A CONSUMING PASSION
Vera Pure owes its name, and its philosophy of beauty, utility and uncompromising excellence, to founder Vera Purtscher, a former architect who never set out to manufacture fine tableware. It was her love of collecting silverware that led her, quite by chance, to start her company three decades ago.
“My mother has always had a huge passion for silverware, and we have an abundant collection at home,” says her son, Gio Purtscher, the company’s CEO. “Once, at auction, she spent two months’ salary on a set of silverware by the famous 20th-century Viennese designer Josef Hoffmann. Yet when she tried them at home she was really disappointed because, although they were the most beautiful pieces of cutlery she’d ever had, they didn’t lay well in the hand. They hadn’t been ergonomically designed.”
That experience inspired MoonLashes, Vera Pure’s signature cutlery collection. “As an architect, you have to use good, properly functioning tools to do your job well,” says Vera. “Eating is hopefully a joy, not a job, but when I eat I want to have the best possible dining experience. Cutlery is a tool for that, and it should be ergonomically perfect. I don’t want to fight with my cutlery; what I really want is to forget about it because my focus should be on the wonderful food I’m eating.”
It took Vera seven years to make her vision of aesthetically and functionally perfect tableware. “MoonLashes are the only existing silverware worldwide with different, optimized handles for every piece,” says Vera. “Some of the range even offers improved pieces for left-handers and right-handers. Our tabletop designs are small, nomadic pieces of architecture that will always follow you to your home. You hold on to them for the next generation.” Many big companies wanted to license Vera’s designs, but felt that her level of design optimization, and her high manufacturing standards, would make production too complicated and expensive. Not prepared to compromise on quality, in 1997 Vera took the leap and went into business herself, producing her first silverware series.
One of her first clients was the celebrated chef Heinz Reitbauer from Steirereck in Vienna. Word quickly spread in the world of fine dining, with orders from the Michelin-starred restaurants Silk and Micro at the Cocoon Club in Frankfurt, as well as from royal families and some of the most exquisite yachts and private jets around the globe. Together with renowned scientists, experts and craftsmen, the company went on a global quest to find the best location to create sublime crystal glass and found it in the Sanhe and Dashanzi Delta in the Far East. The result is rock crystal that is unmatched in brilliance and shine.
Today, although Vera Pure remains a small manufacturer, it supplies many of the world’s top chefs. The beautiful SinStella range of crystal glasses was designed as a practical solution for restaurateurs, and was tested and used exclusively in Gabriel Kreuther’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant in New York before being launched in 2017. “We kept hearing from partners that high-quality glasses break constantly,” says Vera. “Much like a Tesla, our crystal glasses were intended to solve a certain problem, but many people now buy them because they look so glamorous.”
Vera Pure also creates bespoke designs for clients, such as custom-made porcelain tableware for Tantris and a specially developed lobster fork and spoon for Proto in Dubrovnik. As Gio says: “Celebrity chefs and restaurateurs come to us because they value our dedication to making their desires a reality.”