These aren’t just spoons. They’re tools. And they feel like it, too.
Most people don’t look at something as commonplace as a spoon and think, “How can I make this better?” But then again, there’s a chance Shawn Michael and Rachel Eva of Standard Spoon aren’t most people. Their company — built around sturdy, authentic, I-can-use-this-for-the-rest-of-my-bartending-days barware — got its start in San Diego in 2014. Since then, the duo has developed a pair of bar spoons that are, in no uncertain terms, legit. There are murmurings of new additions to their product lineup, but we’ll get to that later. First: the spoons and the people behind them.
Rachel and Shawn started working together as artists years ago. To steal the words of Rachel’s mom, they are “Project People.” After listening to their past successes in art, design, public installation and sculpture, we’re inclined to agree. The duo got into the San Diego cocktail scene early on, and soon discovered an appreciation for the artistry and the craft of a well-made cocktail.
That appreciation, coupled with their obsession for the clean lines of mid-century design, and a yearning for a day when things were built to last, led the pair to take the tenets of a well-crafted cocktail, and apply them to spoons. Bar spoons, specifically: ones that don’t snap at the bowl and handle when cracked against an ice cube, and are easily wielded by pro and home enthusiast alike.
Standard Spoon’s sleek wares are cast in single pieces, just like the good old days.
The biggest source of inspiration for the spoons? Why, airplanes, of course. To arrive at a design with less friction and more aerodynamics, Rachel and Shawn decided to study the lines of airplanes and submarines. Rachel paused, laughing, “Is that too intense for cocktail spoons?” Nah, we say it’s just the right amount.
In the end, after several iterations — and a pile of discarded prototypes to prove it — Rachel and Shawn arrived at two sleek, solid designs. Solid, in that they’re both cast in single pieces, just like the good old days. They’re also outfitted with standard bowl sizes (1/8 ounce), to make cocktail crafting even more precise. The first, the AERO Cocktail Spoon, is elegant and aerodynamic (hence the name), with a slim profile that makes it a cinch to slip into a glass of ice. The second is the spinning Wingman Cocktail Spoon. Spinning and swivel spoon designs were popular in the 1950s, but they haven’t seen much love since. A surprising fact, considering a spoon that essentially stirs a cocktail itself (no, really) decreases fatigue for bartenders and makes cocktail-crafting a whole lot more fun for dabblers and enthusiasts.
The spinning Wingman is meant to relieve wrist fatigue, essentially stirring the cocktail itself.
When asked about the potential for a suite of sweet bar tools on the horizon, Rachel explained: “We’re not looking to make something that already exists. We ask, how can it be improved? How can we give it a better design? How can we make it less likely to break?” Soon they’ll be launching a Kickstarter to expand the line. First on their list: graduated jiggers. Like the spoons, the jigger will be cast in a single piece. Also like the spoons, it will boast a smorgasbord of details.
That’s because Rachel and Shawn design with intention. They aim to make wares with the durability and quality of professional offerings, but with an accessible feel for the at-home cocktail enthusiasts. You may now be suspecting what we’ve come to realize: these aren’t mere spoons. They’re tools. And they feel like it, too.
The AERO is sleek, slim and low-friction.
That must be why the pros love them so. Their opinions are nearly as reliable as the spoons themselves. Rachel says, simply, “People love ‘em.” And when pressed to describe her favorite reactions to the spoons, she laughs: “Just a big ol’ smile.”
Stay tuned for future products from this dynamic duo. In the meantime, if you need Rachel and Shawn for anything, they’ll likely be scheming while spinning up their drink of choice, a Dirty Gibson Martini — stirred, not shaken.