Staying ahead of style trends and carving out new niches as national retailers horned in have kept Two Plates Full ringing up healthy sales for 15 years.
The locally owned store, which defies categorization, is readying new digs in the Borgata of Scottsdale for a post-Labor Day opening. The store closed in late June after four years in the Shops at Gainey Village, a few miles north.
The business has evolved over time from a gourmet kitchenware shop into a home accessories, furnishings, gifts, whimsical art and whatnots store.
Owner Terri Weisz opted to move Two Plates Full south even as other
Scottsdale retailers have headed in the opposite direction to capture the wealthy homeowners settling north of the CAP Canal.
“I have a lot of customers in Paradise Valley, and I didn't want to lose some of them who didn’t want to travel further north,” Weisz said. “And I always loved the Borgata structurally. It’s so welcoming. I think it’s coming back (into local shopper favor), and I want to help that happen.”
The Borgata, designed to resemble a walled Italian village of a few centuries ago, is a hit with tourists, but it has suffered in previous years from a dearth of regular shoppers and merchants that appeal to year-round residents.
Recent additions of upscale but |not |priced-out-of-sight retailers, many aimed at younger and bigger-spending shoppers, have boosted business for the shopping center at 6166 N. Scottsdale Road.
“Borgata is younger, hipper, more fun and out-of-the-box now, and we plan to make it even better,” said Veronica Lovesy, vice president of marketing at Westcor, which owns the Borgata. “That’s one of the reasons we were so eager to get Two Plates Full to move to Borgata. Two Plates Full is a perfect complement to our center.”
Weisz opened Two Plates Full, then primarily a gourmet kitchenware and tableware shop, in 1989 at Shea 7000, a shopping plaza west of Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road. When other shops moved out of that center in the early 1990s, Weisz left, too, relocating her store to Scottsdale Seville at Indian Bend and Scottsdale roads. Still mostly a kitchenware store, Weisz saw the impending arrival of Crate & Barrel and Sur la Table. She began adding more all-around-the-home accessories, including the works of local artists, to the Two Plates Full mix, to maintain her unusual inventory.
Myorella Fiorentino has been selling her pottery exclusively at Two Plates Full for more than a decade, and she has been working at the store for the last couple of years.
“Terri has a great eye for product and knows what customers want,” Fiorentino said. “It’s a fun, friendly place, and it makes you smile every time you come in here.”
Sue Goldsand, formerly a store designer for Crate & Barrel, has been working for Two Plates Full for a dozen years, but just recently started adding her own fused-glass art to Weisz’s wares.
She said Weisz knows her customers well enough to select items that will sell, something national retailers can't easily do.
“We have the pulse of the community, and we stay a step ahead of the trends,” Goldsand said. “There’s always something new.”
Among the new things that will greet Borgata customers when the store opens is Sticks furniture, whimsical handcrafted pieces from beds to bookcases, art to armoires. Two Plates Full will be the exclusive Arizona seller of the line.