- We have served the home cook and professional chef since 1968.
- Nearly 50 years old and one of the oldest specialist cook shops in the UK.
- We have three stores in Bath, Bristol and Cardiff.
- Our large stores enable us to stock one of the most extensive selections of cooking utensils and serveware.
- Everything from fish tweezers to cupcake stands.
- We carry a broad choice: over 20 ranges of pots & pans, 14 ranges of knives and at least 20 different potato peelers.
- Our staff are fully trained and keen to advise you on choosing the right product for your needs.
- We test and use our products – products that don’t perform are rejected.
At Kitchens Cookshop we have enthusiastic and hard working teams in each of the stores. Some of our staff have trained and worked in the catering industry and they readily share their vast experience with colleagues and customers. Others are passionate cooks and have a great deal of knowledge on cooking and cookware. We enjoy working with the products and meeting the needs of our customers; from the youngster looking for a gift for Mum to professional chefs. We’re here to help you. If you’re looking for advice then we’ll happily share our recipes and cooking experiences with you and we can tell you which tools we found to be the best for the job.
Kitchens’ staff have been acknowledged as amongst the best in the industry. Since 2000 we have had six finalists for the Excellence in Housewares Retail Employee of the Year award. We celebrated a winner, Ruth Paget, in 2001 and again in 2009 when David Lee, the manager in our Bath store won the award. Long service has made a terrific contribution to the knowledge and experience amongst the staff. Many have been with us for a great number of years. At least six staff have worked at Kitchens for over 20 years and a further 14 have been with us for over 10 years. Our two directors, Nicky and Karen, and Linda, the General Manager have over 90 years at Kitchens between them!
Our long established, comprehensive training programme is recognised in the industry. We were finalists for the Excellence in Housewares Retail Training Award in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2013. We won the accolade in 2008, 2010, 2011 and again in 2013. Kitchens invests a great deal of time training all the staff. New staff must complete a thorough training course and we have weekly one hour training sessions for all the team. Training programmes cover customer care, product knowledge and procedures. Staff can further enhance their product training by testing many of the products for themselves.
From a market stall in the ‘60s to three large specialist cookshops by the ‘90s.
The founder of Kitchens, Douglas Bullock started the business in April 1968 when he began selling a few kitchen utensils and aprons from a Sunday market stall. Douglas quickly recognised the potential for a permanent shop and within five months had opened a small shop in Clifton Village, Bristol. Three other, much larger, stores were opened in Bristol, Bath and Cardiff between 1970 and 1990. Kitchens subsequently out-grew the original shop in Clifton and it was closed in 1991.
The second shop opened in September 1970 in Whiteladies Road, Clifton, a main route into Bristol just south of the Downs, the road includes a number of foodie destinations with great produce and a choice of restaurants. The store is an Aladdin’s Cave with product displayed on three floors.
The development of Kitchens in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s coincided with an increasing national interest in cooking. This was brought about by cheaper foreign travel, television cookery programmes, greater coverage in national press and some popular and widely recognised cookery writers, most notably Elizabeth David.
At the time there were few retailers of kitchen utensils. Many of the traditional hardware shops were closing down and department stores were not offering the more specialist and unusual items that the growing band of cooking enthusiasts were seeking. Kitchens took full advantage of the situation and sourced an extensive range of cooking utensils for the broad customer base of novice cooks, amateur enthusiasts, professional chefs and restaurateurs.
In 1979 Kitchens opened a shop in the beautiful Georgian city of Bath to help serve the ever widening customer base and also the many tourists who visit this World Heritage City. Kitchens Bath extends over three floors. The store is centrally located just a few yards from Milsom Street, a major shopping destination in the city.
The Cardiff store opened in 1990 and is one of the many and varied stores within the Welsh capital. Kitchens is situated in the High Street, close to the Millennium Stadium. This extensive shop is bigger than the Bristol and Bath shops with over 9,000 sq.ft. of retail space across two vast floors – indeed Kitchens Cardiff is probably the largest specialist cookware shop in the UK.
Excellence in Housewares Awards
These annual awards were first introduced in 1999 and are presented at a gala evening in London. All the nominees are selected from across all retail sectors in the UK, from supermarkets and department stores to independent retailers.
Over the years Kitchens has been a finalist for various categories, including independent retailer, display, training and retail employee. We have enjoyed success on three occasions.
In 2000, Ruth Paget from the Bath store was awarded Retail Employee of the Year – a terrific accolade against tough competition across the UK. David Lee, also from the Bath store, won the same award in 2009.
In 2008 Kitchens’ well established training programmes received national recognition when we won the Excellence in Retail Training award.
In Recent Years
2008 - 40th Anniversary
There are few specialist cookshops in the UK that have been established for over 40 years. Kitchens passed that milestone in 2008 when we celebrated our 40th Anniversary at a large party. The guest list included many past and present Kitchens’ employees and a number of friends from the industry.
Our website, www.kitchenscookshop.co.uk was launched in March 2010. Initially this was an information only site. The Kitchens Guides and Foodies Area quickly proved to be popular and a good source of information.
Kitchens won three trophies at the 2010 Excellence in Housewares Awards recognising our comprehensive range, displays and staff training. Against tough competition Kitchens won the Retail Training category and the Cookshop & Housewares Retailer of the Year Award. Kitchens was also presented with the Global Innovation Award (GIA) honouring retailing excellence in housewares and we will represent the UK at an international event in Chicago next year when a winner will be chosen from over 20 countries. To win one award is fantastic to win three in one year is virtually unprecedented.
Our Online Store was launched in February 2011. We devoted a great deal of time in 2011 to adding product to the website, by the end of the year we had over 3,500 products on the site.
Kitchens won an award at the 2011 Excellence in Housewares Awards. We were recognised for our Retail Training for the third time in four years. We were, once again, up against other well known national retailers in housewares and we were thrilled to be recognised for our structured and focused training programme. All our staff receive comprehensive training on products, customer care and procedures, this ensures that our customers receive the best possible help and advice at all times. Nicky received the award at the annual Progressive Housewares Awards evening from the celebrity chef, James Martin.
In March 2012 Kitchens received the Housewares Innovation Gold Award, this recognised the launch of our innovative Online store in 2011 and the additional information and links with products to and from the Kitchens Guides and the Foodies Area. Ann received the award from Heston Blumenthal.
In April 2012 we entered the world of social media with the Kitchens Cookshop Facebook page.
The company continues to invest in staff training and once again Kitchens won the Excellence in Housewares Award for Retail Training. We extended our social media presence with active accounts on Twitter and Pinterest as well as Facebook.
We introduced a new concept to the Cardiff and Bristol stores when we invited local food producers to come in to store and set up their stalls on selected Foodie days. These proved popular with our customers who enjoy the chance to buy some artisan bread, locally made jams and preserves and other delicious delights. The Foodie days are promoted in store, on our website and social media pages.
As part of the Great Bath Feast our Bath store held a cake competition, it was judged by Richard Bertinet and Brendan Lynch and we raised £488 for the local hospice, Dorothy House.
Our display teams developed many new, different and exciting displays and these were recognised nationally when we received the Excellence in Retail Display Award at the annual Progressive Housewares Awards.
Hitherto the company had been widely known as 'Kitchens' but this year we changed the name to 'Kitchens Cookshop'.
Baking continued to be very popular throughout the year. We hosted exclusive Cake & Bake events and cake competitions in each of the stores.
Our displays were once again recognised at the Progressive Housewares Awards and we were thrilled to win the Excellence in Retail Display against tough competition.
Our website was re-launched this year with a whole new look, an improved product layout and a popular section called 'In Our Kitchen' with blogs, news, recipes, product guides and more.