Riggs Distributing Is Redefining the Shopping Experience

Wolf Gallery at the Riggs Showroom (Photo by James Everett)

Upgrading to new kitchen appliances might be exciting for some, but for others, it’s a headache-inducing process. But what if it didn’t have to be? That’s the question that seems to be behind every interaction at Riggs Distributing. One trip to this design destination and you may start to rethink how you feel about appliance shopping.

“When people come to the showroom, we want to give them white-glove treatment,” says Ivan Dubriwny, Riggs’ executive chef and showroom manager. The luxury appliances featured there are part of that high-quality experience, but so is the attention all visitors receive, whether they’re interior designers, architects or homeowners shopping for themselves. There are no sales pitches, only consultations — plus some innovative ideas to introduce people to the products before they leave to make a purchase.

Riggs has been in business for more than 40 years, and in fall 2022 the showroom moved to the San Francisco Design Center. Riggs features more than 100 appliances from Wolf, Sub-Zero and Cove on the showroom floor, but if you care less about the names and more about what the appliances can do for you, this is where Riggs excels. The interactive “live kitchen” setup helps clients experience the appliances firsthand, because sometimes it’s better to see for yourself. Curious about whether induction stovetops and convection steam ovens are as good as the hype? Someone here can show you. If you’re keeping aesthetic trends in mind, Riggs also has French door refrigerators, as well as refrigerators and dishwashers that can be covered with panels to match your kitchen cabinetry for a minimalistic look. And if you want to jump on that trend of getting a coffeemaker for your bedroom or an under-counter refrigerators for your bar, you’ll find those here, too. While it can be fun to keep up with trends, Riggs staffers insist that what’s important is finding something that’s built to last, will make your life easier and yes, will even bring you joy.

For those needing extra assurance about the appliances they’re thinking about (or need a little tutorial after they’ve made the purchase), there are classes to consider. Riggs currently offers two Lunch & Learn classes; one teaches the basics of cooking with a convection steam oven, and the other is a lesson on how to properly use and maintain your refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers. But the real draw — and perhaps one of San Francisco’s best-kept secrets — is Supper Club. These evening gatherings function as informative dinner demonstrations for new appliance owners or those considering purchases, and it all happens with appetizers, wine and a seasonally inspired four-course meal created by Dubriwny and co-chef Michael Priest. A recent Supper Club menu included braised octopus over a bed of pink lentils, a Moroccan-spiced rack of lamb with pistachio-mint pesto, and for dessert, apple ginger crumble with homemade honey lavender ice cream and a sprinkle of lemon juniper on top.

“We’re lucky enough to be able to play with our food,” says Dubriwny. “We like to shine. We know we’re in a cosmopolitan city with Michelin-star restaurants around us and we wanted to make sure we’re on the same level.”

Although Dubriwny and the Riggs team love conducting these demonstrations, at the end of the day they want customers to feel good about their appliances. That you will leave fed and happy too is just icing on the cake.

two chefs prepare a demonstration meal at Riggs' showroom
Ivan Dubriwny, Riggs’ executive chef and showroom manager (left), and chef Michael Priest preparing a meal during a Lunch & Learn (Photo by Lauren Andersen)