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All About RW Smith News Archive

R.W. Smith's Arcata
New Cast Iron Bakeware and Wood Boards
January 6, 2015
By: RW Smith

Our Arcata line has expanded! Introducing the newest additions to this trendy collection - cast iron bakeware, wood underliners and wood boards.

Bring the dining experience to a whole new level with individual portions served in striking white, red or black cast iron bakeware. Available in an array of different shapes, these highly durable cast iron pieces have a sturdy wood underliner that helps protect the dining surface. For a more captivating presentation, add a colorful casserole dish on an olive wood board to showcase a truly remarkable masterpiece.

The possibilities are endless with Arcata's distinctive line of dining room serving accessories. Together, the 3D glass, terracotta and cast iron will create an inspirational tabletop arrangement that will impress guests for years to come.

View Arcata Collection >>


R.W. Smith Introduces New Product Lines
Cornerstone and Vista Alegre
October 29, 2014
By: RW Smith

R.W. Smith & Co. is excited to introduce its new dining accessories collection, Arcata. The range features distinctive 3D glass and terracotta serving pieces, appetizer dishes and side plates.

Heighten the dining experience with eye-catching accessory pieces that combine unique style with lasting beauty. From earthy tones to green-tinted glass, the trend-setting textures of Arcata bring a warm and inviting display to the table that guests will enjoy. Each durable piece adds personality and depth to your tabletop presentation that's both captivating and exciting.

Showcase your culinary creations today with inspirational contemporary pieces suitable for an array of tabletop settings.

View Arcata Collection >>


R.W. Smith Introduces New Product Lines
Cornerstone and Vista Alegre
August 29, 2014
By: RW Smith

R.W. Smith & Co. has brought to market two exceptional collections, Cornerstone and Vista Alegre. Launched in August, each collection is unique and offers a wide variety of options for your dining room and commercial kitchen needs.

Announcing Cornerstone Kitchen Supplies and Vista Alegre Dinnerware


A premier smallwares collection, Cornerstone includes an array of premium kitchen tools to help your operation running smoothly. From steam table pans to stock pots to utensils, this collection possesses the qualities that are essential for all your cooking and prepping needs.

The strength, durability and value of this product line are incomparable, serving as a reliable source for chefs to execute their food preparation with absolute confidence.

Stock up now on Cornerstone's quality cookware, food pans and utensils.

View Cornerstone Brochure >

Vista Alegre

Vista Alegre makes a stunning first impression with distinguished charm and originality in an impressive variety of shapes and forms. Boasting an inspirational design, this upscale dinnerware collection showcases creative food presentations capturing imagination and beauty.

With elegant styles and soft curves, Vista Alegre uniquely offers high quality and durable pieces, perfect for any special occasion. This versatile collection includes plates, bowls and a selection of accompaniment items.

View Vista Alegre Brochure >

FE&S Honors Jason Sem with DSR of the Year June 25, 2014
By: RW Smith

FE&S Performance in Tabletop Awards 2014

R.W. Smith & Co.'s Senior Business Development Manager, Jason Sem, was named Dealer Sales Rep of the Year by FE&S Magazine in May. He is the first at R.W. Smith to be recognized for this prestigious award.

For more than nine years, Jason has built a diverse client base and established long-lasting relationships with his customers through dedicated service, friendship and trust. Starting from a busser to now a Senior Business Development Manager, Jason has proven that if you work hard and commit yourself every day, you can achieve great things.

We asked Jason to share his journey in the foodservice industry, his relationships with clients and what this award means to him.

1. Please tell us what inspired you to embark on a career in foodservice.

It goes back to one of my first jobs in the restaurant industry as a busser. I was lucky to have a great mentor in the business, Gerard Guidice. He taught me the ropes and brought me up thru the ranks of the different positions within the restaurant industry. He also taught me how rewarding the business of the foodservice industry can be. I worked for him for 10+ years for multiple restaurants and venues. I still look back today on my time with him as inspiration on how I can improve what I am doing today. He taught me that you can never stop learning in this industry and he still inspires me today as we have remained great friends over the years.

2. What is it about the industry that drives your enthusiasm and passion?

There is something new every day. Nothing is like the day before. It is always exciting and new.

3. Cultivating strong relationships with our Customers is important at R.W. Smith. How do you go about building trusting partnerships with the Accounts that you serve?

Earning the trust of a customer is a huge key to my success and l think I go about this naturally. There are people that you click with and want to be more than just a Rep/Client relationship. If you can become interested in each other's lives, the trust part is easy. Doing what I say I am going to do for the customer is also very important as well as having great communication on both sides. I have to be able to stop and listen to what the customer is saying and give advice on things that are not what I am thinking. Once I do this then we can go into other suggestions I may have. Making sure the customer is heard is very important to having effective sales success.

4. You are the first RWS Business Development Manager to be recognized as Dealer Rep of the Year - what does this mean to you?

I am not only honored, but humbled by it when I started with this company 9 1/2 years ago and I had no idea where I would be within the company. All I can say is I am not a one man show. There are many people behind the scenes that helped me earn this award. My customer service support person, Mark Sanford, has been a huge help for the past several years. As well as our Warehouse, Purchasing, Credit departments, the management team from the top down and many others have helped me in smaller ways. Without the support of these teams, I could not do what I do.

5. Being a Dealer Sales Rep reflects your professional character. Please share with readers an interesting fact that reveals your unique personality!

I like to take long walks at sunset on sandy beaches with my wife! It really recharges me for what is going to happen next.

A company-wide congratulations Jason for this well-deserved honor!

Michelle LaCrosse Named DSR of the Month by FE&S May 2014 May 22, 2014
By: RW Smith

We are proud to announce Senior Business Development Manager, Michelle LaCrosse, has been named Dealer Sales Rep of the Month by FE&S Magazine for May 2014!

In her more than five years with R.W. Smith & Co., Michelle has worked with a wide range of clients. Whether a customer manages a small chain or a large resort, Michelle works hard to find creative and valuable solutions to improve their operation and maintain a competitive edge. Last year, her drive to assist clients in successful openings, from start to finish, is evidenced by three property openings in the Middle East. This year, Michelle is working with a large hotel opening in Las Vegas.

In her interview, Michelle reveals what excites her about this side of foodservice, how she works with customers to find tailor-made solutions for their business, and the importance of never giving up.

Read the full interview from FE&S with Michelle here.

Michelle LaCrosse DSR of the Month May 2014

R.W. Smith Customers Recognized for Tabletop Performance February 26, 2014
By: RW Smith

The employee-owners of R.W. Smith & Co. extend their congratulations to the winners and nominees of 2014's FE&S Performance in Tabletop Awards.

Earlier in February, the magazine revealed the award winners and honorable mentions of the industry's most prestigious award. The annual tabletop awards recognize the best of the best in the foodservice industry, with emphasis on "excellence in the strategic and functional application of tabletop design."

Criteria used in judging the nominated installations fell into four categories: overall appearance, ability to support the menu, how well it reflects the overall concept, and its conduciveness to the operation's service style.

We're pleased to announce that two R.W. Smith valued customers received honorable mentions for tabletop execution.

Dogwood Café at Westminster Manor, Austin, TX

Specifying Team: James Hawley, Senior Business Development Manager
Dinnerware: Villeroy & Boch Affinity, Urban Nature, Cera, Modern Grace and New Wave Premium; Steelite Creations Glass and Neo Platters
Flatware: Oneida Sant' Andrea Fulcrum
Glassware: Steelite Bormioli
Accessories: American Metalcraft, Browne-Halco, Chilewich, Cole & Mason, DW Haber, Villeroy & Boch

Frisco Gun Club, Frisco, TX

Specifying Team: Trac Mueller, Senior Business Development Manager and Charley Turo, Senior Business Development Manager
Dinnerware: Venu Dinnerware
Flatware: Corby Hall Troon
Glassware: Cardinal Cabernet; Tria Flamenco
Accessories: Churchill China, American Metalcraft, Risch, Myco Tableware

To see the full list of this year's award winners, check out pages 18-33 of the FE&S Magazine February 2014 online edition.

FE&S Performance in Tabletop Awards 2014

R.W. Smith Design Appoints New GM: Gary Coburn January 31, 2014
By: RW Smith

COSTA MESA, CA January 31, 2014 R.W. Smith & Co. (www.rwsmithdesign.com), a premier provider of foodservice and restaurant design and build services, has appointed Gary Coburn to its leadership team as General Manager. Coburn, a long-term industry executive and consultant, will report to Allan Keck, President and CEO of R.W. Smith & Co.

"We are pleased to have Gary join our leadership team," says Allan Keck, President and CEO. "With over thirty years of industry experience, Gary has an extensive background in developing, building, branding and running foodservice operations of all types. He will provide our team with new insights into growing our brand and will help our customers to build their brand as well. We look forward to working with Mr. Coburn to advance our design/build business."

Prior to joining R.W. Smith, Gary Coburn held several executive-level leadership positions in the hospitality industry, including restaurant ownership. With over 30 years of experience, he has converted, managed, franchised, rebranded and consulted for facilities ranging from full-service to casual restaurants, billiards, country dance halls, start-ups, professional sporting venues, grocery stores and commissaries.

Of new role as General Manager, Coburn states, "I am excited to find a home with a company with such a great history and team. With my experience in all facets of the hospitality industry and understanding the needs of the owners, I am looking forward to leading the R.W. Smith design/build division in the years to come."

About R.W. Smith & Co.
R.W. Smith & Co. began supplying the foodservice industry in 1935. For over 75 years, the company has provided finely-crafted dining room collections and high-quality kitchen essentials. R.W. Smith was twice honored to be named "Dealer of the Year" by one of the industry's most recognized publications, FE&S Magazine. Information about R.W. Smith & Co. can be found at www.rwsmithco.info.

Gary Coburn, GM, RW Smith Design
R.W. Smith Unveils Alani Porcelain for Restaurants and Hotels November 21, 2013
By: RW Smith

R.W. Smith & Co. has expanded its tabletop collections to include new Alani Porcelain dinnerware. Enhance the dining experience with brilliant white dinnerware that combines timeless style with long-lasting durability.

Designed to inspire today's restaurants, hotels and catering services, Alani sets the standard in concept, design and style. Show off the colors and textures of food on a classic white backdrop to create an enticing dining experience. This versatile collection is suitable for both special occasions and casual settings.

Alani dinnerware is crafted of exceptionally durable porcelain and is resistant to scratches, chips and discoloration. Pieces in this collection include plates, bowls, cups, saucers and a selection of accompaniment items. Flat plates come with a two year chip warranty.

View Alani Brochure | Shop the Alani Collection

Alani Porcelain
Introducing Venu: A Premium Tableware Collection for Restaurants and Hotels October 4, 2013
By: RW Smith

R.W. Smith & Co. is proud to announce its latest tableware collection, Venu. The range features elegant bone china dinnerware and four distinctive patterns of stainless steel flatware.

Venu bone china dinnerware is the preferred choice of restaurants, hotels, resorts and casinos. Crafted of 45% bone, its beauty is backed by superior durability and strength.

Also available is Prado flatware, the first in the series of flatware collections. Comprised of 18/0 stainless steel, it is visually pleasing and boasts a symmetry that is sure to make a statement on virtually any tabletop.

Unveil Excellence
Discover the unmatched quality and refined style of Venu. Now through November 22nd, 2013, receive a $50 Visa gift card for participating in a complimentary tabletop presentation with one of our foodservice experts. Send your presentation request to atyourservice@rwsmithco.com, then complete a brief post-presentation survey to claim your gift.

View the Venu Look Book | See Offer Details

Trade-In Event
Donate your existing china dinnerware to a local aid organization and receive an instant trade-in value on any Venu bone china purchase of 50 dozen or more.

  • Strongest china on the market
  • Includes a 5-year chip warranty on flat plates
  • Choose from plates, cups, bowls and accessories
View the Venu Trade-In Event Flyer
Venu Bone China
CRA San Diego Nominates Gina Patterson to Board of Directors September 26, 2013
By: RW Smith

R.W. Smith & Co.'s Business Development Director, Gina Patterson, recently won a coveted seat on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Chapter of the California Restaurant Association. When a seat opened up on the Board, Patterson was invited to apply, and she received unanimous nomination. The board boasts 36 members, 15 of whom are Service Providers, including Patterson.

Board seats carry a three-year term, and members are required to serve on at least one committee during their tenure. Patterson has served on the Special Events Committee for the past two years, and will continue to participate on this committee through the duration of her term. The committee focuses on organizing industry events for CRA members, such as networking mixers, San Diego Restaurant Week, and the distinguished Gold Medallion Awards.

The CRA provides leadership, direction, training and educational tools for the restaurant industry. It also builds community relationships among customers and restaurant operators by organizing local food events. For more information, visit www.calrest.prg.

Gina Patterson
R.W. Smith & Co. Names Stuart Sharp New Chief Operating Officer August 22, 2013
By: RW Smith

SAN DIEGO, CA August 22, 2013 R.W. Smith & Co. (http://www.rwsmithco.info/), a leading provider of foodservice supplies and equipment, has appointed Stuart Sharp to its leadership team as Chief Operating Officer, a new position within R.W. Smith & Co. Sharp is the former Vice President of Division Sales at Carlisle Foodservice Products and will report to Allan Keck, President and CEO of R.W. Smith & Co.

"We are pleased to add Stuart Sharp to our executive management team, "says Allan Keck, President and CEO. "His decades of experience in our industry plus his knowledge in manufacturing, importing, and exporting of our products will provide additional strength to our team."

Prior to joining R.W. Smith, Stuart Sharp held several leadership positions, including three Vice Presidency roles at Carlisle Foodservice, based in Oklahoma City, OK. Recently, Sharp was responsible for restructuring Carlisle's sales management team by market segment and leading continued double-digit growth in their global markets, including Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Of new role as COO, Sharp states, "I'm very excited about the opportunity to expand my experience in the foodservice industry by joining such a respected and well-run distribution company as R.W. Smith & Co. The combination of R.W. Smith's unique go-to-market strategy for high-end tabletop products with my experience leading a smallwares-focused sales organization will provide a strong base to accelerate the company's profitable growth in the future."

About R.W. Smith & Co.
R.W. Smith & Co. began supplying the foodservice industry in 1935. For over 75 years, the company has provided finely-crafted dining room collections and high-quality kitchen essentials. R.W. Smith was twice honored to be named "Dealer of the Year" by one of the industry's most recognized publications, FE&S Magazine. Information about R.W. Smith & Co. can be found at http://www.rwsmithco.info/.

Stuart Sharp, RW Smith COO
FE&S Honors Jason Sem with DSR of the Month, April 2013 April 10, 2013
By: RW Smith

R.W. Smith & Co.'s Sr. Business Development Manager, Jason Sem, was named Dealer Sales Rep of the Month by FE&S Magazine for April 2013.

For more than eight years, Jason has cultivated a diverse client base and established trusted relationships with his clients, which he feels are akin to friendships. After advancing from dishwasher and busboy to food and beverage director, Jason's career took an unexpected turn when a sales opportunity arose at R.W. Smith & Co.

In his interview, he reveals his key selling strategies, his approach to working with a variety of industry segments, and the importance of flexibility.

Read the full interview with Jason at www.fesmag.com.

Image courtesy of FE&S Magazine.

Jason SEM
R.W. Smith & Co. Attends NAFEM February 8, 2013
By: RW Smith

The NAFEM Show February 7-9, 2013 in Orlando, FL. The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers offers an exciting showcase for industry leaders to exhibit their newest products. In a recent interview with us, NAFEM President Tom Campion explained all the opportunities the show has to offer, "From product training to one-on-one meetings with company presidents, engineers and product specialists - it's all on the NAFEM floor."

With ServSafe classes, LEED workshops for greening businesses, and displays from top manufacturers such as Steelite, Vollrath, Libbey, Cambro and more, there is no end to the knowledge and foodservice insights gained at The NAFEM Show.

Our people are committed to bringing excellence and ingenuity to the table every day. While at The NAFEM Show, we will be looking to find the most innovative products and services to better serve our customers.

April Snow
FE&S Honors April Snow with DSR of the Month, June 2012 July 17, 2012
By: RW Smith

R.W. Smith & Co.'s Sr. Business Development Manager, April Snow, was named Dealer Sales Rep of the Month by FE&S Magazine for June 2012

For more than five years, April has pursued her passion for bringing chefs' menus to life. A former customer service representative for R.W. Smith & Co., she now provides her clients with a competitive edge by applying her support training to opportunities in the field. In her interview, she reveals how, regardless of operation, food trends influence tabletop designs. Inspired by the top chefs she works with, April welcomes the challenge of creating unique customer experiences for high-end restaurants and casinos.

Read the full interview with April at www.fesmag.com.

April Snow
NRA Show 2012 April 16, 2012
By: RW Smith

R.W. Smith & Co. will be attending the National Restaurant Association Show 2012. The event takes place from May 5-8 in Chicago at the famed McCormick Place.

For R.W. Smith & Co. to remain an industry leader, we participate in this popular conference to learn about new trends, hear from business leaders, meet up and coming vendors, and discover innovative concepts that we can share with our customers.

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. The event attracts 58,000-plus attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100-plus countries, and showcases the latest products, services, pioneering ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues and other growth opportunities.

NRA Show 2012
Event Highlights
  • Special keynote presentation by President Bill Clinton on Sunday, May 6
  • Free education sessions, panel sessions, and cooking demonstrations
  • Exhibitors from over 900 foodservice categories
  • Smart solutions for profitable business success

For more information, visit www.restaurant.org/show.

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