Chefs Catalog Ceases All Operations

Chefs Catalog, the latest incarnation of the veteran specialty kitchenware merchant, has informed its suppliers that it has ceased all operations.

In a letter to suppliers obtained by HomeWorld Business, Chefs cited lack of operating funding and the inability to sell the business as among the reasons to close the business.

The company also noted in the letter that it has no funding for “obligations” of more than $1 million.

Here is the letter sent this week by Chefs Catalog:

“In the past three years, we have attempted to bring back the Chefs Catalog. The Chefs team has worked endlessly to bring back this historic 40-year-old brand back into the market.

“We are very thankful to you and all of the companies and individuals that have supported this effort.

“While in addition to the hard work, there was a considerable investment that was placed to help develop the company. We had serious discussions with investors and potential acquisition of the company up until today. Unfortunately, we received notice today that we cannot conclude a deal in time to meet our ability to continue the operation.

“We apologize to you and to inform you that as of August 25, 2019, Chefs Catalog has ceased all operations.

“The company has current obligations in excess of $1,000,000 and no funding to meet any of these obligations.”

A renewed Chefs Catalog was announced in the spring of 2017. It would be a content-driven, immersive e-commerce experience backed by housewares veterans Eric Salus and David Sabin.

The new Chefs Catalog site was developed to feature a wide range of upscale kitchenware, tableware and home entertaining tools that can be curated for shoppers based on the informational content they consume on the new site. The new Chefs Catalog site was to include recipes, cooking tips, video tutorials and lifestyle trend advice to help match customers with product options best suited to individual skills.

Marshall Markovitz founded Chefs Catalog in Chicago in 1979, growing it into the leading mail-order resource for pro-quality cookware and tools for the home chef before selling the business to Neiman Marcus for $31 million in 1998.

Neiman Marcus sold Chefs Catalog in 2013 to Target Corp., which at the time also acquired Cooking.com. Target announced in November 2015 it would shut Chefs Catalog and Cooking.com and liquidate intellectual property, inventory and other assets. The Chefs Catalog brand was acquired in November 2016 by a small group of investors.

Chefs Catalog management did not respond to a request for comment at presstime.