Whisk Receives Housewares Industry’s Highest Honor: the U.S. Independent Retailer of the Year

Whisk has been selected by The Gourmet Retailer, a trade magazine covering the specialty food and kitchenware retail industry, as its Kitchenware Retailer of the Year and the U.S. Global Innovator Award (gia) winner.

The Gourmet Retailer, a co-sponsor of the U.S. gia for independent kitchenware retailers, selected Whisk as the U.S. winner after soliciting and reviewing nominations from the industry.

“Dan and Diana Saklad and their team have created a successful and thriving concept that combines the best brands of the housewares industry in a store that has quickly become a destination in the greater Raleigh-Durham area,” says Anna Wolfe, Editor-in-Chief of The Gourmet Retailer. “Whisk is proof that it is possible for independent retailers to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.”

The International Home + Housewares Show (IH+HS) and International Housewares Association (IHA), primary sponsors of gia, will recognize Whisk and housewares retailers from more than 20 countries at the 16th annual gia awards in Chicago on March 5.

Established in 2013, Whisk has created a unique destination providing kitchenware, cooking expertise and culinary inspiration to its customers. Founded in Cary, N.C., by Dan and Diana Saklad, Whisk offers everything a home or professional cook could need, with a hand-picked selection that includes over 15,000 different items including cookware, cutlery, kitchen electrics, gourmet foods and cooking utensils — all from respected brands like Le Creuset, All Clad, OXO, Vitamix and Wüsthof. Plus, the 4,200-square-foot kitchenware store has a cooking school that offers 35 classes a month where home cooks of all skill levels can learn and enjoy hands-on and interactive classes on a wide variety of topics. The retailer launched a new website (www.whiskcarolina.com) that is mobile-friendly, and Whisk also provides a number of value-added services like knife sharpening and a bridal/gift registry for its customers. 

Whisk will be profiled in the February/March issue of The Gourmet Retailer magazine.

About the gia competition:

Honoring excellence in housewares retailing, the gia program was created by the International Housewares Association in 1999 to showcase housewares retailing innovation and merchandising distinction worldwide.

The gia competition is structured both on a national and global level to honor independent and multiple location housewares retailers for excellence in several business categories including mission, layout and design, visual merchandising, marketing, customer service, staff training and innovation.

Each national winner will travel to the IH+HS where the global gia jury — consisting of four experts representing Asia, Europe and the Americas, plus a rotating group of co-sponsoring trade publication editors — will select five global gia honorees.

From March 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IH+HS show attendees will be able to see photo displays of the gia winners from more than 20 countries. The gia Showcase in the Grand Concourse Lobby will feature visual displays of each store’s award-winning efforts.

Banners for the 20+ winning retailers will be hung in the walkway that connects the Grand Concourse and the Lakeside Center. More information about gia is online.

AWARDLia Soneson