Local Face: Robin Goddard

  |  Published: Nov 1st 2013

Robin Goddard originally trained as a cabinet maker fitting out churches and public houses. A call for a fitted kitchen within the company led to Robin discovering that he had a talent for designing and building for a different market; so in 1993 he went into business with a partner and opened The Kitchen Shoppe in what is now Cornelli’s at 1 Town Court in Wendover High Street.

Robin’s talent for design was soon recognised within the industry and he was head hunted by one of his suppliers, Poggenpohl, and he joined them as project manager and a contracts division dealing with large builders in the Bucks, Beds and Oxon area. As a recession began to bite in the building industry, the company withdrew back to Germany so Robin, in 2000, started his own business, working from home, still mainly dealing with Poggenpohl and Leicht. Now Robin’s main customers were speculative builders on prestige individual projects and these tended to be more London orientated. Although this naturally extends into the Home Counties as well.

The finish of a kitchen moves with fashion but Robin is very keen on overall quality which is why he favours German companies with their emphasis on engineering. This has led to soft closing doors and drawers, even electrical opening which may be an optional luxury for some but a necessity ensuring the independence of certain disabled people.

Robin has witnessed the trend for lower cupboards to be replaced by strong drawers for storage which is accessible right to the back. His showroom also features a fantastic Leicht pantry where every packet or bottle is  easy to reach thanks to the way it opens up so ingeniously. Now higher cupboards can also be fitted with elegant up and over doors.

At last the suppliers of electric cookers have come up with an easy to clean and sensitive to control hob so induction is overtaking gas in popularity. The eye level oven and grill continue to be favoured, including combination ovens and very efficient warming drawers. Extractors are now being designed to look like a lamp fitting over island units rather than a chimney offering a lot more opportunity for individuality. Other appliances tend to be hidden so integrated fridges, freezers and dishwashers are the norm. With work surfaces there is a tendency towards quartz rather than granite because there is less variability even though it is a natural material.

Ambience Kitchens has now outgrown Robin’s family home so he was delighted when the opportunity arose to open a shop in Wendover. This coincided neatly with a growing demand from individuals wanting his special touch on their home kitchens  so he needed a beautiful space in which to demonstrate the quality workmanship of the product and his fitter, Alex. Robin still believes in going onsite to manage his projects so he can’t always be in the shop. His wife, Linda, has a long involvement in the company so she can answer any questions, or his brother Colin, who is a fully qualified plumber, will be there to greet you in Robin’s absence. Why not pop in and see how Ambience can enhance your kitchen?

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