The focus is
food as Martha
WBy Anita Thompson
WHO LOVES MARTHA? Fifty million
women and 40 million men say that when it
comes to ideas for home cooking, decorating,
gardening and crafts, Martha Stewart is
the first person they think of, according to
research conducted by Public Research Strategies in 2005.
Who loves Costco? Among national retailers, Costco ranks highest in customer satisfaction as measured by the University of Michigan
index. Fifty million people hold Costco cards
and annually renew their membership at a
rate of 87 percent.
Martha Stewart and Costco—it would
seem the perfect partnership.
Martha Stewart has developed unique
products—ranging from craft materials to
furniture—that represent her lifestyle and
NBC/UNIVERSAL COURTESY OF EVERET T COLLECTION
licensed them to companies such as Kodak,
KB Home, Bernhardt, Waterford/Wedgwood
and others. And she has merchandising relationships with Macy’s, Michael’s and Lowe’s.
But not until she joined with Costco to create
a line of co-branded Kirkland Signature™
products has she had a partnership in the area
of her forte—food.
The big idea
Stewart was running a successful catering
business from her home in 1977 when a book-launch party she catered impressed a publisher
who attended. He approached her about
writing a book. The result was Entertaining
(Clarkson Potter, 1982).
The book, with its full-color photography,
recipes that focused on taste and presentation,
and behind-the-scenes looks at Stewart’s successful parties, became a New York Times bestseller. Appearances on Today introduced
Stewart and her lifestyle approach to an even
wider audience. Suddenly, millions of women
who had turned their backs on the creative
side of homemaking rediscovered what they’d
learned from their mothers and grandmothers. It was again OK to take pride in baking a
homemade apple pie.
That was 25 years ago, Stewart tells The
Connection over lunch in her office at the New
York City studio where her syndicated daily
program, The Martha Stewart Show, is televised.
The mid-December occasion was the introduction of the Kirkland Signature™ Martha Stewart
Favorite Holiday Ham. Stewart was joined on
the show by Lucinda Scala Quinn, senior vice