Atlanta’s largest Williams-Sonoma opens Saturday at Ponce City Market. We got a sneak peek this afternoon, and this is definitely not your standard mall operation. For starters, its spacious location at the end of the food hall offers two unusual bonuses: an expanded home department and a direct connection to celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman’s first Atlanta restaurant (scheduled to open this fall). Wait long enough for dinner, and you’re likely to buy enough tempting foodstuffs to warrant cooking at home.
As with West Elm, its sister chain which also has a PCM location, the new Williams-Sonoma is stocking plenty of artisan-made regional goods. Roughly a quarter of the food offerings are produced in the South—from Georgia Olive Farms oil to Southern Art Hot Sauce. The store will keep community involvement strong with chef appearances and classes around a demo kitchen with an expansive 12-seat marble counter. In fact, Steven Satterfield will be signing his new cookbook Root to Leaf there tomorrow afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. (Country star Trisha Yearwood will perform here Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.)
Look for plenty of publicity this fall as company founder Chuck Williams celebrates his 100th birthday on October 2. Jean Armstrong, vice president of brand marketing, told us that because Williams is credited with introducing many professional-grade cooking brands to the home market, his namesake store gets to offer exclusives like a copper Kitchen Aid stand mixer and certain colors of Le Crueset cookware.
As the “Focal Point” section of our new fall Atlanta Magazine’s HOME (on newsstands now!) issue features copper products, we admired Williams-Sonoma’s expansive copper collection. And we wish we’d spotted the Hammered Copper Imperial Pint Mug soon enough to include it in our product roundup.
The new home showroom, the first in the South, includes sophisticated furnishings and a large selection of linens. A complimentary design service includes in-home consultations, even for limited projects like table settings and holiday decorating, noted PR rep Kendall Coleman. There’s no obligation to buy.
As much as we resist premature holiday planning, the Staub pumpkin-shaped cocotte is awfully cute; so be prepared to think fall. “We’ve traditionally been the headquarters for Thanksgiving,” noted Armstrong.