Day 62: New Obsession: Flotsam + Fork
As you all know, I'm a huge fan of France. And food. And I especially love meeting people who are pursuing dreams that include both. (See: The Cook's Atelier.) So when fellow francophile Adrianna Fie emailed me recently asking if she could send me a few items to try out from her newly opened online cookware store Flotsam + Fork, I was intrigued. (And of course I said yes!)
After completing her masters in Food Studies at NYU, Adrianna moved to Madison, Wisconsin (where she currently lives) to start her business. Inspired by her travels and love of cooking, she wanted to figure out a way to sell some of the unique, handcrafted products that she had found in France and beyond. And thus Flotsam + Fork was born. The online store features a beautifully curated selection of cookware, serving pieces, and cleaning products from small producers all over Europe (with a strong leaning towards France!).
Adrianna generously sent me two gorgeous Poterie Renault small stoneware breakfast bowls (pictured above) - the perfect size for oatmeal or yogurt and granola (or cafe au lait!) - as well as a super-sharp paring knife and peeler from L'Econome. I'm obsessed - the knife has quickly become my go-to tool to slice everything from fruit to cheese, and the breakfast bowls have quickly extended beyond breakfast and have been used to serve soup, chili, and more. And as far as peelers go, this one's tops. Thanks, Adrianna!
I wanted to hear more about this savvy woman's story and business, so I asked her a few questions. Enjoy!
What does Flotsam + Fork mean?
Flotsam (as in Flotsam and Jetsam) is actually a legal term in maritime law meaning “the floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo.” I wanted something that conjured images of far away places, steamships and cargo, with “Fork” added to bring it back to the table and home.
What was the inspiration for this company?
Travel and discovery are the primary motivations behind Flotsam + Fork. I’m always excited to find a small company producing something the way they have for years, and I’m happy to support and promote small businesses producing quality items—especially items that cant be found everywhere.
After working in kitchenware retail and visiting large trade shows, I became a little tired of seeing the same kitchen products and brands in every store. A few “finds” convinced me that there was more out there, and I decided to look for it!
When did you launch?
Flotsam + Fork finally launched in November of last year – after more than a year of product scouting and research. Most of the products in the shop are sourced directly from producers in Europe, so it has been a steep learning curve negotiating the logistics of international trade—and it still is.
How did you become such a francophile?
I was totally swept off my feet on my first trip to Paris three years ago—though I shouldn’t have been surprised based on my love of butter and baguettes—but I wasn’t expecting to fall in love so deeply. I knew I had to go back, and often.
What are a few of your favorite products you are currently selling?
All of the classic culinary pottery and stoneware dishes from Poterie Renault are favorites. I was lucky enough to visit the small factory earlier last year, and seeing where a product at the source it so much more special. You can see photos and anecdotes from my trip over on the shop blog. My absolute favorite items from Poterie Renault are the oval baking dishes, Parisian pitchers, and the classic stoneware breakfast bowls.