Seattle-based Sur La Table, a growing kitchenware chain that got its start more than 40 years ago in Pike Place Market, announced Wednesday it will be moving its headquarters half a mile down the street to a larger office space.
Sur La Table has grown so much the past few years that CEO Jack Schwefel said the company is “bursting at the seams,” in its current offices.
“When I started in 2006, we had 130 people here in the building in two suits,” he explained. “Now we have 200 people in five suits, split between three floors. It is less than ideal.”
In the past 12 months, Sur La Table has added 621 jobs as the company has opened 15 new stores and 11 cooking class programs. An additional 18 new stores will open over the next year, the first of which will be in San Francisco next week, Schwefel said. At the same time, Sur La Table has grown its online business by double digits each of the last 5 years.
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Since selling the company to Bahrain-based InvestCorp two years ago, Sur La Table has grown from 86 stores to116, with 51 culinary programs. And, for a company that continues to grow as people increasingly want to cook for themselves, a larger headquarters with more accommodation is necessary, Schwefel said.
“We are all about the art and soul of cooking,” Schwefel said, adding that he thinks people care about food to a whole new extent than they ever have in the past, helping with the company’s growth.
“I look at how people think about food, and it is so top of mind — The Food Network helped with that; Martha Stewart helped; Whole Foods is still helping,” he said.
Sur La Table will officially move to its new office at 6100 Fourth Ave. S. in the spring before its current lease ends in May. The new office space will boast a new test kitchen, a mock retail store, a rooftop deck for growing herbs and vegetables and an employee fitness center.
Coral Garnick: 206-464-2422 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @coralgarnick