Sous Vide Tools has opened its first high street showroom and development kitchen – named Toolshed @ W2 – near Marble Arch in central London.
MD Alex Shannon said: “Opening a high street store in London is a huge step for the business.
“The original ‘Toolshed’, at our head office in Lancaster, has been hugely successful and we felt that something similar was required in London in order to offer the same immersive experience to our growing customer base in the capital. We believe that the facility is unique because it is a showroom and demonstration kitchen, not a retail shop.”
He further detailed: “Visitors are free to come in and browse the latest products from our wide range of sous vide equipment and accessories, as well as products from our sister company, Hendi UK, and a number of other non-competing manufacturers.
“However, the primary function of the facility is to provide a fully working kitchen environment where, with the assistance of our chef director Chris Holland and his team, those visitors, be they chefs, home foodies or catering equipment distributors, can use the equipment and gain an in-depth understanding of how it works and how it can help to create new and innovative menu ideas.”
Shannon told Catering Insight that some dealers have already visited the premises, reporting: “They are finding it really exciting because it is somewhere they can come and learn about the products.
“A lot of manufacturers are trying to do similar things but it’s more on the light wares. I feel we are the first to do this on capital equipment. What we are doing is innovative, so we have equipment like the anti-griddle flash freezer or the food dehydrator, and we are literally teaching people about new techniques.
“Our two development chefs know our products inside out. We never bring a product to market unless they have gone through it vigorously and know it both technically and functionally.”
Sous Vide Tools collaborated with several other manufacturers for the outfit of the London demonstration kitchen. “We have partnered with Grande Cuisine, Winterhalter and Churchill,” said Shannon.
“The idea is that they are non-competing brands, so we work together and they can bring their own customers through if they have any in the area. Churchill is even going to run some events there.”
He concluded: “65% of everything happening in the UK food world at the moment is happening in London, so it’s vital to have this hub.”