The Outstanding Achievement Award – the ultimate accolade presented at last week’s Excellence in Housewares Awards – went to David Grunwerg, director of Grunwerg, recognising his role in the evolution of the housewares industry.
A major influence on the knives sector in particular, David introduced Global knives to the UK in the early 1990s – the first range of premium Japanese knives to become widely available across cookshops and housewares stockists.
In his acceptance speech, David paid tribute to his late father Otto, who founded the family business, and recognised the contribution of his brother Charles and son Ben to the business, as well as the help and support of Hilary, his wife.
The Outstanding Achievement Award was presented by Matthew Canwell, ceo of sponsor Lifetime Brands Europe, who was delighted to announce the “thoroughly well-deserving winner.” The trophy presentation followed a speech by Jo Howard, editor of Progressive Housewares and HousewaresNews.net (organisers of The EIH Awards). Jo said:
“This is a very special award in that it acknowledges an outstanding individual who through their magic touch, passion, dedication, and innate nous has very much played a part in the evolution of our industry, contributing to it being the vibrant sector that it is today.
The recipient of this prestigious Award joined the housewares industry around 50 years ago, bringing new vision and vigour to a well-established and highly respected family manufacturing business.
Over the next decade this talented individual worked tirelessly to position this company to become one of the UK’s leading housewares distributors. Moreover, through their foresight and total commitment they forged the way for explosive growth in a particular sector of the housewares market.
Sensing new potential, they introduced a brand that expanded new horizons, that changed attitudes, that created new aspirations for home cooks and professional chefs alike. This was altogether new – premium quality, fused with unique style –‘investment’ kitchen tools that were undoubtedly super cool and a ‘must have’ for serious housewares retailers.
It takes a special combination of knowledge and intrigue to understand how to change a sector, making sure the stars align across design, manufacture, retail and consumer demand – there are very, very few people who have the vision and fortitude to see the whole journey ahead, then make it happen. This is one of them.
The iconic brand they stand-for continues to go from strength to strength, and likewise our Award winner never stands still when it comes to innovation. This individual is committed to finding and addressing new trends, championing British design, and creating products that enhance people’s lives, whether that’s preparing good food, setting a stylish table, or taking food and drink out and about.
Tonight’s winner puts family and community values at the heart of business practises, supporting local and national causes generously.
One of the guardians of our industry, they have helped to launch the careers of many housewares sales professionals and have helped to nurture new culinary talent.
As a dedicated partner to the retail community, this our worthy award recipient works with, listens to, and wholeheartedly supports his stockists, helping them flourish and expand their business. A great many retailers and buyers of all types have voiced their appreciation and keenness for the presentation of this award tonight – it really is a special one, given by the industry collectively.”
Top: Above: Matthew Canwell presenting the trophy to David Grunwerg at The EIH Awards 2021.