It’s hard to imagine someone raving about the experience of making toast or regaling dinner guests with tales of their legendary waffle iron. And when is the last time anybody celebrated the anniversary of their egg beater?
But when it comes to a KitchenAid stand mixer, “You wouldn’t believe the fan club that we have,” said Gloria Brinley, who manages the KitchenAid Experience Retail Center in Greenville.
In a recent press release, KitchenAid celebrated the 90th anniversary of its “legendary” mixer, saying the company has built upon the “legacy of (this icon).”
Those are awfully big words for a countertop appliance.
But ask any household cook, and you’ll likely hear that the mixer is indestructible, reliable and makes culinary art a lot more attainable. Not to mention that mom had one and so did grandma. And, let’s be honest, the rugged machine makes a statement to all who walk through the kitchen door – a serious cook lives here.
“If you’re passionate about your cooking, you have a KitchenAid mixer,” Brinley said.
The Buckeye State has bragging rights when it comes to what is one of the last countertop appliances manufactured in the United States. The stand mixer was born and bred in western Ohio and continues to be churned out from the Greenville factory by the thousands.
Take a tour and see for yourself. Parents actually bring their children so “they will see what American manufacturing is like,” Brinley said. Many workers are second or third generation. There is pride and passion, she said. “It’s been around for so long, it’s exciting. It’s like when somebody (tours) Harley Davidson.”
You can also head downtown to the KitchenAid Experience store to shop for a mixer (it comes in 70 colors) the way some shop for a luxury car.
“We’re here to help that customer choose the perfect stand mixer for them,” Brinley said.
The company, however, suggests its mixer is not a luxury, noting that “tough economic times and a growing emphasis on healthy eating are now driving more Americans to seek frugal, healthier alternatives to prepared foods and restaurant meals.”
Of course Greenville is home to a mixer museum, “the biggest collection of antique mixers that you’ll ever find,” Brinley bragged. And there are regular cooking classes at the retail store to make sure the mixers get a good home.
On the company Web site, one KitchenAid representative states that “millions of American households are equipped with a KitchenAid stand mixer, but relatively few are tapping its full potential.”
Ask yourself, does your can opener warrant a public service announcement such as this? Are you tapping the full potential of your electric carving knife?
The KitchenAid brand has grown to include a wide range of kitchen appliances and accessories, but none seems to generate as much fervor as the stand mixer. Brinley says she would be lost without hers. And though it handles just about every kitchen task that could be expected, she admitted the mixer is missing one feature.
“If it could talk to me, that would be great,” she said.
KitchenAid Experience Retail Center
423 South Broadway
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday through Saturday
Call for information on cooking classes, extended hours and special Sunday and holiday hours.
1701 KitchenAid Way
Factory tours are subject to manufacturing schedules. Call for availability or appointments. Must be 12 years of age or older.