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ekbbusiness august 2010 cheffing it up

“We have a great relationship with celebrity chefs,” says Davies. “They understand what we’re about and they genuinely love the product. It’s like Jenson Button wanting to drive the best car in his own time, so the chefs want to have the best kit in their home kitchens.”

His team manages a rolling programme of appearances and demonstrations in the showroom by Simon Rimmer, James Martin, Aldo Zilli, Antony Worrall Thompson, Thomasina

Miers and Galton Blackiston. Clients, it seems, appreciate the opportunity to make quesadillas with MasterChef winner and Mexican Food Made Simple author Thomasina, or melt chocolate with Michelin star-winner Galton. “It’s like test driving the latest Ferrari – you will understand the quality of that car by seeing a test driver on Top Gear,” says Davies. “There’s nothing like seeing a chef use and champion our products.”


Craig Davies, president and ceo, Westye Group Europe

The Pro 48 is described by John Linehan as “the jewel of the crown”, and the most expensive product in the Sub-Zero range

Craig Davies, president and ceo, the Westye Group Europe, outside Sub-Zero and Wolf’s Brompton Road showroom

business profile Single wine storage units, displayed as pairs The Wolf ICBSO36U/S built-in 914mm single oven enjoys pride of place

Big is best: a single oven 914mm Wolf range, left, next to the 1219mm model


product consultant profile John Linehan

From left, 2-ring framed electric hob, single gas multi-function cook top, 2-ring gas hob, electric grill, 5-ring gas hob, which can be arranged in any combination

Wolf’s 2-ring framed electric hob

“I’ve always worked in refrigeration – too many years to count!” says John Linehan, 59, who runs the showroom, as well as the Sub-Zero and Wolf businesses in Harrods and Bentalls in Kingston. Together with showroom assistant, Guillaume Pourquié – “John Boy and Gee, that’s what we’re called,” laughs Linehan – they offer in-depth product knowledge and technical know-how, as well as an environment that is as welcoming, friendly and sparkly as possible.

“We try to make it an enjoyable experience for clients,” says Linehan, who personally ensures that the rooms are immaculate, down to the sweetly scented flower arrangements. “They can come in here and relax, be offered refreshments, sit with their plans and chat with their designer and with us to work out what they want.” And they like the products? “I’ve never had anyone come in yet and say ‘It’s not for me’,” he says.

Sub-Zero and Wolf The Westye Group Europe Who are we?Craig Davies, president and ceo, and John Linehan, product consultant Where are we?251 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW3 2EP. Tel: 0845 250 0010. What we doLuxury refrigeration and cooking appliances Business history In the USThe Sub-Zero Freezer Company was founded in 1945 by Westye F. Bakke in Madison USA and is now the leading manufacturer of luxury residential refrigeration worldwide. The company perfected the storage of frozen foods at sub-zero temperatures and pioneered built-in refrigeration, working with American architect and interior designer Frank Lloyd Wright. The Wolf Range Company was established in 1934 in East Los Angeles by two brothers, Al and Hyman Wolf, initially to produce professional cooking equipment. In 2000, Sub-Zero acquired the residential line known as Wolf Gourmet. Sub-Zero Freezer Company, Inc and Wolf Appliance Company, Inc. remain family run, and today Westye Bakke’s grandson, Jim Bakke, is president and ceo of a staff of 1,200. Headquarters are in Madison, Wisconsin with a manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Products are still made by hand In the UK Craig Davies, 49, began importing American appliances in 1993, after selling washing machines and dishwashers from a small shop. He set up the Westye Group Europe in 2004 to import Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. “I was a washing machine engineer and now I’m the sole distributor here of the best product in the world,” he says. “I’m very proud of that.” The Westye Group Europe covers Benelux, France, Spain and Portugal, as well as the UK. There are 145 retailers of Sub-Zero and Wolf products around the UK, from kitchen specialists to department stores, including John Lewis Staffing levels65 in the group, two in the showroom: product consultant John Linehan, and showroom assistant, Guillaume Pourquié Favourite aspect of job“Making Sub-Zero and Wolf into known brands,” says Davies Least favourite aspect of job“An unhappy customer” Strange but true“I’ve got chickens at home and I talk to them”


essential retailer profile Sub-Zero & Wolf

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