On the rise
Experts in supplying top-notch pizza and catering equipment, Linda Lewis Kitchens celebrates a decade of success in 2016
Founded in January 2006 by budding entrepreneur Linda Lewis, Linda Lewis Kitchens (LLK) was established with the goal of supplying top-class catering equipment and other products for food preparation, cooking equipment and fast food equipment to customers seeking optimum quality solutions to their catering needs. A decade since its inception, LLK has accumulated an enviable customer base, with clients including independent restaurants, pubs, hotels and national chains within the takeaway and restaurant sector. As the sole importer of Cuppone pizza equipment to the UK, the company has grown significantly over the last ten years and also drastically increased knowledge in pizza equipment throughout the business.
Linda discusses the company’s rise since its humble beginnings: “Initially it was myself as the sole person in Linda Lewis Kitchens, but I went onto recruit another member of staff and three partners; I bought the partners out in 2009 and we relocated to new 4800 square feet premises in 2009 as well. In September 2016 we moved again into premises that are 13,200 square feet; this is a massive increase in space for us that has led to our team growing from eight to eleven, we also have four agents on the road. The move also means we have a demonstration area where customers can come in and undertake trials on the oven, look into menu development and get advice. That way customers can make a well-judged decision on the right oven for them based on who will be working there, whether consistency will be a massive issue and so on. Our new facilities are also where we provide warehousing and distribution services for customers.
“Another reason for us to have a demonstration area is because we have recently launched our own range of wood-burning and living flame ovens. This is a very exciting development for us, as from the onset of the business we have been representing Cuppone, which has been manufacturing pizza equipment for 52 years in Italy; however, Cuppone only produces gas and electric deck ovens and we have realised there is huge demand for wood-burning and living flame ovens. In response to this, we have been working with a manufacturer that has been developing these types of ovens for ten years; we took on the distribution of these ovens in September 2016 and they have proven to be very popular so far. In fact, we have quoted for approximately 40 since taking these wood-burning and living flame ovens on. We also went to the Pizza and Pasta Show and had 60 enquiries from there.”
Alongside the relocation to larger premises and the diversification of its product range, a recent focus for LLK has been centred around growing the Cuppone brand in the UK, which includes the world-renowned Cuppone pizza ovens, dough mixers and presses. An ever-expanding series of products, the Cuppone pizza oven range is not only stunningly stylish, which makes it ideal for front of house positions, each is made in Italy and has a stone base in order to guarantee authentic pizza making. “Authenticity is hugely important to LLK,” says Linda. “We often get asked for conveyor ovens, but the way a pizza is cooked on a conveyor oven isn’t the authentic brick-based way of cooking pizza. We want to produce a really good product, not a mass-produced product; with our range of pizza ovens you never get a soggy bottom and instead get a fabulous result.”
She continues: “Another great product is the pizza press, which flattens the dough balls and can also be used for naan breads and chapattis; with up to 400 presses per hour, this is a great product that saves thousands of pounds per year while delivering the same consistency in quality.”
Passionate about pizza, LLK’s team of employees use their long-term expertise in the catering sector as well as their in depth knowledge of pizza to provide customers with the best possible solutions that not only inspire but also ensure the best-possible results. “The quality of communication, advice, products, services and actions is something that we instill in our staff, which in turn means that we will never sell something to a customer if it isn’t right for them. It is ultimately about making customers happy and not leaving them disappointed with a product that isn’t right for their business,” comments Linda. This expertise and customer centric focus on operations runs throughout the company, with LLK also offering a swift response when it comes to repairs – furthermore, the company’s warranty costs are just 0.05 per cent of its annual turnover, illustrating just how reliable its products are. “As a customer of LLK, you can be assured that the product is unlikely to break because of our statistics, but you also want to know if any problems do arise, LLK will get someone there straight away with parts to fix it and get your product up and running,” highlights Linda.
Having recently been shortlisted at the Catering Insight Awards for Service Support and Warranty, LLK is set for further success as its commitment to going above-and-beyond when it comes to customer satisfaction, quality and innovation leads to increased demand from those seeking optimum solutions in the competitive catering industry.