We just returned from a whirlwind of a weekend in Nashville, TN where we attended a summit held by our BrandSource buying group. Events like these are so valuable to our small business because we are able to connect and learn from other stores similar to Village. By making these connections, we can learn together and educate ourselves in ways to make YOUR Village experience even better! Village Home Stores is a BrandSource member so that we can offer our customers prices competitive with the big box stores paired with a customer experience that is the very best out there.
Connecting with other stores and service offices and sharing our stories allows us to all be “Better Together” (which was actually the title of this year’s summit event). We spent our days learning about ways we can better this customer experience for you in store and online. We also spent many many hours training on the new product launches announced for our Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid and Amana brands. We saw a LOT of exciting new things this weekend so we thought we would share a recap about these new and exciting products, some of which are already en route to the Village showroom. Here is a peek at what Tammy, Rob, and Elizabeth saw in Music City!
A Smart Wall Oven You Can Grill In!
The new product launch that carried the most “buzz” around the show was KitchenAid’s new Smart Oven with Powered Attachments. Available in a single, double, and combination microwave / wall oven, this wall oven series has truly elevated the use for any home cook that loves the process and full experience of cooking at home. For the Village Home Stores customers who loves to cook , you are going to want to press play below to see some sneak peeks from the show floor…
Yes! That is in fact a grill attachment that can be used indoors! There are two other powered attachments that come with this smart oven, but we have to begin with the grill. A base with heating elements connects to the wall oven and atop that, the grill attachment “caps” the coils to create a grill surface. This patent-pending design minimizes smoke that can be created by flares when grease hits the coil. With the coils encased, this grill attachment makes the Midwest year-round grilling dream a reality!
Smart Ovens come with three powered attachments: a grill, a steamer, and an element-heated baking stone. Of course we must add that of course the Smart Oven can be used as a standard bake oven and also includes convection features and assisted convection conversion. You can use this versatile wall oven with or without the powered attachments. Have you ever used a baking stone? The biggest issue is that you are supposed to preheat that stone reeeeeally far ahead of using it to get the best results. With the powered baking stone attachment resting right on top of the elements, you can skip that step all together! Get consistent, and crisp results on a stone that can fit up to a 14″ pizza.
The steam attachments are also incredible! Any serious home-chef knows that cooking with steam helps to infuse moisture and added flavor that can’t be matched! This powered attachment can fit enough sides and meat to feed a family of four all in one pan! You can even use this attachment to cook with the steam pan and no lid in the “steam assist” mode. The steamer is dishwasher-safe and can easily clean up with soap and water.
This wall oven is like a home-chef’s Swiss army knife. It has so many features all packed into one location in a kitchen! Being able to prepare such a flavorful meal all in one pan for a last-minute small dinner party sounds like a dream! You can prepare the meat, vegetables, pasta, all in one pan! The pre-programmed recipes for the steam attachment all sound like a delicious way to learn how to use your new oven!-Elizabeth Round, Village Team Member
Imagine being able to grill indoors during the entire Winter season we have just endured! Seeing how the grill coils were wrapped with the top casing, now I understand how there was virtually no smoke involved while Chef Ann was making so many burgers in that wall oven!-Tammy Clark, Village Team Member
Recipe Guidance and Connectivity:
We really wish this blog had a scratch-and-sniff feature so you could smell those incredible sirloin chorizo burgers Chef Ann was grilling up! Ann showed us as she was working how the recipe guide mode walks you through each step. She even got a notification on her phone as she was talking to us that it was time to flip the burgers over.
That notification to flip the burgers is a great example of how connected smart home appliances can help keep your busy household on track to a great meal. Imagine having guests over while entertaining in your back patio and getting a notification on your Apple watch that the oven is preheated, or your meal timer is ending. The WiFi and app features rolling out with KitchenAid all are there to help give you the best experience AND results while cooking in your kitchen.
A New Look For Commercial Ranges!
We were also able to take a peek at the redesign of the commercial ranges from KitchenAid. These units now pair better with other KitchenAid items as a suite with handles and include great new options for accent colors (shown below in “Navy”)
I’m really excited to see this redesign for the commercial ranges. Now the handles can better match the rest of the kitchen suite and the connected features added are great! I would love the remote-enabled option to preheat and monitor my oven as I am leaving work headed home.-Rob Ries, Co-Owner of Village Home Stores
Smart home tech is not just limited to our KitchenAid line of product. The first to introduce connected appliances was Whirlpool and they continue to add to their connected appliance features. Whirlpool has added even more connected models and the Yummly partnership has proven to be a very great integration. If you aren’t familiar with it, Yummly is an extremely popular recipe search engine that allows you to search for recipes online that fit within your own dietary restrictions and ingredient availability! Now you can take that found recipe one step further by sending the recipe directly to your smart appliances for instruction.
As you can see in the video above, Yummly users can even image-capture the physical items you have on hand and search recipes online. The Whirlpool and Yummly features have now been available for some time and they keep getting better and better!
Maytag’s New Cast Iron Finish!
We had heard Maytag may be rolling out a new finish but didn’t realize we would have a chance to see it in person so soon! Seeing the new “Cast Iron” color was exciting! This finish is a more rugged, darker look than our Black Stainless products. Cast Iron is a matte black finish without the brushed look of a Black Stainless. This new finish, on the sturdy, dependable Maytag line is a great look! Speaking of sturdy and dependable, how about a Maytag dryer so large and strong dealers were climbing into it!
Laundry Features Fit For a King!
Now that’s a capacity and commercial-grade parts illustration we loved seeing in action! We were also glad to not have to climb in ourselves to get the point across to you. Large capacity with the best cleaning in the industry is a major need for many of our Village Home Stores laundry customers. How about a large-capacity agitator washer that can a fit king-sized comforter!? We saw it with our own eyes!
Now of course we should mention that while this washer boasts a large capacity and great cleaning action… it is very large itself! Please work closely with your Village Home Stores appliance team to make sure you have the space to get this washer and dryer pair into your home and in place. There was great news from the Whirlpool laundry products including many changes to the front load lines. The Load & Go system of pre-loading detergent can now store up to 40 loads of laundry detergent. If you use our Excelsior HE product, that is more like 60-120 loads because our detergent is 6x concentrated. Our staff can help show you how to enter that info as you load your detergent and then you will be all set for many months without even refilling.
We saw so much more than we can get to in this recap (and don’t worry we did manage to see a lot of great live music too while in Nashville). We look forward to featuring some of these new features in upcoming projects here on the blog. Of course you can shop our appliances online, anytime at villagehomestores.com but you may also stop by our showroom to see us in person. Thank you to BrandSource for the incredible business workshops and training this weekend. We are thrilled to partner with other businesses to offer the competitive prices and award-winning service experience they expect from Village Home Stores. We truly are better together.