As our senses tune into spring’s cues (snow flurries notwithstanding), we’ve upped our feel-good offerings in the café through fresh retail goods that feel as wonderful as they look. With this tactile time in mind, two lines, in particular, standout: Kontex Hand Towels and Menu Bottle Grinders.
Kontex Towels are the softest we’ve ever touched, which may sound like an overstatement, but it’s not; you’ll have to trust us until you feel them. Such softness is achieved by weaving textiles at gentle speeds on old-fashioned looms, which enhances the natural texture of the cotton and linen. Even though these towels feel like cashmere, they are tough and durable, fit for daily use. Based in Imabari, Japan, Kontex Co. has refined its technique over their 80 years in business. Beyond being so soft, the towels create a classically chic moment in kitchens and bathrooms alike: the Vintage Check collection has a smooth cotton weave on one side, and a looped terrycloth pile on the other, and with a checkerboard pattern, they lend a farmhouse-meets-urban hipster vibe. Meanwhile, the multi-purpose Nuno – a lightweight gauzy weave – suits any room in your home with its long and narrow dimensions, based on traditional Japanese tenugui towels. We swoon Kontex.
Seemingly more modernist in approach yet similarly anchored in aesthetic traditions, Menu features products designed by Norm Architects of Copenhagen; the firm’s name itself refers to the traditions and norms refined over centuries. Everything Norm makes is beautiful, from the residential and commercial interiors they design to the products they perfect. “In spirit with the tradition for Scandinavian simplicity, Norm strives to cut to the bone in their designs,” they say on their website. “To find the simplest shape for a given task without forgetting the beauty of the shape and the details, in order to reach a point where there is nothing to add and nothing to take away that can make the product better.” Lofty goals for everyday items like the spice grinders we carry, but Norm rises to the challenge, achieving elegance in the mundane: shaped like small bottles, the grinders look like objet d’art, a beauty that belies their utility. Capable of grinding all spices including salt and pepper, the grinders are made out of durable ceramic with a thin spout that ensures a concentrated stream of granules, and the mill, perched on top, means spices won’t carelessly spill out as is often the case. And, in keeping with our tactile theme, the grinders are sheathed in plastic, making them soft to the touch. The Menu collection sets a new norm for product design.
These Kontex Hand Towels and Menu Bottle Grinders are just two of the many new items on our retail shelves. Stop by and see (feel) for yourself. And stayed tuned for the imminent launch of our online store, Persephone Supply.