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Housewares Industry (Barbara Ackerman & Mary Gallagher) Breakfast Meeting

A good cross section of companies from the housewares industry attended a CHHMA breakfast seminar on October 24 at the Ivy School of Business in Mississauga featuring guest speakers Barbara Ackerman of The Cooks Place & Mary Gallagher from the Gourmet Catalogue. They presented their views on how manufacturers can better serve the independent retailer, and increase business opportunities through this sector.

Barbara Ackerman, owner operator of The Cooks Place on the Danforth in Metro Toronto described the recent formation of the buying group KitchenPros, of which she is president. The organization presently consists of 15 stores, with aspirations of growing to over 100 stores, and stretching across the country within the next couple of years. At the present time, they are in their formation stages, and as the group gets bigger, they will be looking at group buys and branding under the KitchenPros' name. Those interested in learning more about KitchenPros can do so by contacting Barbara directly.

Mary Gallagher introduced the attendees to a new venture that was launched in Canada this past May called The Gourmet Catalogue. The Gourmet Catalogue has been in use in the US for 20 years, and has proven to increase store sales and traffic for independent retailers. The Gourmet Catalogue provides high quality advertising for small independent kitchen shops who otherwise would be unable to afford this type of advertising. The cost of the catalogues are shared by participating retailers and manufacturers with the idea being that retailers using the catalogue will stock the majority of products, thus increasing the volume of business that participating manufacturers will do with these stores. The first issue was just released, and as yet it is too early to measure the results. For more information on this program, visit
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