By Sandra Meyer

Rolling PinThe Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in Brandon was recently named The Gourmet Retailer’s Kitchenware U.S. Independent Retailer of the Year and U.S. Global Innovator Award (GIA) Winner for 2013/2014. Owners Karen and Dave West are excited to be honored with this award in excellence in housewares retailing.

“We are fortunate to have the commitment from our staff, the backing from our over 400 vendors, strong community support and such great relationships with our customers,” said Dave. “Being in business for nearly 20 years here in the Tampa Bay area continues to be rewarding and successful.”

The International Housewares Association created the GIA program in 1999 as a way of honoring housewares retailing and it is likened to the Oscars for the retail industry. The 14th annual GIA awards were presented in March in Chicago with more than 5,100 retailers and 2,100 vendors from around the world in attendance. Awards were given to 23 retailers from 23 countries and winners were chosen by the Gourmet Retailer magazine. Rolling Pin was also featured in the March issue of the magazine.

Rolling Pin was first opened in the Brandon mall in 1995, followed by a second store at the WestShore Plaza in Tampa in 1997. In 2006, the decision was made by the Wests to go in a new direction with the business. They closed both stores and opened a large 4,500 sq. ft. store in Brandon. Instead of only selling retail kitchen tools, they wanted to give the customers the chance to sample the products and even learn to cook. The new, larger store includes a Culinary Center, Demonstration Center and Coffee Center, as well as approximately 3,000 sq. ft. of gourmet retail space.

In addition to the retail kitchen products, the store offers cooking classes, live demonstrations, knife sharpening and a variety of other services. There is even a Cooking Class Assistant Program where customers can earn free cooking classes and store merchandise by helping during the cooking classes.

Go to www.rollingpinonline.com for more information on services the Rolling Pin has to offer. The store is located at 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon and can be reached at 653-2418.