Monday, March 27, 2023

Where did people go for avant garde tableware before On The Table came to Queen Anne Road? When Rachel Kupfer came to Teaneck she brought a fresh look at serving pieces with her. “I always enjoyed wrapping gifts; finding eye-catching pieces and displaying them always came naturally,” Rachel said, explaining how her role there was a perfect fit. But even though she worked for Lulu’s, Rachel still wanted to put her creativity to work in her own store.

In August 2013 Rachel opened On The Table, fully stocked with uniquely styled tableware that any host or hostess would enjoy for their own table, and be thrilled to buy as a gift, too. Though she is not from the North Jersey area, Rachel recognized the need for her store. “When I looked at Teaneck, it just ‘felt right,’” she said.

Rachel is constantly looking for new things to bring to her store. Whether it’s a trip to the country for Mackenzie Childs, an Etsy shop or a local boutique artisan (Abbey Wolin, for example) making a unique piece, “everything in the store should be both useful and fun,” Rachel said. “I like my pieces to reflect my own personality and style.”

With an active and responsive Instagram presence, On The Table’s customers have constant communication with Rachel and her team to see images of new items in the store, information about products and anything else someone may ask from them.

In her quest to bring new items to the people of Teaneck, Rachel also stocks the very trendy poly and leatherette vinyl tablecloths. Because Rachel loves to combine fun and practical, all tablecloths are machine washable. “These are a great seller because they look so beautiful,” Rachel explained, “But the added bonus of being wipe clean and even machine washable makes them a customer favorite. One is more unique than the next.” Continuing in the theme of table lines, Rachel also expanded into the hand towel arena. Her towels come in fun, vibrant patterns, are made of plush and absorbent material and are embroidered with the words “al netilat yadayim.”

Having shopped for friends’ weddings, and hoping to one day be on the receiving end of wedding gifts as well, Rachel knows the advantage of a well-organized wedding registry. On The Table keeps a wish list for engaged couples, and with their new website on the verge of going live, hopes to add in-store scanning and an online registry in order to further ease the process.

Rachel is never content with just maintaining a status quo type of store. She is constantly on the lookout for trends that she can bring to her Teaneck clientele. Knowing that Pesach is a time when people opt to use disposable tableware, but still seek out fancier paper goods that make Yom Tov a focus of the table, Rachel started stocking bright-colored paper goods in fun patterns. “Go easy on yourself and let paper make a statement,” Rachel encouraged her customers through an Instagram post. The paper goods come in all different kinds of patterns, including marbleized, polka dot, floral and, of course, animal print.

Sometimes even with the most beautiful table, the hostess wants something special for herself (or her friend) as well. With her innate knack for finding funky pieces, Rachel extends this talent to jewelry purchasing as well. “I look at pieces and ask myself, ‘What would I wear?’ and then I take it down a notch,” Rachel explained. Because the pieces she buys are distinct and customers often come in looking for an individualized piece, she only stocks a limited number of each style. “I really try to keep things unique for my customers.”

At this point On The Table has made a name for itself. While Rachel still travels in search of the next best serving piece, whether it’s going to the Javits Center, trade shows in Atlanta or just a leisurely drive through the country (“I always take business cards with me, even on vacation,” Rachel said), over time vendors have heard about her store and actually seek her out as a seller for their pieces.

Rachel also loves finding pieces that are seasonal and special for each time of year. A walk into On The Table this time of year will hold an assortment of honey dishes, apple- or pomegranate-themed serving pieces and even bee-shaped salt and pepper shakers. Two years ago, Rachel brought in locally produced flavored honey to sell in the store, with all the money going to Yad Leah. It was so successful, raising $1,800, that they sold it again last Rosh Hashanah and raised over $5,000. Look for T & B Honey again this year at On The Table. They are hoping to surpass last year’s efforts with everyone’s help.

“On The Table is not just a place for people to buy their pieces,” said Rachel. “I really see my store as a part of the community, and a way to become integrated with the neighborhood.” Rachel participates in school discount cards and chinese auctions and is often asked to use the store as an opportunity to sell things for tzedakah, which she gladly does. “My customers are very giving and are always happy to contribute.”

With their website set to go live soon, everything On The Table already brings to their customers will now be efficiently and constantly accessible. Whether it is via phone calls, text messages or emails, Rachel and her team are constantly looking to improve their store, and are looking forward to helping everyone enhance whatever palette they wish to set.

Call On The Table at 201-342-1089, and visit the store at 1454 Queen Anne Rd Teaneck, NJ 07666.

By Jenny Gans


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