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Housewares company building on CaliBowls' success

By: Rhoda Miel

March 17, 2014

CHICAGO — Simple Wave LLC has found a lot of success for its CaliBowls, a polypropylene series of bowls, injection molded with a lip to help prevent spills.

It has won a place on store shelves of leading U.S. retailers including Target, Crate & Barrel and Costco.

Now the Hayward, Calif.-based company is launching a series of other housewares products that build on the same shape and technology, and continuing to stick with its U.S. manufacturer.

New products headed out to the market range from cutting boards and trays to mixing bowls and martini glasses.

"Imagine you're in a crowded bar," said Simple Wave co-founder Rich Stump during an interview at the International Home + Housewares show in Chicago March 16. "You're trying to get a tray of drinks across the floor, and you don't want to spill them."

The same undercut shape of the existing CaliBowls which provide the non-spill lip for liquids inside the bowls lend themselves to a good gripping surface on the outside for handles. The new mixing bowls coming on the market are easy to grip, but also have a spout to make it to pour batter out when you want to, Stump said.

Trays, cutting boards and other products also use that molded-in shape to reduce spills.

Stump said he sees the company being able to brand future products around its undercut spill resistant technology by using it across multiple products, much as the Oxo Good Grips products are known for the soft grip handles.

The bulk of the new products that Simple Wave is introducing will continue to be in PP, molded by Jatco Inc. in Union City, Calif., although a handful — such as a ceramic version of the bowls bound for Williams & Sonoma stores — are being made by international suppliers.

Simple Wave brought production of the CaliBowl back to the U.S. from China in 2011 looking for less complexity in production and development. That continues with the expanded line, as well as the continuing interest from consumers and retailers who want to buy more made in the U.S., Stump said.