Sunday, April 20, 2014


KitchenAid factory and store “experience” offers a neat excursion

On my recent travels I visited Michigan, home of KitchenAid’s global head office and discovered why all foodies the world over are crazy about this brand.
At Whirlpool's KitchenAid division factory here, visitors get to experience the company motto: ‘KitchenAid, for the way it's made.’ Downtown, guests are welcomed at the consumer product centre, called the KitchenAid Experience.
There was a time when it took four days to build a stand mixer. Today a talented work force produces hundreds of mixers every day. The factory is an astonishing testimony to the craftsmanship and quality of KitchenAid products and the people who build them. I thoroughly enjoyed my guided tour of the factory and walking through the entire manufacturing process and understanding what it takes to bring a legend to life.  I think it was the perfect mix of detail and speed for the average person and it was great to have the tour presented by someone who’s actually working on the factory floor. The best part for me was peeking over the shoulder of an assembler as the stand mixer moved into the final assembly stage. The tour highlights some interesting facts, like the fact that this is the only factory in the world making KitchenAid Stand Mixers, the detail in the assembly process and only lasts about an hour. It sure left me with a new appreciation for the way KitchenAid products are made.

The KitchenAid Experience downtown (read 10,000-square-foot building) is more like a factory outlet shopping, and gave me the feeling of being in an adult playground; where mixing, slicing, chopping, blending equipment were my toys.
This has 10 interactive cooking activities, the entire line of KitchenAid portable appliances and staff that can show you how to use any of the products and attachments. Interestingly most of this staff has worked at the factory at assembling the products and have an answer to almost every query and can actually also help you custom make a stand mixer if you so, desire. And while the adults play the children along can be left to be busy in a play area dedicated to them. The first floor is all current line products while the basement is refurbished and their museum which is more of a display area with old mixers and advertisements from various decades. For those who do not know, refurbished does not mean that they sat on the shelf so long, etc., etc. It means they had a slight defect, possibly cosmetic, within the first year of purchase. It was returned to the factory, fixed, cleaned & sanitized, and sold for fraction of the cost of a new product. What caught my fancy at the museum below was one of those first 1919 Hobart stand mixers, which weighs 68 pounds.
    It was sold door-to-door, and most of the sales force, I was told, was women (strong women I am sure).
All in all, I found the centre to be unusual owing to the fact that it stocks every product in the line in all the colours and what’s more, one can also buy from here refurbished units at 40 to 60 percent discounts and with a six-month warranty.
423 S. Broadway, Greenville, Ohio 45331
Toll-Free: 1-888-886-8318
Hours: Monday to Saturday – 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Sunday Closed
Parking: Free
Tours at the KitchenAid factory (1701 KitchenAid Way; the address above is for the retail store) are offered at 12:30 Tuesday-Friday for $5 (cash only) 

1.    The retail store offers the most complete collection of first-quality countertop and culinary products available in an expansive assortment of colours and styles.
2.    The demonstration kitchen hosts free cooking sessions, giving you the chance to see the appliances in action while learning tips and tricks of the trade.
3.    The outlet store sells refurbished countertop appliances at a great value.
4.    The factory gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the entire manufacturing process and will leave you with a new appreciation for the way products are made.
5.    The manufacturing facility offers a repair and return service, where trained technicians will make sure your KitchenAid products are performing like they’re brand new.
6.    The museum is home to authentic, vintage KitchenAid artefacts, advertisements, and products that will take you back in time.

Pubished in Food & Wine magazine