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May 10, 2018 |

Archive for » May 10th, 2018«

R2 Venture Solutions Completes Acquisition of Townecraft Inc. and Subsidiaries

GLEN ROCK, N.J., May 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — R2 Venture Solutions Inc., a New York corporation, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Townecraft Inc., and related subsidiaries, including Townecraft’s global corporate headquarters facility in Glen Rock, NJ. Effective immediately, Townecraft Inc. will be renamed Townecraft Homewares LLC. All operations and product trademarks will continue utilizing the “Townecraft” global flagship trademark brand.

“For over 70 years Townecraft Inc. has developed a multi-dimensional business with a deep customer base, a world-class reputation for quality home products, superior customer service, and a world-class team. We can build on that track record by leveraging R2 Venture Solutions’ diverse portfolio and global network. We are excited to welcome the Townecraft Team to R2 Venture Solutions and getting to work on scaling Townecraft Homewares. Congratulations and many thanks to Ernest Barbaris, John DiMaria and the Townecraft management team,” said Rafael A. Ramirez, President and Chief Operating Officer of R2 Venture Solutions Inc.

“My father started Townecraft in 1947 to offer opportunities for ordinary people to be in their own business selling cookware and giving their customer’s family the benefits of eating good food cooked in a healthy manner. Over the years we added other products for the home that we believe complimented cookware and stayed true to our firm belief in quality and health. We continued his dream to now and I am thrilled and grateful that we have found someone who will continue my father’s dream for another generation. From the moment Ralph and I met I knew he was the person to do that. With an impressive background in financial services on Wall Street and a stellar career as a professional global sales executive I firmly believe he will take Townecraft to new heights with innovation, product, and technology development,” added Ernest A. Barbaris President CEO of Townecraft Inc.

Effective immediately, R2 Venture Solutions’ corporate offices will relocate to Townecraft Homewares LLC’s Glen Rock, NJ global corporate headquarters and Ralph Ramirez will assume the role of CEO and President of Townecraft Homewares LLC and its affiliate Townecraft Finance Credit Solutions LLC.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The parties were advised by their respective business, financial and legal representatives in the transaction.

About Townecraft Inc.
Since 1947, Townecraft Inc. has been a leading wholesale provider of highquality American made consumer durable goods including cookware and related kitchen accessories, finely crafted cutlery along with air and water purification systems to value-conscious consumers worldwide.

About R2 Venture Solutions Inc.
R2 Venture Solutions, a holding company, specializes in the acquisition and active management of a diverse multi-sector investment portfolio of companies. R2 has established a strong track record of buying and developing market-leading businesses capitalizing on the deep relationships and trust we enjoy with the owners of, and advisers to, family-owned businesses and industrial operations throughout the US and the Caribbean. R2 focuses on total acquisitions or controlling stakes in market-leading businesses in the consumer durable goods, residential/commercial real estate, industrial, and healthcare/medical equipment sectors – Building Correlation from Independent Variables.

Media Contact: 
Rafael A. Ramirez, President COO
R2 Venture Solutions Inc.

Ernest A. Barbaris, President CEO
Townecraft Inc. 

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SOURCE R2 Venture Solutions Inc.

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This One-Day All-Clad Factory Sale Is the Perfect Opportunity to Stock Up

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to splurge on new kitchenware, All-Clad has blessed you with an excellent one. The company’s flash factory sale, which offers discounts of up to 80% off on pots, pans, and other cookware, will be over by Saturday morning at 12 a.m., so you should probably hurry.

The items for sale are known as “factory seconds,” meaning they have minor cosmetic scratches or dents, but no defects that would affect the item’s performance. As you probably guessed, all sales are final.

The discounts are dramatic, albeit short-lived. A 14-inch nonstick fry pan that normally sells for $245 is now on sale for $109.99. The Copper Core 2-Quart Sauce Pan was marked down from $260 to $149.99.

The discounts are on items in the following categories: Stainless Cookware, Copper Core Cookware, D3 ARMOR, D5 Brushed Cookware, LTD Cookware,TK Cookware, Lids Inserts and Tools Accessories. 

On the tools front, the $69.99 BBQ Tool Set, marked down from $150, makes a lot of sense for any Memorial Day barbecues you might have in the works. (If you forgot that Memorial Day was approaching, let this serve as a reminder.) Perhaps the most striking discount in this category is for the Manaos 20-Piece Flatware Set, which is marked down from $160 to $34.99. That’s almost 80% off the original price. While you’re at it, you may want to grab the 12-piece steak knife set for $19.99—a glorious 73% off. 

You could stock up on wedding gifts for the summer, or you could treat yourself because it’s the end of the week and the deals are so very good. We suspect that the items will get snatched up quickly, so scoot on over. But prepare yourself emotionally: You can’t buy more than five of the same item, so if your dream was to buy ten georgeous 12-inch fry pans, your plans will be thwarted. 

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KitchenAid Food Truck visits Grand Rapids

The KitchenAid Senior PGA stop is coming to Benton Harbor in June, and ahead of it, comes the Mobile Food Truck tour.

For more, visit the Senior PGA website here.

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East Coast Wings + Grill Unveils Refreshed & Elevated Menu

Family-Dining Franchise Launches Menu Featuring New Look and Fan-Favorite Food Items

Winston-Salem, NC  (RestaurantNews.comEast Coast Wings + Grill, a growing family-dining franchise acclaimed for its wide variety of nationally award-winning buffalo wing flavors, has unveiled a refreshed menu featuring a new look and fan-favorite food items that are now here to stay.

The new menu was strategically designed to allow for a more comprehensive dining experience and features a bold new look incorporating charcoal, orange and white as the color theme. The redesign is made to align with the recently rolled out East Coast Wings + Grill re-image initiative and enhance the customer dining experience.

The new menu contains not only delicious new options, but a more complete description of its one-of-a-kind wing heat index. Here’s a look at the new and updated items:

  • Wings – The new menu features East Coast Wings + Grill’s 58 flavors and eight-level heat index in a more detailed manner, allowing customers to more easily choose between the award winning flavors.
  • Burgers – To elevate the burger category, East Coast Wings + Grill is introducing four new burgers including:
    • The Mac + Cheese Burger, featuring two seasoned quarter-pounder Angus beef patties stacked with crispy onion petals, Applewood smoked bacon, smoky aioli, crisp lettuce, sliced tomatoes, American Cheese and the signature Mac + Cheese on a lightly toasted bun
    • The 50/50 Burger, featuring two quarter-pound patties made up of 50% Angus beef and 50% Applewood smoked bacon and aged cheddar cheese, topped with house-made bourbon ketchup, crisp lettuce and sliced tomatoes on a lightly toasted bun
    • The Dallas Burger, featuring two seasoned quarter-pound Angus beef patties stacked with pickles, house-made coleslaw, cowboy sauce, crisp lettuce and sliced tomato on a lightly toasted bun
    • ECW+G Burger, featuring two seasoned quarter-pound Angus beef patties smothered in pepper jack cheese, ECW+G Signature RanchTM, award-winning wing sauce, crisp lettuce and sliced tomato on a lightly toasted bun
  • Flatbreads – Enhancing the flatbread category, the new menu includes four new options such as the Thai Chicken flatbread, Chicken Margherita flatbread, BBQ Chicken flatbread and the Buffalo Chicken flatbread.
  • Skillets – The signature skillet category is now more dominant among the menu, highlighting the fan-favorite Chicken Mac + Cheese skillet and the Kickin’ JoeTM The new menu also has added a Popper skillet appetizer with craft beer sauce, jalapeños and bacon bits, as well as a seasonal dessert skillet that will rotate throughout the year and will first feature a peanut butter and chocolate skillet topped with two scoops of chocolate ice cream and caramel drizzle.

“The new menu design is part of a strategic brand evolution plan that we have been formulating for more than two years,” said Sam Ballas, CEO of East Coast Wings + Grill.  “A modernized menu plays a high priority in our new market look. The sophisticated feel of the menu is inviting to potential new customers, while enhancing what our loyal customers already love to eat. We put great effort into providing our customers with only the best, freshest and most delicious menu items. We would never add a dish unless we were positive our customers would enjoy it.”

Since launching in 1995, East Coast Wings has always been strategic about their menu development. The brand added the “+ Grill” in 2006 to diversify the menu and align with their strategic growth plans. Continuing to be diligent about menu development, the East Coast Wings + Grill team conducts quarterly menu analytics to identify high- and low-performing menu items. Items that consistently score in the bottom are replaced with past fan-favorite LTOs that have proven successful through the brand’s item development process, which consists of ideation, focus groups, test restaurants, and brand-wide LTOs.

“The restaurant re-image, shrinking the footprint and dropping development costs has fueled an interest in the brand,” Ballas added. “Existing franchisees are supporting the changes and embracing what we have been tasked to deliver. Opening six new restaurants in one year will certainly keep us busy, but we feel this is a good problem to have.”

Known for its wide variety of Buffalo wings, East Coast Wings + Grill offers nationally award-winning wing sauces that are mixed to order with the freshest ingredients. Inspired by different cultures—The Islands, Tex Mex, Classic American, Asian, Southern BBQ, European, Bayou and more—at East Coast Wings + Grill, community members can enjoy dozens of flavors of chicken wings and choose from eight heat intensities, resulting in hundreds of possible combinations that can be added to most entrees and of course, wings. While wings remain a staple, the restaurant’s menu also includes delicious burgers, flatbreads, skillets, salads and more. 

About East Coast Wings + Grill

East Coast Wings + Grill is a fast-growing, casual, family dining franchise that puts the spotlight on buffalo wings. With more than 60 locations nationwide currently operating or in various stages of development, the burgeoning franchise recently secured itself a top spot for the second consecutive year on Restaurant Business Magazine’s “Future 50” list of the fastest-growing U.S. mid-size restaurant chains. 2016- Ranked in the INC. 5000 of personally held corporations. Entrepreneur magazine also named East Coast Wings + Grill one of the nation’s top franchise investments, and Franchise Times magazine ranked the company No. 395 on its “Top 200+” list of top revenue-producing U.S. franchises. The concept has also been recognized by The Franchise Grade and Franchise Business Review for transparency during the franchise sales process, franchisee support and overall franchisee satisfaction.

Based in North Carolina, East Coast Wings + Grill caters to chicken wing lovers by offering dozens of varying chicken wing flavors that can be paired with eight heat intensities—resulting in hundreds of delicious choices. The extensive menu also includes salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and more – all using fresh ingredients. For more information about East Coast Wings + Grill or its franchise opportunities, visit or

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Low profile, high style: Today’s kitchens go with the flow

Kitchens tend to be designed as star players on the residential stage. Their role is often aspirational — pro chef’s lair, for example, or the country kitchen from that Italian movie you loved.

But there’s a different story being played out by some kitchen designers today: kitchens that merge seamlessly into the rest of the main living space.

Sometimes that’s because there are space limitations — a smallish apartment, for example, where the kitchen is cheek-to-jowl with every other room. Or there may be plenty of space, but no walls, so each living zone looks into the next.

Some new kitchens are nearly invisible; others employ decorative and design elements that assimilate them into the look of adjoining spaces. Cabinetry is the same style, color, material and finish as other furniture. The color palette is the same or complementary. Lighting and accessories echo those in the principal rooms. Flooring is consistent throughout. Appliances are integrated. Even the island and countertops reflect materials used in adjoining spaces.

The Dunagan Diverio Design Group in Coral Gables, Florida, recently completed a Miami penthouse project with an open floor plan. The clients loved to cook and needed lots of space that functioned well.

“But they also wanted the kitchen to have clean lines and be completely integrated into the home’s design,” says firm co-founder Charlotte Dunagan. “We created a kitchen that flowed directly as part of the great room and living space. The concept we aimed for was to conceal as many of the appliances as possible, even going so far as to find a white oven to blend into the white cabinets.”

It was important to have the finishes all work together, says her partner, Tom Diverio.

“The kitchen really becomes part of the space, especially with the neutral oak wood flooring that continues throughout the home,” he says. “We were also careful to select finishes that were warm and inviting, which appear to be more like furniture.”

In this kitchen by Dunagan Diverio Design Group, the clean lines and color palette blend with the rest of the home. (Paul Stoppi / Dunagan Diverio Design Group via AP)

Pale walls in the open layout allowed for the residents’ art collection to carry through, further integrating the kitchen into the home.

Architect Dan Brunn in Los Angeles says he, too, keeps flooring the same throughout an open-plan home.

“The dining room and living room are typically connected to the kitchen, so we make the kitchen feel more ‘domesticated,’ less like a stainless steel lab,” he says. “One of my favorite things is to specify full custom-front appliances.”

New York City designer Amir Khamneipur took a similar approach with his Park Avenue apartment.

“I used flat-panel, semi-gloss-painted cabinetry throughout my kitchen,” he says. “The flat panels allow the kitchen cabinets to read as architectural elements. The geometry, symmetry and balance of lines created by the cabinetry seams were purposefully aligned with mirror work and fireplace height.  These different elements coincide to create a harmonious look.”

Khamneipur chose a cream-and-neutral color palette for the minimalist kitchen, reflecting the serene vibe of the apartment. And he added a few clever features, like furniture-style legs on the kitchen island to reflect the neoclassical lines of a sofa and pedestal table across from it.

Dunagan says the inspiration for the Florida penthouse came from yacht design, in which all available space is maximized. A coffee station got tucked behind pocket doors. A laundry room, service kitchen and Sub-Zero appliances are also concealed behind wood doors or cabinets in the kitchen.


Modern materials and technology make “hiding” kitchen elements easy. Smart induction cooktops are nearly unnoticeable when not in use. Appliances that formerly sat on counters are now built into drawers. LED lighting can be installed virtually anywhere.

Henrybuilt, a Seattle designer and maker of kitchen furniture and storage systems, offers solid-surface counters with drainage for the sink. Storage cubbies for tools, napkins and bread are built into milled wood counters, which are then extended to create eating tables. Knife blocks, utensil, spices, pantry items, and recycle and trash receptacles all fit neatly out of sight in drawers and sliding cupboards.

Pay attention to how you illuminate the kitchen, says Sheva Knopfler, creative director of Brooklyn, New York-based

“The easiest way to streamline a kitchen is to incorporate simple lighting fixtures that blend in or almost disappear,” she says. “And consider paring down the number of lighting elements, opting instead for fewer, brighter overhead fixtures.”

Pick a style that suits you, and then create a visual flow with lighting in matching metallic finishes, she suggests.

And it’s fine to tweak that plan by adding a piece that’s got some drama or playfulness.

“A statement light allows you to add a bold dash of your personality. It becomes the ‘artwork’ of the space,” Knopfler says. Consider a large chandelier, or a grouping of pendant fixtures.

Your Opinion: Are Greitens’ critics squeaky clean?

Dear Editor:

Most of what I hear regarding Gov. Eric Greitens’ plight comes from the morning news over my coffee. I saw footage of the first press conference called by the Missouri Congress re: same and was thoroughly unimpressed with what I heard and saw. The Republican commentary consisted of many harrumphs, and introductions of the heavy hitters on the Republican side. The Democratic side consisted of the repetition of the expression, “This is very disturbing.”

I find it fascinating that in an increasingly immoral society there is such clamor over Greitens’ alleged shortcomings. Public office is probably a quirky business, and very likely the people that occupy public office are a wee bit quirky themselves. I’m not convinced that high standards of morality and public office mix very well, or that squeaky clean politicians can really do a very good job.

All that being said, what I would find really interesting would be an independent, third party, in-depth investigation of Missouri congressmen and women to ferret out any lascivious behavior that might be going on in their personal lives. After all, they easily tolerate at least one in their ranks who would happily see the president of the United States assassinated. It’s very likely that we have a case of the pots calling the kettle cookware.

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Opalware Dinnerware and Crockery Market – Comprehensive Coverage of Underlying Economic and Technological …

Opal glass is opalescent or white – a characteristic achieved by the addition of fluorides. Opalware products are gaining acceptance among consumers in recent times, owing to their massively transitioning lifestyles. Demand for opalware dinnerware and crockery is expected to witness a dramatic surge during the forecast period.

The market for opalware products is majorly driven by the booming hotel industry. Opalware dinnerware and crockery are extensively required in premium hotels. In recent times, hotels falling in the 3 and 4 star category have also been adopting opalware products owing to their aesthetic quality and appealing form. These products are also widely used in premium restaurants. Household applications of opalware products are abundant in developed regions such as North America and Europe.

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However, demand for them is likely to steadily expand to developing regions such as Asia Pacific during the forecast period. This rising need for these products is primarily fuelled by the changing lifestyles of consumers, which is also backed by their increased purchasing power.

However, the high prices of these products are currently restraining consumers belonging to the middle to low income groups from buying them. These consumers look for cheaper alternatives and make do with them, which is one of the key challenges faced by the market. Furthermore, the durability of their material is another factor impeding their growth. Opalware products are extremely durable, which leads to loss in terms of repeat purchases, which becomes another hindrance for the market. Besides, availability of cheaper alternatives in the market plays a significant role as well. Nonetheless, increased penetration by major companies is anticipated to create suitable opportunities for the opalware dinnerware and crockery market in the future.

The market has been classified on the basis of product types into the following categories: cups saucers, coffee tea sets, plates, and dinner sets – the latter are highly popular among all these types. Based on distribution channel, the market is divided into the following varieties: supermarkets hypermarkets, departmental stores, convenience stores, and online stores, of which the former is the dominant segment.

North America and Europe are major markets for opalware dinnerware and crockery products, owing to the vast number of international hotels and premium restaurants existing in these regions and the substantial purchasing power of consumers. Demand for opalware products is low in Asia Pacific owing to limited market penetration and weak purchasing power of the consumers in this region. However, this scenario is poised to change. The market in the Middle East is also feeble, although demand for these products is moderately high in countries such as the U.A.E and Qatar. Unfortunately, the overall poor economic conditions in other countries such as Iraq is limiting the expansion of this market.

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World Kitchen LLC is a dominant player in the field of the opalware dinnerware and crockery with several brands operating under this label. LaOpala R.G. Ltd. is another major player. Other prominent vendors include Murrina France, Arc International, Pasabasche, Bormoili Rocco, and Libbey Inc.

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