Friday, June 22, 2012

Rush's Kitchen Supply begins carrying Le Creuset cookware

Rush's Kitchen Supply owner Alex Constantino with the Le Creuset cookware he began carrying in May.
When you have died and people are going through your things, a piece of Le Creuset cookware is one thing that will make them say, "Wow, he was serious about cooking."

Don't underestimate the potency of this pitch.

Rush's Kitchen Supply on Lindsay Boulevard began carrying Le Creuset (pronounced la KWOO-say) last month. Store owner Alex Constantino reasoned that if he is going to have the best store he has to have the best stuff.

There are some arguments against carrying a premium brand like this. It's not cheap, so the market is limited. A 5.5-quart Dutch oven costs $265. Moreover, you can buy Le Creuset just about anywhere (Macy's, etc..) for roughly the same price. Since the Internet knocked brick-and-mortar retail sideways, everything has come to have a "minimum advertised price" that's available to anyone willing to do their homework.

Nevertheless, Constantino decided he had to have it. "It's everywhere, but it is the best," he said. "The enamel is more durable, the inside is more stain resistant, it cleans up easier."

One thing he does is replace the ceramic knobs with ones made of stainless steel, a $15 upgrade. "It looks more elegant," he said. But the real sales come from the classes he teaches, where the pots get used and wannabe cooks have a direct experience of what a difference quality cookware makes. They may not buy Le Creuset right away. They may opt for a Chinese-made Mario Batali casserole that costs half as much, and there's nothing wrong with that. But they know about it, and Christmas is always coming.