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Sur La Table - The history
In 1972, Shirley Collins established Sur La Table, opening a single retail location in Seattle's Pike Place Market. In 1995, Collins sold the company.
Bahrain-based Investcorp currently owns Sur La Table. Sur La Table's corporate headquarters are located in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood. Jack Schwefel, who was the company's chief executive officer until Investcorp removed him in September 2014, advocated an expansion policy of beginning new stores in malls, lifestyle centers, and on city streets, "with a mix of upscale national brands and local creative dealers, anchored by an upscale or organic-themed grocery store that supports frequent trips."
It is the second-largest specialty cookware retailer in the US, after Williams-Sonoma, Inc.as of 2005.
Many of the stores offer cooking classes that serve the dual purpose of teaching kitchen techniques and promoting the sale of Sur La Table's inventory.
Sur La Table trades products in over 100 stores in 30 states throughout the country and the District of Columbia, as well as through catalogs and their website. In addition, cooking classes are available in 82 stores. The company started a gift registry program and a new website in January 2011. In 2014, Sur La Table has a blog, A Sharp Knife & Salt, which concentrates on food, restaurants, chefs, and products. Sur La Table plans to include a kitchen in all new stores that they open.