Forty One Madison, New York’s mecca of tabletop, is always bustling with buyers hunting to snatch the first inventory of collections from every china, glassware, and flatware supplier in the building. With 23 floors dedicated solely to tabletop, there’s always something new and creative on display.
Opened in 1974 as the New York Merchandise Mart, Forty One Madison has remained the single destination for leading tableware manufacturers and currently houses over 80 of the most influential industry brands.
Retail buyers from around the world converge to preview cutting-edge collections from each showroom partner at the New York Tabletop Show held twice a year. For as long as I can remember, my team and I capitalize on the opportunity to attend the event and take notes on the next chapter of design.
A few weeks ago, I had the honor of taking over the @41madison Instagram account during New York Spring Tabletop Market in the buildings’ effort to communicate how retail and foodservice trends are closer than ever before. In a series titled #tastemakertakeover I was instructed to prance around and cherry pick collections I believed would influence the next waves in hospitality and share insight on my decade in commercial foodservice with a mostly retail audience.
I started my morning with brilliant clarity at Libbey… cold brew in Spiegelau and OJ in the latest Nachtmann glassware. Their new, antique-driven collections will cast a more vibrant spotlight onto elevated beverage program curation with modern designs inspired by natural landscapes.
Continuing with this drift, I visited the Rak showroom to finally get my hands on the complete, stock collection of Woodart. Replicating tree bark onto porcelain, this six shade assortment of square, rectangular, and round coupes invites the forest floor onto your table.
Deceptively realistic textures were also on display at Tafelstern where The Bauscher Companies were presenting a bounty of dinnerware patterns also designed to connect with nature. Each of these 14 decorations will be on display this month at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago.
While the introduction of prints and textures found while foraging is my favorite development emerging in hospitality right now, the team behind Spring Market highlighted the following two trends…
BACK IN BLACK
Our most popular new stocking pattern at M Tucker is a textured black matte dinnerware from Anfora. Catching everyone’s attention on the ground floor of the building, we were blown away by the introduction of Junto from Rosenthal. Irregular stoneware with a reactive glaze combines two booming trends to expand a sense of possibility that hasn’t previously existed in tabletop curation.
Metal finishes on everything! We saw a champagne tone introduced to the growing list of cutlery shades available from Sambonet along with gold, silver, and bronze decorations applied to show-stopping dinnerware pieces from RAK. I even had the pleasure of formally introducing Match Pewter to the @41Madison family during the event.
Whether you are interested in a singular artisan accessory or looking to completely dive into one of the trends above, I would love to present you with more testaments to the values of craft and authorship at the NRA Show this month. I’ll be on the floor the entire time, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.