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Vendor Spotlight: Aranware

February 18, 2017

aranware-covered-casserole

Created in Ireland. Created for everyone.

This is the tag line of Aranware dishware made by Kara Irish Pottery. And it’s so true. I love the versatility of the Aranware collection. Its pieces can be added to any dinnerware collection seamlessly.

As you know my mission here at Cooper’s is to encourage the shop local movement so of course I love the fact that the US Headquarters for the company is right here in Massachusetts — in Methuen. Kara Irish Pottery is also a woman-owned business. Two cheers.

Aranware was created by Ann Mullan-Karakatsanis who grew up in Ireland and first came to the US in the 1990s to participate in a Boston College program aimed at developing Irish entrepreneurship.

According to the company’s website:

The name KARA is derived from the Gaelic word Cara meaning friend and the beginning of Ann’s family name Karakatsanis. Working with her former employer Ulster Ceramics and Carrigaline Pottery in County Cork Ann designed and developed the Aranware Tableware Collection which combined a rich heritage with a unique look. The embossed intricate patterns have changed little over time. Aranware has become a popular Collection with customers across the US and whilst aiming to keep it Irish made Aranware Tableware pieces are today both Crafted in Ireland and made of bisqueware (unglazed pottery that has had its firing) in the heart of the potteries in Stoke-on-Trent.

The cosy cablestitch sweater has long a wardrobe staple of rugged fashion traditionalists. Named for the famous Aran Isle stitch patterns, the serving pieces offer the same sturdy practicality as their predecessor, while trading on the popularity of classic creamware. And just as neutrals are the foundation of every wardrobe, the dishes offer simple styling on their own, plus lots of opportunity for dressing it up by mixing with colourful pieces.

I feel that the Aranware pieces are too beautiful and functional to be kept in a cabinet. I’ve given many pieces as shower gifts; and they are always a hit. They go from oven, to table, to dishwasher and clean up is a breeze. I swear, the finish is like Teflon, nothing sticks. And, they are durable! You don’t have to worry about chips and cracks, Aranware is meant to be used. The serving bowl is not only utilitarian on any dinner table, it also makes a beautiful centerpiece with a few pieces of fruit, a tall candle or florals. The tea cup and saucer set are durable enough for daily use, but also lend an elegant touch to any hutch display. But, I think my favorite piece is the pitcher. I have had it filled with a floral arrangement and sent as birthday or sympathy gift to many an Irish friend.

Adding any piece of Aranware to your kitchen is like having that favorite Irish knit sweater in your closet…you reach for it time and time again.  You know it will look great with any outfit and last for years to come. A true classic. #shoplocal #madeinireland

aranware3  aranware7   aranware-table-photo  aranware-teapot

 

 

 

chocolatesWe’ve been proud to carry Abdallah Chocolates for a few years here at Cooper’s. Not only because they are incredibly delicious, but because they are made right here in the USA and Abdallah is a fourth generation, family-owned business (being a second generation shopkeeper, I’m a little partial to stories like this). The confectioner was started in 1909 in Minneapolis, MN by Albert Abdallah.

According to Abdallah:

[Albert] understood, as a newcomer to this country, he would have to create a product that was so high in quality, that its success would be guaranteed. The ambitious Lebanese native along with his new Swedish bride, fair and beautiful Helen Trovall, would soon tirelessly supply their growing demand for his fine confections. Again and again, a new recipe would be perfected. Together, the family has fought back through bankruptcy as a result of the great depression, rations during World War II and a devastating and fiery explosion that destroyed their business in 1965. footer_background_imageAlbert’s recipes, perseverance and optimism has inspired a lineage of family candy makers through the evolution of this great country that he had risked everything to be a part of.  Using the same wholesome and pure ingredients, intricate small batch candy-making techniques and even some of the same copper kettles, we honor the courage and passion for excellence of family generations before us. We are proud to offer to you, these classic confections.

Who doesn’t love a good comeback story? Continuing on a family tradition is no easy task most days, but it’s always worth the effort. I’m so proud to help support American businesses like Abdallah.

Today, the company is owned by Karen and Steve Hegedus who proudly carry on the tradition of exemplary quality. Their truffles are unbelievably good. I also appreciate the fact that these chocolates come in beautiful packaging ready for gift giving.

abdallah-collage

We just received a shipment of chocolate bears, heart-shaped boxes, truffles, pecan grizzlies and sea salt caramels (oh, my). We only stock Adballah chocolate at Valentine’s Day and it always goes quickly so stop by and grab yours today!

#familybusiness #madeintheusa #delish