You could go to Manhattan's tony SoHo neighborhood for a taste of Dean & DeLuca, but increasingly, you don't have to. The purveyor of pricey gourmet foods, fine wines, cheeses, baked goods, coffees and teas, and high-end kitchenware operates about 15 specialty markets and cafes in select US cities and is growing rapidly in Japan. The company opened its first cafe in the Middle East, located in Dubai, in 2008 and now has a store in Kuwait. Dean & DeLuca also offers its goods through consumer and corporate gift catalogs, as well as online. It has operated in Japan since 2003 through a distribution agreement with ITOCHU there. Joel Dean and Giorgio DeLuca opened their first market in SoHo in 1977.
ITOCHU International, the North American subsidiary of the Japanese trading company, has purchased a minority stake in the gourmet retailer and is helping Dean & Deluca with its expansion in Asia. ITOCHU owns a 34% stake in Dean & DeLuca Japan, formed in 2002. Currently, there are about a dozen Dean & DeLuca stores and cafes in Japan and Taiwan.
In February 2008 Mark Daley joined Dean & DeLuca as its new CEO, succeeding Beth M. Pritchard who joined the company in mid-2006. (Pritchard succeeded Patrick Roney.) Daley hails from DFS Group, the duty-free retailing arm of LVMH.