Discover The Vintage Treasures Unearthed By This Francophile


Shiny antique copper pots and glass stemware

Photo: Kathleen Hinkel

A self-professed Francophile, Bill Borman visits France four times a year—but not just for recreation. Borman shops the entire country for vintage copper cookware and tableware that he then often restores before selling through his business, Piggy Kitchen, both at antique fairs in the U.S. and online. “Our antique copper always seems to get the most attention, but we also sell antique French stemware, linens, cutting boards and anything kitchen related,” Borman says.

The shopkeeper started 25 years ago when he bought his first set of five vintage copper saucepans at the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market in Paris. “Antique French cookware has an almost universal appeal, even here in heavily midcentury modern-focused Chicago,” Borman says. “It’s intriguing to see or use a newly restored copper stockpot that’s over 100 years old and think about how many meals it has cooked over its lifetime.”

He adds that living with antiques provides a link to humanity on a daily basis. “I’d like to think we’re the antidote to the unused trophy kitchen,” Borman says. “Our business speaks to and advocates a more authentic way of living.”