Welcome to GC Buying Group

We Are Retail

GC Buying Group Members form the original and leading buying group in the kitchenwares industry. Celebrating 35 years in 2016, GC works to ensure the success of independent retailers with a variety of programs and services, including discounts and dating programs provided by over 200 vendor members. Join our network of over 350 stores nationwide!

The Mission:

                                              The most experienced buying group in the kitchenwares industry                                               

The GC Team provides confident, sound business expertise to Members

 Focused on challenges and competition in an ever-changing marketplace


Building the Team:

Store and Vendor Members of GC Buying Group have long looked to Janis Johnson, Founder and President of GC Buying Group, for operational strategy and business advice based on extensive experience and a commitment to the independent kitchenware retailer. To broaden knowledge and support offered by the Group, Johnson has worked tirelessly over the years to build a team of veteran retailers, enthusiastic to use past experience to fuel the current independent retail community.


“Building a team that shares the same goals, values and passions as our Members was of vital importance to me.” – Janis Johnson


“Having been part of this industry for over 35 years, GC’s rich history, paired with fresh perspectives of our team, empowers the Group to provide advanced solutions that will accommodate and support our network of Members.”


The GC Team


Janis Johnson – President and Founder  

 -Owned and operated a kitchenware store and cooking school in a mid-size market for 5 years

-Utilized that knowledge and experience for founding Gourmet Catalog (GC Buying Group)

  in 1981

-Recognized for her vast contributions and achievements in shaping independent retail

-Honored by the Housewares Charity Foundation in 2014 as recipient of the

  prestigious Specialty Retailer Humanitarian Award

-Challenges and reinvents norms to propel GC programs to new heights

-Guides the GC team to attain individual success within the Group


Maryann Samsa – Buying Group Coordinator

-Over 30 years of retail experience working for a major independent retailer chain in the   


-Highly valued industry insider whose talents and relationships have brought a personal

  perspective and unique ideas to the GC Group

-Managed kitchenware buying for a specialty retailer with five sizable stores

-Effectively consults with Members on topics like buying strategy, merchandising, daily

  operations, special events and staff training

-Spearheads catalog program and ensures its efficient utilization as marketing collateral for Store and Vendor members

-Holds firsthand knowledge that reinforces a liaison role among Store and Vendor Members


Karen Chandler – Special Projects Coordinator

-Brings experience from many areas of the kitchenware industry to the team

-Began her career with Zwilling JA Henckels

-First joined GC in 2008 as a Vendor Coordinator where her forward thinking and dedication to

  supporting GC Vendors resulted in the optimization of effective GC programs

-Owned and operate her own kitchenware store with both a brick and mortar and online


-Returned to GC in 2017 as Special Projects Coordinator

-Relationships and acute understanding of the industry yield a deep appreciation of the

  everyday triumphs and tribulations faced by both Store and Vendor Members



The Options:

Adapting to the growing importance that strong marketing plays in capturing audiences and breaking through the noise, The GC team includes an in-house graphic design team ready to assist Members with professional marketing needs.  The core marketing services GC provides include Catalog, eNewsletter, Email Marketing and Social Media programs 

The Membership Experience:

For stores contemplating a buying group experience, contact GC Buying Group to learn more about how partnering with GC can drive business.  Join today and save the date for GC Members favorite educational opportunity, Retail Summer School, on July 12th and 13th at Americasmart in Atlanta.



Connect with over 350 independent retailers and 200 vendors for unmatched educational and networking opportunities at major markets throughout the year.

special savings.

Take advantage of significant savings, extended terms, access to money saving programs and lower minimums and reorder fees with absolutely no buying requirements.


Receive the latest industry news updates, assistance with email marketing and other promotional material to connect with your customers and drive sales.