Marcel’s Culinary Experience, Glen Ellyn, Ill., Receives Housewares Industry’s Highest Honor, Recognized as the U.S. Independent Retailer of the Year

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Marcel’s Culinary Experience, Glen Ellyn, Ill., has been selected by The Gourmet Retailer, a trade magazine covering the specialty food and kitchenware retail industry, as its Kitchenware Retailer of the Year and the U.S. Global Innovator Award winner.

Jill Foucré and her team have created a successful and thriving concept that combines the best brands of the housewares industry in a space that is warm and welcoming.

Marcel’s Culinary Experience (http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com) of Glen Ellyn, Ill., has been selected by The Gourmet Retailer (http://www.gourmetretailer.com), a trade magazine covering the specialty food and kitchenware retail industry, as its Kitchenware Retailer of the Year and the U.S. Global Innovator Award (gia) winner (http://www.housewares.org/gia/retail.aspx).

The Gourmet Retailer, a co-sponsor of the U.S. gia for independent kitchenware retailers, selected Marcel’s as the U.S. winner after soliciting and reviewing nominations from the industry.

“While a relative newcomer to the kitchenware retailing industry, Jill Foucré and her team have created a successful and thriving concept that combines the best brands of the housewares industry in a space that is warm and welcoming,” says Anna Wolfe, Editor-in-Chief of The Gourmet Retailer. “In addition to being active in the community, Marcel’s has also met a need amongst its customers -- helping them develop their cooking skills -- all while having fun. Marcel’s Culinary Experience is proof that it is possible for independent retailers to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.”

The International Home + Housewares Show (IH+HS) and International Housewares Association (IHA), primary sponsors of gia, will recognize Marcel’s and other 2014-2015 winners from more than 20 countries at the 15th annual gia awards in Chicago on March 8.

Combining her love of cooking and entertaining with her family heritage, Foucré launched Marcel’s Culinary Experience in September 2011 after a 30-year career in health insurance. Marcel’s is named after her grandfather, a French chef and restaurateur. Foucré and her team have curated a compelling retail space stocked with top cookware brands, professional tools, tableware, local and specialty foods alongside one-of-a kind items. The 3,200-square-foot store has a state-of-the-art kitchen where cooks of all skill levels can learn and enjoy hands-on classes and demonstrations.

In Marcel’s first calendar year of business, the company exceeded more than $1 million in revenue and reported an operating profit in year two.

The Gourmet Retailer’s Kitchenware Retailer of the Year and U.S. gia awards are the most recent achievements on Marcel’s long list of accolades. The Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce recognized Marcel’s for best holiday window display in 2013, and it has won two Le Creuset display contests. Earlier this year, for her innovative business practices and bottom-line success, Foucré received the Innovation Award from the Daily Herald Business Ledger in Arlington Heights, Ill. Marcel’s and Foucré have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and Money Magazine.

“It’s an honor to be selected for this prestigious award, particularly in our first year of eligibility,” says Foucré. “We have a terrific team at Marcel’s and everyone contributes to our success, including our committed customers. We hope to serve the community and the Chicago area for many years to come.”

Marcel’s Culinary Experience will be profiled in the February/March issue of The Gourmet Retailer magazine.

About the gia competition:

Honoring excellence in housewares retailing, the gia program was created by the International Housewares Association in 1999 to showcase housewares retailing innovation and merchandising distinction worldwide.

The gia competition is structured both on a national and global level to honor independent and multiple location housewares retailers for excellence in several business categories including mission, layout and design, visual merchandising, marketing, customer service, staff training and innovation.

Each national winner will travel to the IH+HS where the global gia jury -- consisting of four experts representing Asia, Europe and the Americas, plus a rotating group of co-sponsoring trade publication editors -- will select five global gia honorees.

From March 7-10 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IH+HS show attendees will be able to see photo displays of the gia winners from more than 20 countries. The gia Showcase in the Grand Concourse Lobby will feature visual displays of each store’s award-winning efforts.

Banners for the 20+ winning retailers will be hung in the walkway that connects the Grand Concourse and the Lakeside Center. More information about gia is available at http://www.housewares.org/gia/.

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Cynthia Martin
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