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moh

Creating work exclusively for chefs

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I've been curious about creating dinnerwares specifically for chefs/restaurants.
Does anyone make a living in that niche? I'm specifically interested in:

- What are some considerations that may not be immediately obvious and was a  learning experience for you
- How many different shapes do you carry?
- 70%? 80% of retail?

Thank you

 

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Check out some back issues of CM there has been a few folks who do this-usually not hand thrown wares.Most of the line was only a few forms-2-4

You will find most restaurants are brutal on price- becuase the stuff they get from China is so cheap. I would say ask 30% off retail and see if any body will do that?

I have been approached  a few times and its always been a bust.

The new high end foody places in big citys will spend the money but keep in mind the order times and gthe large orders needed whenever they drop a few bus trays of wares.

seems like a slip ware business to me.

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17 minutes ago, moh said:

I've been curious about creating dinnerwares specifically for chefs/restaurants.
Does anyone make a living in that niche? I'm specifically interested in:

- What are some considerations that may not be immediately obvious and was a  learning experience for you
- How many different shapes do you carry?
- 70%? 80% of retail?

Thank you

 

Jereds pottery in Sacramento I think does restaurant wares, I've back and forthed with him a few times on Instagram, check him out

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I am a believer that all things are possible under the right set of circumstances. It's up to you wether you think you can meet those conditions, or build up to that point, or not.

About 2 years ago in late August/early September, there was a designer that came through the farmer's market I work looking for a potter who worked in red clay. She was looking to outfit a restaraunt for an early November start date. She came armed with some inspiration images she'd pulled from Pinterest that were of some extremely amateur slab built plates that would never in a million years stand up to industrial use. She wanted original designs, and needed dishes that numbered in the tens of thousands, expected a 6 week turnaround time, and wanted delivery smack in the middle of Christmas show season. She offered an amount that would be comparable to my take for my Christmas season for this endeavour, but I would have had to give up all my Christmas shows in order to meet it. She saw nothing at all unreasonable with her expectations. No one at that venue was willing or able to take a project like that on.

So if this set of expectations is what is normal for the restaraunt industry, an artisinal potter would have to do a few things in order to meet that. First, you'd have to be willing and able to educate any client like this about what is and isn't possible with the material if they want original, never-made-before designs. You'd have to educate them about time frames and durability if they still want original designs after that conversation. If they don't want completely bespoke designs after that first conversation, then you could then concievably pull out your stable of existing glazes that have been properly tested in combination with your clay(s) to use in combination with some forms that you have in your existing lexicon. You'd have to have enough people/equipment/skill to deliver all of these pieces on time, for a cost effective price. 

 

Personally, I'd need a pug mill, a jigger/jolly setup, a studio assistant and at least another 10 cu ft kiln to pull off what she wanted. I would have needed a business line of credit to purchase the equipment and hire an unskilled person. The money from that contract would have paid off the line of credit, and if there had been more restaraunts wanting similar setups, I would have been well positioned to take on futher contracts of that nature. Those orders would have come from much farther afield than my home province though, because we've been in the midst of a recession here for a couple of years. So like I said, a lot depends on circumstances.

If a coffee shop wanted 100 mugs bowls and sandwitch plates, that I could swing.

 

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Every time I eat sushi, I think that would be the perfect match for a local potter.  There's usually 10 or 12 seats at a counter and maybe another dozen tables, so the volume of product wouldn't be that great.  Sushi chefs would appreciate an artistic presentation that was creative and semi original in their cultural context.  Whether you could make that sale or not would be the question.  I think if I wanted to try, I'd just give them a sample and see if it was accepted.

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