The Kitchen Company in Wellington earned one of the biggest national awards for customer service at the kbbreview Retail & Design Awards in Birmingham last month. kbbreview is the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom industry’s major monthly magazine, now marking its 22nd year of awards’ presentations. This year the awards were hosted by Dara O Briain before an audience of 900.
The award resulted from a visit to The Kitchen Company’s Taunton showroom by a ‘mystery shopper’. Manager Charles Chalcraft was unaware that his customer service skills were being judged but the assessor said it was ‘hard to ask for more’ from the service he provided.
The Kitchen Company has showrooms in both Wellington and Taunton but is run from Rylands Industrial Estate, Rockwell Green.
Managing Director Tony Ellis started the business in 1995 having worked as a kitchen fitter, carpenter and joiner in the 70’s “when fitted kitchens were becoming fashionable.” he explained: “I was selling kitchens privately from a manufacturer in Barnstable and, when he left the business to run a pub, I bought his machinery. I started in a small unit in Poole Trading Estate but we outgrew that in 18 months. I took more space but within a year we were bursting at the seams. I took the first unit here at Rylands Business Park and we’ve been here for 20 years. Within 2 years we outgrew the original unit and took over the one next door.”
Now the company has a turnover of £3 million and employs 32 people – most of them in full-time posts. Their customer base spreads from Cornwall to Basingstoke and Hampshire. Tony said, “We’ve got a big builder market, supply other kitchen shops and have our own two retail shops. People don’t know we’re here but we get lots of recommendations now and take on the whole process from measurement, design options, finishes and fitting.” He paid tribute to Charles Chalcraft for winning the award for the company. “He’s the one who really deserves it,” he said.