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Question about custom made kitchen tools

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Alright so fellow chefs i could use your advice about something...

 

I have a deep passion for Japanese knives and that has led me to making my own handles and playing with metal finishes etc. Granted im still learning as i go, im doing decent so far as Ive worked with wood and metal my whole life so its coming naturally.

 

My question is, you as my fellow chefs, what would you guys pay for stupid things like say a well done plating spatula with a nice wooden handle instead of the run of the mill crap everyone has? Example:

 

 

I understand most want just something they could throw around, but there has to be that niche group like there is in every craft that just wants something different than everyone else, that's who im catering towards.

 

Even if you yourself would not be a buyer, i would love to hear of ideas as far as pricing and what kinds of things the high end chef community would actually purchase AND use as a custom product.

Disclaimer : I am in no way shape or form trying to promote my business, really just looking for honest advice as i would love to get into the knife industry some how
 

Thanks !!

post #2 of 10

I doubt there is a great number of actual chefs who would pay more for one of those over a run of the mill spatula. Wealthy hobby cooks who already have $30,000 kitchens and $1000 knife sets are a better bet.

 

If I were you I'd just make some and put them up on ebay or etsy with a few good pics. That should give you an idea of what you can ask for them.

post #3 of 10

Spatulas and spoons get trashed; wood handles burn up and plastic ones melt.  I won't spend much money on 'em at all.  I do have some nice plating spoons but not "nice" in terms of being fancy, just a good design.  And I do splurge and have a couple sets of Edlund tongs.  Much much better than the cheap ones you find at restaurant supply places.

 

IMO the only tools a chef will spend much on are bladed ones like knives and mandolines.  Maybe a few specialized tools like microplanes,  But anything that gets beat up may as well not be fancy.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses guys!

 

Havent had much luck on Etsy with the spatulas so far sadly. Even listed at $20 cant sell one! The tools was just a side thing, my main focus is to restore old carbon chef knives back to pristine condition and re-sell them, which i know there is a market for.

post #5 of 10
Pay about 15 for a good set of tongs and a flipper.

I ljke custom or interesting pieces but you need to make them really practical for a pro chef. Home cooks want something to fancy up their wall hanger.

Always looking for a good egg flipper haha.
Richmond paint scrapers are the best so far.

If you live to make them Im sure you can find a niche.
post #6 of 10

Have you looked on kitchenknifeforums.com? There are already a lot of professional knifemakers and vendors, but AFAIK no one there makes a business out of spatulas and restoring old carbon knives, so you are no competition. Might be they can give you a few tips and some advertising space. Some vendors have their own subforums there.

 

Plus, it is a very rapidly growing forum, (3000 members last year, close to 8000 this year) with all members specifically interested in nice kitchen utensils. Rules about selling stuff are pretty strict there though, make sure you read all the stickies (and maybe contact a mod or admin. I think admin is Dave Martell).

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys! Ill check out the forum now!

post #8 of 10

Just a note on selling high end 'bragging rights' tools---

 

The kind of person that buys the super fancy stuff want the best---and also want to spend a lot--so they can inpress their friends at the extravagance.

 

A good friend of mine makes turned wood coffee tampers--with a tiny wood tray---these are made of ebony ,Cocobolo and other exotic woods.

 

He charges well over $100.00 for one----and sells them---they didn't sell when priced lower---go figure---

 

The tampers and pricing started out as a challenge---he's a tool maker---and saw an add for a tamper priced at $85.00 on Ebay--

 

It was not getting any interest-----so my friend made a super fine tamper and tray and priced it at double that sellers price---

He sold it to someone in Japan in a matter of days.

 

I'm not sure what the moral of this story is---but ----charge enough that 'ordinary' people would just laugh--

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeswoods View Post
 

Just a note on selling high end 'bragging rights' tools---

 

The kind of person that buys the super fancy stuff want the best---and also want to spend a lot--so they can inpress their friends at the extravagance.

 

A good friend of mine makes turned wood coffee tampers--with a tiny wood tray---these are made of ebony ,Cocobolo and other exotic woods.

 

He charges well over $100.00 for one----and sells them---they didn't sell when priced lower---go figure---

 

The tampers and pricing started out as a challenge---he's a tool maker---and saw an add for a tamper priced at $85.00 on Ebay--

 

It was not getting any interest-----so my friend made a super fine tamper and tray and priced it at double that sellers price---

He sold it to someone in Japan in a matter of days.

 

I'm not sure what the moral of this story is---but ----charge enough that 'ordinary' people would just laugh--


I never thought about it that way..

 

You're right. A  Ferrari isnt worth $250,000 and Nikes arent worth $200, but people buy them, and alot of them at that... You may of changed my game plan, thanks for that!

post #10 of 10
The whole " charge more sell more" bit works for food as well. In semi fine fine dining settings people dont want " normal people" food. The price point has to match the setting and the perception/ value being offered. Food cost is only part of the picture. On the other hand El Bulli and Chef Ferria refused to price gouge and so do many good restaurants.

Add 5$ to a supper special and you may be surprised what happens.
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