Fifty2, The MPB Project: Sur la Table

Fifty2 - Sur la table front“Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project,” will present a carefully curated look at the best Private Brands in the U.S. across all retail channels. The weekly series presents a look at one great Private Brand Fifty2 The MPB Project Logowith insight, analysis and original photography. I am looking for retailer-owned private labels that are BRANDS. Brands that bring their positioning and business purpose to life through: great design, purpose, expertise, confidence, emotion, lifestyle and innovation.

To submit a brand for consideration please email

Sur La Table
Founded in 1972 by culinary aficionado Shirley Collins, Sur La Table was created in an era when it was difficult to find many of the specialty culinary tools Shirley had found on her travels.

She began her dream with a small store located in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, the oldest continuously operated farmers market in the United States. As a cook and food lover, Shirley chose a location that put her store in the center of the market’s fresh local produce and seafood.

Word quickly spread about the little shop packed to the ceiling with everything for cooks. Guided by Shirley’s culinary passion and expertise, Sur La Table’s impressive selection of hard-to-find and cutting edge utensils soon had food enthusiasts from around the globe making a pilgrimage to Seattle. Collins sold Sur La Table in 1995.

The retailer now offers the largest avocational culinary instruction program in the United States, teaching over 100,000 cooking enthusiasts a year how to cook. Skill levels range from beginner to advanced, with special courses devoted just to kids and teens.

Leveraging this authentic cooking expertise, the retailer introduced the Sur La Table private brand more than 2,000 Sur La Table branded sku’s on their website, as well as an extensive private brand assortment in the catalogue and stores. The brand has grown to encompass everything the cooking enthusiast needs to bring a great meal to the table including: cookware, cooking tools, linens, tabletop, grill tools and accessories, and imported and specialty foods.

The Sur La Table private brand retains the authenticity of Shirley Collins’ original vision with contemporary and clean ingredient-focused design applied to products that cooking enthusiasts need and love.

Brand: Sur La Table
Brand Focus:
Sur La Table
Seattle, Washington
2011 Stores:

To submit a brand for consideration please email


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.