Steamer Trading Cookshop has acquired London cookshop business Divertimenti.
The housewares specialist, which operates 36 stores nationwide, has acquired the Divertimenti name and website (www.divertimenti.co.uk) and taken over the lease of the 3,700sq ft Divertimenti cookshop at 227-229 Brompton Road in south Knightsbridge, which includes the famous Divertimenti cookery school.
Steamer Trading Cookshop managing director Ben Phillips stressed that he fully intended to retain the Divertimenti name. “We are not looking to co-brand; this is not a London branch of Steamer Trading Cookshop,” he said.
He added that the deal represents an opportunity for Steamer Trading Cookshop to benefit from an enhanced distribution warehouse facility. Divertimenti moved into a new distribution warehouse in Worcester last year, while Steamer’s head office and distribution centre is located in the East Sussex town of Lewes.
Divertimenti celebrated its golden anniversary in 2013. The business was the brainchild of Mike and Suzy Schneideman: passionate foodies who wanted to offer ‘the finest kitchenware, cookware and tableware to Londoners’. In 2005 it was bought by AGA Rangemaster.
Key products offered by Divertimenti include cookware, knives & boards, small electricals, tableware, bakeware, kitchenware, cooks’ tools, food and books.
Ben Phillips said the plan is to retain Divertimenti’s specialist, high-end focus. “It will remain a very serious, professional cookshop that’s been in London for over 50 years,” he said.
Some of the key areas of the shop will be refitted and some different fixturing will be introduced “but fundamentally we want to retain the best bits of Divertimenti’s personality”.
The product mix will remain but he is looking to add in “certain knives, coffee products, electricals and cookware”. He added that the Divertimenti cookery school has “very high credibility” and he is aiming to extend it.
The school is billed as ‘the place to learn about the culinary arts; from hands on masterclasses to experiencing Michelin-starred menus in a truly unique environment’. It caters for amateurs, enthusiasts and accomplished cooks.
Meanwhile, Steamer Trading Cookshop intends to open a new branch in June in the Cornish county town of Truro. Measuring 4,000sq t over two floors, the outlet is in a prime location on Pydar Street. It is a Grade II listed building that was previously occupied by fashion retailer River Island. The Truro store will also include a cookery school, operating under the Divertimenti brand.
Steamer has also announced plans to open in late April at Wells in Somerset. The premises at 17 Market Place was previously occupied by cookshop chain Kitchenmonger.
Steamer Trading Cookshop commemorated its 30th birthday in 2015. During the year it opened a total of three stores. In November a branch launched in the market town of Hereford, joining a 2,200sq ft two-floor branch at Taunton in Somerset which made its debut in June, and a 4,000sq ft two-floor unit at Harrogate in North Yorkshire which opened in August.