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Williams Sonoma, It's Over... I've Got A New Store Now...

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Just Because...
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Williams Sonoma, It's Over... I've Got A New Store Now...

Let me state for the record that I had WAY too much fun at Sur La Table!

For those that don't know anything about Sur La Table, it's like Williams Sonoma but 10 times better. Many professional chefs have been known to frequent its doors. If you watch the Food Network like I do, most of the stuff that you see the chefs use during their shows, chances are that they got it at Sur La Table. Want to see Giada, Paula Dean or Tyler Florence sign their latest book - again, Sur La Table might be your best bet (that is, if Tyler doesn't defect for Macy*s, but I'll shush on that subject). I discovered the power of Sur through Grown Up Girlie's blog when she talked about a salt box that she was coveting. I ordered a catalog as I had never heard of the store and hence was the beginning love affair with this store.

As I said before, when I get their catalog, I yip gleefully while pouring over the pages like its this month's Vogue. I'm obsessed with many of the brands they showcase and, if you look at my kitchen, you will see why. For my apartment, I have a gorgeous kitchen and it's not what I normally have been dealt. This is the first apartment where I adore my kitchen. I'd like a new fridge, but eeh - it's an apartment. I won't be able to do that unless it turns condo. My last kitchen at LBV was small. Very small. More like an L shape. In NH, I had a combo dining room/kitchen but no dishwasher and again with the L format for the counter, sink, etc. blah. In Lawrence, I had a galley kitchen. In Chicopee, I also had an eat in kitchen that had no dishwasher. You get the picture.

Before I moved I because obsessed with Global cutlery and Le Creuset, and bought my first Le Creuset at Home Goods. Can I say I adore that line. While I was talked to about possibly investing in some Staub pieces, I sat there going "nope - I love my LC!". Global came next after I did that business trip to Naples/Ft. Myers and bought my first set of knives. It all went chaotic after then.

So this weekend, you can imagine my surprise as I wandered up and down aisle after aisle of products I only gazed longingly at and never really was able to see up close and personal. And, after I left Saturday, I was pretty pleased with my purchases.

All in all, I spent about $90. I was pleased with that and figured "Lys, that's good enough - you behaved and there's lots more to pick up later!". I also thought because I wouldn't be going to Sur La Table that often, I'd be fine. Sadly they did not have my Global tomato knife which I discovered and the uber-fabulous John offered to sell me the store copy but I get kinda wiggy about that stuff and said I'd order it online. I got sick of cutting my tomatoes with a bread knife. It's a pain in the butt, IMO, to use such a huge serrated knife for a little tomato.

Well, when I got done with the event on Sunday, I made a fateful decision that "eehh - its just on the way home" and hence is when it got crazy. I originally went in for a salt cellar for my Fleur de Sol because, of course, I can't mix it with the kosher salt in my Nigella salt pig. All bets were off when I encountered my other fave sales guy, Gerardo, who checked and told me that they did, indeed, have a Global tomato knife for me and did I want it. Do birds fly - hell yes I wanted it!

Some other lovely things that are making a new home in Altamonte along with my knife are:

And I'm sure I bought a whole other bunch of stuff that I haven't unpacked yet but is escaping me. I had a habit of throwing some stuff that was $1.95 or $2.95 in the basket. If they had a cart I'd be in a WHOLE lot of trouble.

Don't ask me the cost of everything I bought - let's just say I exceeded the Saturday total rather substantially and, last night as I looked at the bags in the hallway, I felt a slight twinge of regret. Then I remembered that I will have to use it and it's what I wanted. Did I spend more than a pair of choos, no, but still - it was enough to say "No Holiday Gifts for moi!"

Now I'm spoiled. I don't think I can ever go back to the Williams Sonoma way of thinking. The customer service I experienced at Sur La Table WAY exceeded anything I've experienced at Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel - even Nordstrom. These people were knowledgeable about their lines. They didn't stalk you around the store. They were there if you had a question. If they didn't carry something, they would tell you WHERE to go to get it. They enjoyed their jobs and you could tell.

Lately I've noticed that at Williams Sonoma - you either exist or you don't. They stalk you the minute you are looking at knives or copper cookware. They don't always know their lines. They try to sell you on the most expensive thing rather than what you need. The store is also small and the variety is lacking. And their price points are a bit higher than Sur La Table.

Thankfully, I heard the rumor that Sur might possibly be coming to Orlando and, when and if they do - I know a ton of people that will flock to their doors. The minute I hear a date, you know I'll have a countdown going and, won't have to make the 184 mile trek to Palm Beach to indulge my obsession.

Many thanks to the EXCELLENT staff of the Sur La Table for such an eye opening experience. And John and Gerardo should be commended. They were amazing sales people and, should you care to drop by Palm Beach Gardens Sur La Table, ask for them specifically. Just tell them the gal who thinks the Sur catalog is better than Vogue sent ya!

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Posted by Lys :: 7:53 PM :: 2 comments

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