I know I’m a bit off-season with this, as it will still be a couple of months for grapefruits to come back around. But, it’s not too early to think about them—or the discriminatory silverware policy in place at Williams-Sonoma.
Williams-Sonoma makes perhaps the best grapefruit spoon I have ever used. My father and sister, on the other hand, will never be able to use it because for some inexplicable reason, Williams-Sonoma has toothed this spoon on only one side. As a result, southpaws cannot use this spoon without putting themselves through considerable contortions.
I first contacted Williams-Sonoma about this matter in 2005, at which time I noted in my letter to them that their 2004 annual report lamented, “we may not be able to reposition existing brands to improve business” (33). I pointed out to them that a simple re-toothing of the spoon so that both sides are serrated could increase their potential market for that particular product considerably. I never heard back.
Two years later, the spoons are still the same. Narrow and well-proportioned to get every piece of the grapefruit section out, but only if you are right handed. Their 2007 annual report declares, “Our success depends, in large part, upon our ability to anticipate and respond in a timely manner to… customer demands” (10). Well, if you’re a lefty who likes grapefruits or are friend or family to someone who fits that description, let them know that as a customer, you demand citrus equality! Write W. Howard Lester, Chairman of the Board & CEO; and Laura J. Abler, President at Williams-Sonoma, 3520 Van Ness Avenue, San Fransisco, CA 94109.