First Look: Kettle & Brine
A chic new take on culinary retail
By Virginia B. Wood,
3:30PM, Thu. Nov. 12, 2015
Although young proprietor Tarica Navarro describes her new business as a kitchen supply store, the Kettle & Brine aesthetic is a far cry from big-name shops such as Williams-Sonoma or Sur la Table. You won't see towers of brand-name gadgets stacked around, but rather a carefully curated selection of functional and artistic kitchen items.
The store space is open and airy behind a wall of west-facing windows, with a comfortable central lounge area flanked on each end by shelves and tables with artfully arranged products. It evokes a feeling of a gallery rather than a mere retail outlet.
One end of the room features local pecan wood shelving bearing coffee and tea accoutrements, while the polished pecan slab table in that area is set with various ceramics, salt cellars, and polished wood pieces. Navarro currently carries the work of three local pottery studios – Settle Ceramics, Foxwares, and Eliana Bernard – and is open to the idea of adding more. She's also brought in ceramic kitchen items from around the country, such as kimchi crocks created by a potter in Santa Fe. This area also offers a selection of glassware for the dining room as well as the bar, and an assortment of serving ware in woods and metals.
The north end of the showroom is stocked with Staub enameled cast iron, de Buyer carbon steel pans, and Mauviel copper pans along the back wall and a table offering custom knives by local bladesmith Travis Weige as well as small handcrafted knives from a family company in Spain. There is sophisticated barware and even a home gin kit in addition to shelves featuring a small, inviting array of artisan food items. Look for Great Bean chocolate bars, packages of Jacobsen's flavored salts, chocolate dessert sauces from a locally owned The Barton Table, and delicious spicy maple syrups from Trees Knees in Brooklyn. Here again, Navarro is open to the idea of adding ethically sourced local artisan food products to her offerings. One of her current bestsellers in this section of the store is a line of natural and organic skin care products developed by former Thirtysomething actress Melanie Mayron and her father, a pharmacy research chemist. Kettle & Brine hosted a Mayron's Goods truck show earlier this month when Mayron happened to be in town, and now her coffee hand soap and calendula-packed “Ouch Stuff” are flying off the shelves.
According to Navarro, long-term plans call for online shopping and presentation of classes and demonstrations of interest to her emerging clientele. Drop in and sign up for the store newsletter to keep in touch with new arrivals. Who knows? This could be your new favorite place to shop for the hard-to-please foodie on your list.Kettle & Brine
908-C W. 12th, 512/375-4239
Mon. - Sat., 11am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm