For the sixth year, the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program and the Department of Agriculture have partnered with the Kentucky Retail Federation, a statewide group that represents the retail community in Kentucky, in presenting annual top retailer awards. Four important categories of retailers provide outlets for Kentucky producers to sell their products not only around the state, but beyond Kentucky’s borders as well. The Kentucky Crafted Retailer Awards went to an outstanding in-state retailer, a Kentucky state park gift shop manager, and an out-of-state retailer. The Kentucky Proud award went to a top food products retailer. Winners were honored during an invitation only, “Collectors Preview”, March 4, 2005, as part of Kentucky Crafted: The Market, 2005, at Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center, Louisville.
The work to promote Kentucky made products is dependant upon the development of successful relationships between the hundreds of retailers and the producers. The retailers prove to be vital links to the customers. The Top Retailer awards were introduced in 1996 at Kentucky Crafted: The Market as a way to recognize and encourage this important relationship. These Top Retailers are nominated by market exhibitors and selected on the basis of items purchased at Kentucky Crafted the Market and their overall promotional support.
This year’s top retailer award recipients are: Grovewood Gallery, Asheville, North Carolina for Top Out-Of-State Retailer; My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Bardstown, Kentucky for Top Kentucky State Park Retailer; The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, for Top Kentucky Retailer and A Taste of Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky, for Top Kentucky Proud Food Retailer. As second year recipients in their respective categories, A Taste of Kentucky and The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea will now be retired from the competition and become members of the Retailer Hall of Fame.
“Our ongoing relationship with so many Kentucky artists is extremely important to our success at Grovewood Gallery. We are devoted to fine craftsmanship and recognize and admire all that the state of Kentucky does to support its many talented artists! We thank you so much for the award of Top Out of State Retailer,” said Sherry Masters, General Manager and Buyer at Grovewood Gallery.
Nominations were made by Market exhibitors and based on quantities of Kentucky Crafted and Kentucky Proud inventory ordered by the nominees, promotional efforts, and positive relationships with vendors.
The Kentucky Craft Marketing Program is a division of the Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky. For more information, call 888 KY CRAFT (592-7238), local calls, (502) 564-8076, or visit the Program's web site at www.kycraft.ky.gov.
Editors Note: (winners listed below)
Since 1981, the Craft Marketing Program's mission is to develop the state's craft industry, support and empower Kentucky artisans and craftspeople, create an economically viable environment for craft entrepreneurs, preserve the state's craft traditions, stimulate and support product development, and generate public awareness, public support and public/private partnerships.
The Program provides assistance to Kentucky residents, individuals, or groups wanting to develop as craft professionals through economic opportunities and training, to other outside entities (e.g., craft retailers, craft and art organizations, community and government agencies), and the general public. The craft industry in Kentucky contributes 252 million dollars in annual sales and Kentucky is recognized as a model state for its craft programs and its role in the $14 billion national craft industry.
Top Retailer Award Winners
Top Kentucky Retailer
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Victoria Faoro, Executive Director
Top Out-of-State Retailer
Sherry Masters, General Manager and Buyer
Top Kentucky State Park Retailer
My Old Kentucky Home State Park
Emily Greenwell, Gift Shop Manager
Top Kentucky Proud Food Retailer
Taste of Kentucky
John Hassmann, Co-owner
Emily Greenwell, My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Bardstown, receives Top Kentucky State Park Retailer award from Lindy Casebier, Director of Arts & Humanities, Commerce Cabinet