Le Creuset opens marketing HQ, cooking center

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley shakes hands with Faye Gooding, CEO of Le Creuset North America, in front of the company's new location in Charleston. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley shakes hands with Faye Gooding, CEO of Le Creuset North America, in front of the company's new location in Charleston. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
By Lauren Ratcliffe
lratcliffe@scbiznews.com
Published April 22, 2013

Behind glass panels in Le Creuset’s new marketing and cooking center, vintage bean pots, fondue pots and cooking vessels from various stages of the company’s history serve as a reminder of the past and inspiration for the future.

The cookware manufacturer opened its atelier, which is French for workshop, April 18 just across the Ashley River from downtown. The facility will house 24 employees with room to grow, said Steve Jones, the company’s vice president of marketing.

Chef Robert Carter talks to visitors at the Le Creuset marketing headquarters and cooking center in Charleston. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
Chef Robert Carter talks to visitors at the Le Creuset marketing headquarters and cooking center in Charleston. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
Visitors walk through the Le Creuset marketing headquarters in Charleston. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
Visitors walk through the Le Creuset marketing headquarters in Charleston. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
Employees working on the riverfront property located at 116 Ripley Point Drive will focus on product development, marketing and Web-related tasks. Jones said the company began searching for new office space about two years ago and quickly outgrew its location near the S.C. Aquarium.

“This was the furthest we looked outside of Charleston,” Jones said of the new property.

Inside the office, the atelier itself is a sleek showroom kitchen equipped with remote control cameras, which will allow Charleston chefs and visiting celebrity chefs to broadcast demonstrations to retail stores across the country.

“We believe we can bring attention to Charleston,” said Faye Gooding, CEO of Le Creuset North America.

“This is the first true cooking workshop of this magnitude,” she said, adding that the atelier’s cameras will allow the marketers in the office to create content and stream it.

Gooding also called the company’s expansion in Charleston a “perfect marriage.”

“We believe in this city that is the epitome of culinary excellence,” she said.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley attended the facility’s grand opening and said he was excited to continue furthering the relationship between Le Creuset and the Lowcountry.

This is the third regional expansion for the company in the past two years. Last year, Le Creuset invested $2 million in a 93,000-square-foot expansion of its Hampton County distribution facility. In 2011, that same facility was expanded by 116,000 square feet.

Jones said the new office will allow the company, which hired about 12 people last year, to continue to grow.

Previous coverage

Le Creuset to expand S.C. facility

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