Kitchen Supply Shopping?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by craftynatalie, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. craftynatalie

    craftynatalie

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Can anyone tell me their favorite stores and catalogs to get kitchen supplies from. I have t o say that Williams- Sonoma is my favorite. I love that I can sit down with their catalog at home and then go to the store and touch everything!:p
     
  2. jock

    jock

    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I think it wa some time back in the 1950's (but certainly a very long time ago) that Chuck Williams thought it would be a good idea to sell professional type equipment to the home cook. When he first opened his store he was only in business for a couple of years until he sold it to - I don't remember.

    Thank goodness for Chuck's original idea but IMHO today the store is stocked with overpriced, over stylized products that I expect to see in a kitchen whose owner wants it to look good but never actually uses it.

    OK, that maybe overstating it a bit. I must confess to shopping there from time to time. For me, Sur la Table is a better store (with a catalogue) that has better priced and generally more prctical stuff. Every time I pass by, I have to go in to discover what I can't live without :)

    Depending on what I'm looking for, I go to my local restaurant supply store.

    I'm not a technophobe by any means but I have this aversion to buying things on line and do so only very rarely.

    Jock
     
  3. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

    Messages:
    9,204
    Likes Received:
    65
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    I agree about W-S pricing. I think Sur La Table is also high. I try to patronize one of the three or four good local stores that cater to home cooks, but I also can visit a wholesaler that will sell to the public at retail prices- cheaper than the foodies' stores. But as you say, Jock, it depends what you're shopping for, and for me, if it has to look good or be strictly functional.
     
  4. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,167
    Likes Received:
    283
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    In this area, many commercial equipment places have opened the doors to the public and have brought in many more home type items. Acemart for one.
    Of all the home retail shops, I like our Viking store. You can get very good prices on clearance items. They also bring in some really nice, personable, good looking, older pastry chefs for demo:D
     
  5. mikelm

    mikelm

    Messages:
    1,691
    Likes Received:
    36
    Exp:
    Home Chef
    "I'm not a technophobe by any means but I have this aversion to buying things on line and do so only very rarely.'

    For an old geezer, I'm a big fan of internet shopping. Well, I took a course in Fortran programming in 1968. My company developed a financial-simulation program (not me doing the programming) that year. I bought an Apple 2 (even before the 2a) in 1982 and put together an accounting and lease-management program for my small company using VisiCalc, the ur-spreadsheet program. Actually, VisiCalc was the program that made people realize that the PC was good for something besides playing the game of Pong. If this means nothing to you, you are just too young to understand. Never mind.

    I'm by no means a programmer or computer expert, but I have a lot of fun and am pretty comfortable shopping on the internet.

    I've bought a LOT of stuff online, usually at least 25% cheaper than it is available at local retail outlets. Cameras, computers, printers, a scanner, books, supplies, one of those fancy, premium mattresses, and on and on. Only one or two mistakes or bad experiences; a really tiny percentage of what I've spent.

    He!l, I've bought everything but the kitchen sink on the intern... oh, wait -
    in our recent condo remodel, I bought our new kitchen sink at Homeclick.com :roll:

    I heartily recommend Homeclick to you for darn near everything. I bought ceiling fans, sinks, and a complete setting of Villeroy china (at 50% of list, and "list" is what Bloomingdale's gets around here for Villeroy.) I looked at the nice Bodum cast-iron, vitreous-coated wok at W-S for $85. I got it from Homeclick for $53, and they paid the postage.

    I found an online hardware store that supplied the Italian locksets for the condo for about $53 apiece, instead of the $94 that Clark & Barlow, a major local hardware supplier wanted- after the 20% professional discount for my son the cabinetmaker.

    I guess the real trick is to do your research and really be sure to know what you want, and what you are are getting before you use the internet. Also, it is extremely important to print out your order and the company's confirmation, and any email correspondence that is involved. You need to have a really complete record of everything that has happened, since you can't go in and straighten it out face-to-face.

    As an example, I took our KitchenAid double oven from our old house to the condo, but it was white and we went with black appliances. I found a parts supplier online and ordered black door-fronts, handles, trims, and control panel in black, But, the order confirmation screen didn't seem to work, so I called the company and was told to do it over the phone. I did, stressing that if the internet order was really registered, I certainly didn't want two orders. The nice lady on the phone said she waould make sure there was no duplication.

    Of course, I received the order twice, each for about $500.

    It took quite a few emails and several trips to UPS, but I got all the money back and they covered the duplicate shipping cost. I would be happy to buy from them again. I can't even imagine what that would have cost if supplied and installed by a local appliance-service operation. :eek:

    I still find online shopping an adventure, and always a moneysaver, since if it isn't, I don't do it. Try it, you'll like it!

    Mike
     
  6. jock

    jock

    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Yeah, the few times I have bought on line have been OK experiences I suppose and I only bought what I had already held in my hand in a retail store so there were no surprises. The only reason I take the plunge in the first place is because the price is too good to pass up.

    Maybe I'm not intuative enough but it always seems to me that I run into some difficulty or other on web ordering sites and end up calling the company. If that's what I need to do, why did I spend a frustrating half hour trying to navigate their stupid web site in the first place? As often as not I get to the end of the line only to find the server won't recognize my zip code or something equally annoying.

    Jock
     
  7. mudbug

    mudbug

    Messages:
    2,068
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Culinary Instructor
    Jock,

    Any reputable company that sells their supply online should have a telephone number for ordering. Instead of going thru the website to order, why not just figure out what you want and make it a habit call direct by phone?
     
  8. jock

    jock

    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I guess I'm just not a shopper at heart. When I do buy things it tends to be on impulse and when I want it , I want it. I just bought a lens for my new camera from Amazon. I bought the camera on line too. In both cases the price was too good to pass up. The service was great - I ordered it on Thursday and got it on Tuesday. No complaints there except I'm tracking it on line every day multiple times. And I'm bugging the mail guy at work to keep an eye out for the package, making a real nusance of myself. I dunno - shopping for me is a necessary evil and doing it on line is very trying.

    Jock
     
  9. dagger

    dagger

    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Can't boil water
    I bought my KitchenAid Standmixer & attachments, Coffee Grinder, Bleander, Chef Chopper, Foodsaver 2440, DVDs' and 3 Calphalon Stainless Triply pans & 1 All-cald from amazon. I bought my KitchenAid tool gagets and Immersion bleander form KitchenAid.com when they have sale. My Farberware knives i bought from their outlet store which is no longer around. MY WolfGang Puck FP & Santoku knives, Ultrex cookware came from HSN but if you have trouble don't exspect HSN to be of much help. I bought a pan at QVC which fell on the floor and broke the handle. I asked there online live help if they could sent me a new handle which only neede to be screwed on and they sent me a brand new pot instead. Much better CS than HSN but limited in selection. Anything else comes from where i find something like Corning outlit store or Big Lots where i just bought 2 Kathy Ireland bakeware ceramic pans. Must not forget Wal-Mart even Costco where i buy replacement bags and first Foodsaver 1050. Whats great about Amazon you save on shipping and sales tax which makes a big difference these days. Also used Buy.com for printer & printer ink, scanner, USB Hub and electronics like MP3 player. When ever you order online you should always do a search for coupons before ordering, that is how i saved 15% on a mp3 player from buy.com. And who hasn't bought a computer form Dell.com/. I have even bought Spices from americanspicecompany & penzeys on line and fancy french salts through amazon. Even if you don't like ordering on line it's a good place to compair prices and iteams features.