Manufacturing Today - Summer 2011 - (Page 30)
SPECIAL SECTION Furniture Industry & Home Design
Columbian Home Products / www.columbianhp.com / HQ: Lake Zurich, Ill. / Employees: 150 / Services: Kitchenware and cookware / Dick Ryan, owner: “We develop products that help you do one thing better than the rest.”
columbian home products says it has a small niche, but holds a large market share within that niche.
columbian has spent 11 years making cookware and kitchenware that provide specialty solutions everyday pots and pans can’t handle. by jamie morgan
As a niche provider of porcelain-onsteel, hand-crafted wood, and specialty ethnic kitchen and cooking products, Columbian Home Products has distinguished itself as the big fish in a small pond. While aluminum and stainless steel have taken over the market for mainstream pots and pans, there is still a strong consumer base in need of items such as stir-fry pans, bamboo steamers, tamale and menudo pots, seafood steamers and turkey roasters – 30
manufacturing-today.com SUMMER 2011
items that are Columbian’s niche. “We’re more of a specialty cookware manufacturer than a generalpurpose cookware manufacturer,” says Dick Ryan, owner of Columbian. “We have a niche that is a relatively small percentage of the grand total of things, but we have a very large share of this small market.” From its 850,000-square-foot facility in Terre Haute, Ind., and its 75,000-square-foot facility in
Crandon, Wis., Columbian produces Granite•Ware® porcelain-on-steel cookware, and wood kitchen products under the Snow River and Grande Epicure brands. The company distributes the Joyce Chen line of Asian cookware and other specialty ethnic cookware and accessories under the Mexican Fiesta, Italian Villa, Country Cabin, and China Village brands through a warehouse near Los Angeles. Between these three locations, along with a corporate office in Lake Zurich, Ill., Columbian has led the specialty cookware market for the past 11 years. However, instead of resting on experience and rapport with customers alone, the company pushes itself to maintain that leadership. In fact by the end of fourth-quarter 2011, the company plans to introduce a new line – Heritage Collection, which celebrates the 100-plus year history and tradition of Granite•Ware® and will include the best-selling pots and pans in new drop-shippable packaging, so it can be sold on the Internet, or direct shipped to customers – supplying traditional cookware with a modern twist. Currently, the company distributes only to retailers. In March, Columbian introduced three-dozen new products at the International Housewares Association show in Chicago. The Snow River line, which includes products made from recovered wood including bowls, serving utensils, kitchen carts and cutting boards, was beefed up with 24 new products. But 12 additions to the Granite•Ware® line proved to be the company’s big hit. Granite•Ware® pie and pizza pans are already favorites for customers looking for a perfectly browned crust. The company took the concept and adapted it for new applications. “We adapted it for cookies, brownies, pound cakes, muffins – anything where browned edges are important,” says Vice President of Marketing and
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.