Alan Wood, co-owner of the multiple award-winning Trevor Mottram cookware shop, looks back on 40 years of life in The Pantiles
TELL US THE BACKGROUND OF TREVOR MOTTRAM
Trevor Mottram himself opened the shop on December 7 1975. He’d previously owned Ellis Brothers in Rye, which was a hardware store and ironmonger that he converted into a cook shop. He then moved to Tunbridge Wells and opened Trevor Mottram, which was in the front half of the cook shop at number 37 in The Pantiles.
WHEN DID YOU GET INVOLVED?
In 1993, the building went through considerable refurbishment and Trevor took on what had been an antique shop at numbers 33 to 35, so doubled the size of the cook shop.
My wife is Trevor’s niece, so when we moved to East Sussex in 1996, we agreed to buy the shop from him within a year. We bought the shop at the beginning of April 2000, and then expanded into numbers 39 to 41 in the summer of 2002.
WHAT APPEALED TO YOU ABOUT WORKING IN THE PANTILES?
It was fairly unique and recognised as high-quality and independent. There was everything here that you could want, so it became almost a one-point destination shopping area.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS THE SHOP DEVELOPED SINCE YOU TOOK OVER?
We’ve got a reputation for the amount of stock, brands and selections we carry, and people come from across the country to visit the shop. We routinely get our staff refreshed in their training so that they’re aware of the product quality and can give superb advice to the customer. That’s part of the reputation we’ve continued to develop, which is second to none.
TALK US THROUGH SOME OF YOUR BESTSELLING ITEMS
We continue to sell SCANPAN ranges of cookware fairly well. We’re always selling kitchen knives and have one of the best ranges in the country, plus we’ve brought in a selection of tablemats last year by two British manufacturers, which seem to fly out of the door.
HOW DID YOU MARK YOUR 40TH ANNIVERSARY LAST YEAR?
We’re quite proud to have been part of it for a considerable period of the 40 years, and it’s good that it’s still going strong. We celebrated with our customers by creating an offer every week for 40 weeks, with 40 per cent off our range of stock, so shoppers could benefit as well. We’re looking forward to being here for a bit longer.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE THINGS GOING FORWARD?
We’re beginning to see a bit of an improvement coming out of the recession, and we hope that continues. We’ll keep developing the shop, changing and improving the offering as much as we can, and will continue to strive to provide what we can for our customer base.