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Here's the 'scoop' on the National Souvenir Spoon Collectors Guild convention

Spoon collectors from across the country gathered in Davenport for a competition and banquet.
Credit: WQAD
A collection of silver spoons and porcelain dishes at the National Souvenir Spoon Collectors Guild.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Have you ever been to a gift shop and wondered who buys the souvenir spoons? Wonder no more — the National Souvenir Spoon Collectors Guild Convention has come to Davenport to share their love of decorative cutlery. 

The convention, held Wednesday in the Holiday Inn's conference room, includes a spoon display competition and a banquet on Wednesday evening. 

Among attendees from California, New Jersey and Coralville is Cammie Pohl, a Davenport native. News 8 spoke to Pohl when she had her collection of spoons counted for the Guinness Book of World Records, totaling 12,426 spoons. At the end of August, she opened the Mississippi Spoon Gallery, located at 902 E. River Dr. in Davenport, to share the collection that was started by her great-grandmother.

Pohl said she convinced the spoon club to move their annual event from Memphis by doing a presentation on the benefits of coming to the Quad Cities. When she attended her first spoon convention in Charleston, South Carolina, Pohl said she met her "spoon family."

"Being with the spoon club, I have had the fortune of meeting people from everywhere that share the same love of these unique spoons that these silversmiths made hundreds of years ago," Pohl said.

Cammie Pohl's husband, Randy Pohl, told News 8 in an email the convention's theme this year is "The Quad Cities: Where Iowa and Illinois come to spoon."

When it comes time to set up for the spoon competition, so-called "spooners" get serious. Collectors have from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. to arrange a display, then three judges will rate each display on a scale from 0 to 100, according to Judgemeister Jack Puzine.

Randy said spoons are judged in multiple categories, including Best Silver Spoons, Best Enamel Spoons, Best Demitasse Spoons (spoons smaller than a teaspoon) and Best Plique-à-jour Spoons (spoons decorated with transparent enamel). There is also a Spooner's Choice Award, which Randy said is equivalent to a best-in-show award.

The winners of each category will be announced later Wednesday evening during the awards dinner.

Judgemeister Jack Puzine said he'd like to see the younger generation gain interest in collecting by visiting Cammie's new museum.

"I'm sure they will be blown away by what they could do," Puzine said.

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