America.
In order to be nominated for the Retailer Advisory Board, another retailer must make the recommendation. An Ohio-based retailer suggested the Freemans, who own and run the Savannah cookware store Kitchen Outfitters, and they joined the small compilation of Southeastern representatives for the magazine.
As board members, the Freemans will advise the magazine about kitchenware and gourmet retailing trends throughout the Southeast, and help identify new products to be profiled.
"They ask us periodically about what items we’re selling in the Southeast, what trends do we see in the retail business in this region; they ask us about products, have we seen anything unusual when go to the shows, what have we seen that might be worth talking about – that kind of thing," David Freeman said.
And what types of trends do the Freemans notice in the Southeast?
"We weren’t open yet on Sept. 11, 2001," Freeman said. "But one thing that Barbara noticed since that time is that people are cooking more, and having dinner at home. That seems to have been a growing trend. The growth of the Food Network also seemed to correspond with that time…We’ve also noticed that when a chef holds up an item and says, ‘This is what I’m using,’ then there’s a run on it."
Each month, the magazine corresponds with the Freemans about the same questions:
"What’s selling, what’s the hottest item, what sells the most units, what generates the most revenue – they ask us that every month. They want to know what’s happening in the industry across the county," Freeman said.
As Retail Advisory Board members, the couple said they strive to contribute their knowledge of the industry for the Southeastern area they represent.
"Every region in the country is very different," he said. "We look in the magazine and see what’s selling in New England versus what’s selling on the West Coast, and it’s very different. The country really does have regional preferences, it’s amazing."
Gourmet Retailer can be viewed online at www.gourmetretailer.com; or visit the Freeman’s site at www.kitchenwareoutfitters.com.