After 40 Years, Still on the Housewares Cutting Edge

The Kratchman family launched Kitchen Kapers in 1975 on the strength of the revolutionary Cuisinart. The family, their housewares stores and the latest high-tech gear are still going strong.

The Kitchen Kapers in Princeton.

In 1975, Harold and Pearl Kratchman saw the home kitchen future, and it was a Cuisinart. Based on the sudden popularity of that all-purpose machine, they opened Kitchen Kapers, a kitchenware store in Voorhees,

This premonition drew Harold away from his career in retail toy sales. Now Kitchen Kapers encompasses 10 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Princeton and Moorestown, New Jersey. Each shop is stocked with all the gadgets and gear any home cook could want, from the latest coffeemakers to cake plates, toasters and tongs. In 1999 they launched internet sales.

After Harold died in 1997, the business carried on with Pearl an active presence and son Ron the president, working with his brothers Rick and Bob.

From left, Bob, Ron and Rick Kratchman, the second-generation leaders of Kitchen Kapers, with NJ stores in Princeton and Moorestown.

From left, Bob, Ron and Rick Kratchman, the second-generation leaders of Kitchen Kapers, with NJ stores in Princeton and Moorestown.

Overall, the 6,200-square-foot Moorestown store is the largest because it is also home to the Kitchen Kapers Cooking School. March classes for up to 15 students each include sushi making, knife skills, a date-night dinner and programs for kids, ‘tweens and teens.

“It’s so much fun to see the kids enjoying themselves in the kitchen,” says Ron of their popular events.

Kid lessons are $35 per child; adult classes are $65’ couples programs are $95.

The well-equipped space is available for private parties for both children and adults, as well as events like corporate team building. The venue also hosts visiting celebrity chefs, like television personality and cookbook author Sara Moulton, who will be present May 12th.

The food processor launched the business, but today Ron sees professional Vita Mix blenders ($139-$689.95) as one of the hottest commodities, and the store stocks eight different models, as well as a cookbook and videos to help users make silky soups, smoothies, batters, dressings and sauces.

An end cap inside Kitchen Kapers

An end cap inside Kitchen Kapers

Ron is bullish on the Optigrill cooktop ($159.95) which automatically senses the number and thickness of items on the grill, be they burgers, chicken or fish, and adapts cooking time for the best results, beeping to indicate rare, medium and well-done.

“It’s got sensors and chips,” explains Ron. “You can easily make a piece of steak in your kitchen that’s as good as what you would get from your outdoor grill.”

At lower price levels, Kitchen Kapers stocks a stainless steel bar that looks like soap ($8.99) and is used to remove odors like garlic and fish from your hands, and a microwave egg boiler ($13.99) that creates up to four perfect hard or soft-boiled eggs in minutes

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