With company store, Stonewall Kitchen moves beyond ‘kitchen’ to encompass ‘home’

Stonewall Kitchen, the specialty retailer, has opened its first-ever Stonewall Home Company Store on the York headquarters campus.

The York campus has always attracted crowds, situated as it is just off Exit 7 of Interstate 95, the Maine Turnpike. The site has typically offered visitors a range of kitchen-related products, cooking demonstrations and of course food samples.

With the new Stonewall Home store, which opened Friday, Stonewall takes the brand beyond the kitchen into the rest of the home, showcasing products from companies it has acquired in recent years.

The 1,500-square-foot store will have home goods brands from Village Candle (acquired in January 2020) and Michel Design Works (acquired in October 2021), with personal- and home-care products. 

Stonewall Kitchen will also feature its Fine Home Keeping line and its Stonewall Home brand.

“We’re so much more than jams these days, and this beautiful new space will glisten with wonderful soaps, lotions, candles, home goods and garden décor,” said Stonewall Kitchen’s Alyce Morris, vice president of retail operations. “The Stonewall Home store, along with our flagship Company Store, Café and beautiful garden will really add to the overall guest experience here on campus.”

By entering into the home-related retail sector, it will compete with a rapidly changing retail field, ranging from high-end mall-based retailers like Pottery Barn to Target and even Wayfair. 

Founded in 1991, Stonewall Kitchen has in three decades come a long way from its early roots selling jams and specialty food products, originally at farmers markets and then through catalog sales. It has been acquired by a series of private equity firms, most recently last month.

Audax Private Equity, which has held a majority stake in Stonewall since 2019, sold the company to TA Associates for an undisclosed price, the firms said on March 15.

Stonewall Kitchen, established in 1991, had itself been on a tear of acquisitions, buying companies such as Vermont Village, Village Candle, Urban Accents, Vermont Coffee Co. and Michel Design Works in recent years.

Prior to its purchase by Audax, Stonewall had been owned by New York investment firm Centre Partners.  

In February, Stonewall closed its Portland store on Middle Street in the Old Port. Stonewall has 10 other retail locations; company stores in York and Camden, the Village Candle outlet in Kittery, and stores across Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. At that time, company 400 employees in Maine.

https://www.mainebiz.biz/article/with-company-store-stonewall-kitchen-moves-beyond-kitchen-to-encompass-home

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