Now, tableware in Goode taste
- Luxury tableware brand Thomas Goode & Co. has expanded outside the UK for the first time, with a Mumbai boutique
- The luxury brand was established in Britain in 1827 by Thomas Goode
A well-laid-out table can enhance the quality of your food and the quality of your day," says Johnny Sandelson, chairman of luxury retailer Thomas Goode & Co. “It can dress up the conversation and it can be very uplifting."
The luxury tableware, china, glass and silverware brand was established in Britain in 1827 by Thomas Goode and expanded by his son William, who moved the business to the brand’s permanent Mayfair location in London in 1845. The flagship store spans five storeys and is easily identified by the 7ft-tall Minton pottery twin elephants that stand guard at the South Audley Street entrance.
Having designed exquisite bespoke and collectible tableware for royal families around the world for over 190 years, Thomas Goode and Co. opened its first store outside London, in Mumbai’s Oberoi hotel, earlier this month.
Across the hallway from the store in The Oberoi is a compact museum showcasing select archival pieces that establish not only the brand’s heritage, but also its long-established relationship with India. Besides tableware for the British royal family, from Queen Victoria to the Prince and Princess of Wales, there are also pieces from collections unique to the maharajas of Baroda and Kotah.
The store is elegantly appointed and carefully curated with stemware, silver photo frames, delicately handcrafted vases and Ganesh figures. Besides a choice of designs and products from their existing catalogue, the store welcomes collaboration and customization on design.
Alongside their own designs, Thomas Goode also showcases glassware, silverware, china and home accessories from select European brands such as Hermes, Daum from France and Hungarian brand Herend. Among the curious furnishings available in the Mumbai store are ram- and sheep-shaped steel structures used as seats. Thomas Goode has also produced a gorilla for one client, a life-size giraffe for another in Florida, a collection of beds for a pet dog to match every room in a house in Japan, and a royal design that was once personalized for Gianni Versace, incorporating the iconic Medusa logo on to the crockery—a few small examples that no design request is too much.
“This is our second store in the world. It is the first time in 190 years that we have been outside of London. The museum provides that sense of history about a business that has been around for decades," says Sandelson, adding, “We have had offers to take the brand to Hong Kong, China and America, but we thought India would be the best place to start, especially as I have friends here who offered me this amazing space and because we have a very good local partner in Malvika Poddar, who has helped us open the business."
Sandelson hopes to tap into the wedding and gifting markets, in particular via customization and bespoke services that cover everything from napkin rings to table linen, armchairs and one-off commemorative pieces. “All families need beautiful tableware, and we offer people the choice of whatever aesthetic they like. Tableware is both a gift and a utility. Everyone needs a plate," he says.
An e-commerce platform is next on the anvil, followed by stand-alone stores in Delhi and Hyderabad. Collaborations with artists and designers are not far off either.
Sandelson is aware of the need to contemporize while also respecting traditions and craftsmanship. He says: “We want to keep one foot firmly in the past but also remain relevant and contemporary in terms of design. Our tableware should be part of the next generation of beautiful collectibles and heirlooms."
FIRST PUBLISHED22.02.2019 | 01:15 PM IST