In the 40 years since Bruce Allinson founded his award-winning kitchen and joinery company one thing has remained constant.
The Allinson family believes a focus on quality craftsmanship and old-fashioned personal service to create great looking but functional kitchens is the reason why Valley Kitchens has been in business for so long.
The firm doesn't just make kitchens. It has expanded its services to include laundries, vanities, walk-in wardrobes, shelving, alfresco areas, and custom-design furniture.
Assisted living kitchens for people with a disability are also a specialty of the firm.
Valley Kitchens is a family-owned business.
Bruce's son, Brad, joined the business straight out of school and gained his trade.
After a period away, he re-joined the firm five years ago as general manager along with his wife, Kristi, who is financial controller.
Brad said the company treats its 30-plus staff and its customers as part of the family.
One staff member has been with the business since it began and other staff have 10 or 20 years of service.
"But the most important thing to our company has always been our customers," Brad said. "Making sure our clients are happy with the final product is paramount."
Five years ago, the firm relocated from Kurri Kurri to a new manufacturing centre and showroom at Thornton.
Brad said the showroom is one of the region's largest with more than 11 kitchens on display.
"Much of our work comes from local, quality builders who have used us for many years," he said.
"But a growing part of the business is with customers looking to renovate.
"We see our showroom as an educational resource for local people who are always welcome to come and get ideas about kitchens and laundries.
"Our in-house designers and consultants pride themselves on giving customers expert advice on the best materials and innovations to help create the kitchen they've always wanted.
"Unlike some other kitchen suppliers, we draw every piece of joinery from scratch, so it is easy to exactly meet people's needs."
The firm's expertise and quality has been recognised with numerous local HIA awards including Best Kitchen, Best Kitchen Design and Hunter Kitchen of the Year.
It was a finalist for Australian Kitchen of the Year in 2018.
Valley Kitchen' consultants don't work on commissions which Brad said means that instead of selling, their role is to help customers select what they need.
"We enjoy what we do - meeting people, helping them design and create the kitchen of their dreams," he said.
As kitchens are a central point in a home, Brad believes they need to look good but, most importantly, function to suit a customer's lifestyle.
"We customise every design to deliver low maintenance kitchens with practical features and storage as well as space-saving layouts," he said.
"We create high-end kitchens without people having to spend a fortune."
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the importance of supporting the expansion of Australian manufacturing.
"When our customers get us to build their dream kitchen, laundry or other joinery they are supporting local jobs and skills development," Brad said.
To find out more about how Brad and his team can help you, call into the Valley Kitchens showroom at Glenwood Drive, Thornton or visit www.valleykitchens.com.au.