Do­mes­tic diva Martha Ste­wart makes a stop in Con­cord

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Peg DeGrassa pde­grassa@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Peg­gyDe5 on Twit­ter

CON­CORD » Fans of life­style en­tre­pre­neur Martha Ste­wart started ar­riv­ing at ter­rain at Sty­ers in Glen Mills around 5 p.m. Fri­day for a cock­tail party to cel­e­brate Ste­wart’s new­est book, “Martha Ste­wart’s Slow Cooker.” About 250 peo­ple, who paid with a reser­va­tion in ad­vance, were al­lowed en­trance to the ter­rain at Sty­ers re­tail store to en­joy a few se­lec­tions of white and red wines from Martha Ste­wart’s Wine Col­lec­tion, sam­ple a va­ri­ety of ap­pe­tiz­ers that ter­rain staff made, fol­low­ing recipes from Ste­wart’s book, and meet Ste­wart in per­son. The store was closed to the pub­lic af­ter 5 p.m., due to the Ste­wart cock­tail party and a wed­ding go­ing on at the site si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

At­ten­dees waited in line, some for as long as two hours, to see Ste­wart. Most peo­ple said they found out about the event by be­ing on ter­rain’s email list and re­ceiv­ing a no­ti­fi­ca­tion. Reser­va­tions had cost $35, which in­cluded the wine and hors d’oeu­vre sam­ples, as well as a copy of Ste­wart’s book. Ac­cord­ing to Ste­wart’s blog, “The book con­tains more than 100 fla­vor­ful fool­proof dishes to make in one of Amer­ica’s most pop­u­lar kitchen ap­pli­ances, the slow cooker.”

“I’m so ex­cited to see her,” said Maria Spy­ropou­los of West Ch­ester, who came to the event with her sis­ter, Kia Blaza­kis of Chadds Ford. “I’ve been a fan of hers since the ‘80s when I used to watch her show while I was in col­lege.”

“She’s very creative,” Blaza­kis said. “She’s al­ways the go-to per­son for ideas when you’re ready to do a craft or do some­thing in the kitchen.”

Cus­tomers were able to wait in line to have Ste­wart sign their book. The first 25 or more peo­ple were able to get their photo taken with Ste­wart and chat with the celebrity for a few min­utes while she signed their books. How­ever, af­ter only about 30 min­utes into the sign­ing seg­ment of the event, ter­rain’s and Ste­wart’s staff said to the dis­ap­pointed crowd that there would be no more pos­ing next to Ste­wart. In­stead staff took each phone and snapped the photo while the sub­ject got their book signed to keep the long line mov­ing closer to their pro­jected time­line.

The TV star and best­selling au­thor aimed to be done the en­gage­ment by 7 p.m. be­cause she had to get to QVC Stu­dio by 9 p.m., when she would pro­mote her new beauty col­lec­tion on air.

Jody Lausch of Li­tiz, Pa., came away from her few min­utes al­lot­ted to talk with Ste­wart and get her cook­book signed, with a gi­ant smile on her face. Her son Jor­dan, who works at Ur­ban Out­fit­ters, the par­ent com­pany of ter­rain, bought her the tick­ets as a gift.

De­scrib­ing her­self as a “huge Martha fan,” Lausch pat­ted her son’s shoul­der and asked those around her, “How great of a gift was that?”

Diane and Erin Thompson trav­eled from Al­loway, N.J., to catch a few sec­onds with the DIY star. They both said that they were not dis­ap­pointed af­ter­ward.

“I love her recipes,” Diane stated. “When I met her, Martha said to me, ‘I hope you will like the recipes in the slow cooker book’ and I told her that I am sure I will!”

Brenda Green of Turn­ersville, N.J., and Betty Green of Wi­nona, N.J., also trav­eled a dis­tance to meet Ste­wart. They said they took a trip to New York once to be in the stu­dio au­di­ence when Ste­wart had her reg­u­lar show.

“Brenda here is go­ing to be Martha Ste­wart when she grows up one day,” she teased.

Judy Kreifer trav­eled from Sparks, Md., to meet her daugh­ter Ab­bie Kreifer, a res­i­dent of Philadel­phia, so they could at­tend the cock­tail party to­gether.

“I re­mem­ber when Martha Ste­wart’s stock first be­came pub­licly traded — that’s how long I have been a fan of hers,” Judy smiled. “She al­ways has a lot of prac­ti­cal ideas that you can ac­tu­ally use for cook­ing, gar­den­ing and dec­o­rat­ing. We both re­ally like and ad­mire her.”

“This is our first time here at ter­rain, but we had to come see Martha,” said Nancy Kowan­ick of Pennsville, N.J., who trav­eled to the event with her friend Lori Chap­man- Maahs, also of Pennsville. “I saw her once be­fore in Fair­mount Park in the late ‘90s when she was pro­mot­ing an en­ter­tain­ment book.”

“Nancy is Martha Ste­wart Num­ber 2,” Chap­man Maahs ex­plained, “So when we got this email, we knew right away that we wanted to sign up and go.”

Jean Bart­ley of Swarth­more went to the event with daugh­ters Ivy Bal­lis­ter of Cherry Hill, N.J., and Melissa Bart­ley of Swarth­more, who is an em­ployee of ter­rain at Sty­ers.

“I’ve fol­lowed Martha Ste­wart since she was in her home in Con­necti­cut. Look how long she has lasted—she has adapted,” Jean Bart­ley said. “I’ve used many of her tips and ideas for cre­at­ing a home.”

“She’s def­i­nitely an icon,” Melissa, a long­time sub­scriber to Martha Ste­wart’s Liv­ing mag­a­zine, added.

As founder of Martha Ste­wart Liv­ing Om­n­i­me­dia, the cel­e­brated en­tre­pre­neur has gained suc­cess through a va­ri­ety of busi­ness ven­tures, en­com­pass­ing pub­lish­ing, broad­cast­ing, mer­chan­dis­ing, and e-com­merce. Ste­wart has evolved into a house­hold name through the years. She es­tab­lished her­self as an au­thor of 85 ma­jor books on food, en­ter­tain­ing, gar­den­ing, or­ga­niz­ing and wed­dings, as an en­tre­pre­neur with mer­chan­dise lines of ev­ery­thing from kitchen wares and jeans, to crafts and bed­ding, and as a TV star, with two long-run­ning syn­di­cated tele­vi­sion shows, “Martha,” which ran from 2005 to 2012, and “Martha Ste­wart Liv­ing,” which ran from 1993 to 2005. Most re­cently she co-hosts a food show, paired with rap­per Snoop Dogg. In the fall of 2016, VH1 pre­miered a new show called “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Din­ner Party,” fea­tur­ing games, recipes, and mu­si­cal guests. Ste­wart is also pub­lisher of Martha Ste­wart Liv­ing mag­a­zine and reg­u­larly pro­motes her mer­chan­dise on QVC home shop­ping net­work.

It was in­di­rectly through

Ste­wart’s fre­quent trips to the West Ch­ester QVC Stu­dio Park that her book sign­ing event took root at ter­rain.

“We’ve been try­ing to get Martha Ste­wart to do an event here at ter­rain in Glen Mills for a cou­ple of years,” said Matt Poarch, Field Op­er­a­tions Man­ager at ter­rain. “She stops in here and shops some­times on her way to QVC. We’re re­ally ex­cited to have her here and pro­mote her prod­ucts, and we hope this will lead to other op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fu­ture.”

In May 2008, URBN, the com­pany that owns Ur­ban Out­fit­ters, An­thro­polo­gie and Free Peo­ple ac­quired J. Franklin Sty­ers Nurs­eries, the pop­u­lar gar­den cen­ter in Glen Mills, that was one of Amer­ica’s most re­spected names in hor­ti­cul­ture since 1890. Re­named “ter­rain at Sty­ers,” the new ven­ture en­hanced the typ­i­cal no­tion of a gar­den cen­ter by com­bin­ing a re­tail store, an event space, and a café. Ac­cord­ing to its web­site, “ter­rain is in­spired by the idea of merg­ing house and gar­den to cre­ate an ex­pe­ri­ence for all of the senses, as well as cater­ing to its cus­tomer with a va­ri­ety of prod­ucts and ser­vices to cap­ti­vate her imag­i­na­tion, en­hance her life and bol­ster her com­mu­nity.” In 2016, URBN ac­quired The Vetri Fam­ily group of restau­rants.

With few books lin­ger­ing on the shelves for pur­chase af­ter cus­tomers bought ex­tra books for fam­ily and friends, store as­so­ciates seemed pleased with the suc­cess of the event. When asked if she was go­ing to score an op­por­tu­nity to meet Ste­wart too, sales as­so­ciate Melissa Bart­ley smiled and whis­pered, “I think the staff here — at least I hope — will get a chance to meet her be­fore she leaves.”

Pam Dou­glas of Lans­dale, who ac­com­pa­nied her friend Janet Rid­g­ley of Lin­coln Univer­sity to the event, summed up the feel­ing of many guests.

“With the win­ning combo of ter­rain and Martha Ste­wart, this event couldn’t be any­thing but great,” she said.

PEG DEGRASSA — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Martha Ste­wart asks the name of a cus­tomer at ter­rain’s in Glen Mills Fri­day night dur­ing a cock­tail party/book-sign­ing event to pro­mote “Martha Ste­wart’s Slow Cooker,” her lat­est book. About 250 fans stood in line for an hour or two to get a few sec­onds with the fa­mous en­tre­pre­neur.

PEG DEGRASSA — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Martha Ste­wart came to ter­rain in Glen Mills on Fri­day to pro­mote her new book, “Martha Ste­wart’s Slow Cooker.” The book con­tains more than 100 fla­vor­ful fool­proof dishes to make in one of Amer­ica’s most pop­u­lar kitchen ap­pli­ances, the slow cooker. Copies are avail­able for sale in the ter­rain re­tail store.

PEG DEGRASSA — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Sales as­so­ciate Su­san Schu rings up cus­tomer Jody Lausch of Li­tiz, Pa., dur­ing the Martha Ste­wart book­sign­ing event Fri­day. Lausch said that her son Jor­dan, who works for Ur­ban Out­fit­ters, bought her the $35 ticket to the event for her birth­day.

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