If you thought the Big Banana was the pinnacle of Coffs Harbour, think again. It’s great(!), but in fact it’s not the best store in the world. Not officially anyway. For that, you’d have to head down to Your Kitchen Shop in the shopping mall in Harbour Drive.
In 2005 Your Kitchen Shop was recognised as the GIA (Global Innovator Award) “Best Homewares Store – Australia” and then went head to head – as the Australian finalist – with a range of other retailers from 26 countries around the globe and achieved one of the top five global awards, the “Best in the World – Single Store” category award.
When Graeme Thompson and his then wife Fiona took over the business in 2002, they changed the name from “Lady Kitcheners” to “Your Kitchen Shop” and Fiona set herself and Graeme the monumental task (maybe ‘big hairy audacious goal’) of winning the Global Innovator Award, which they achieved, sadly just a year after Fiona passed away.
The award recognises excellence across a range of disciplines, from visual merchandising to staff product knowledge to depth of product range, and today Graeme reckons they are the largest stockist of kitchenware on the North Coast. You’d have to go to the Gold Coast or down to Newcastle to find anything like the same range of products, and many customers regularly travel from Tamworth and Armidale to Coffs Harbour when they need something for their kitchen.
“People are a little over buying everything online,” says Graeme, “particularly when they’re making an important purchase for their kitchen, they want to see, touch and feel the product. And I say that even when we have an online shop ourselves!”
As such a major kitchenware retailer it’s no surprise that Graeme and his new wife Kathryn stock both the I.O.Shen range of professional grade kitchen knives and the Nirey electric knife sharpener range.
“I.O.Shen knives are in my opinion some of the best knives available and they are in fact our bestselling knives. You really don’t need a lot of knives – just a few really good ones and the two and three knife sets from I.O.Shen are a great choice and very popular. When it comes to individual knives the Santoku knife and the small paring knife are pretty popular as well.”
Graeme is also a fan of the Nirey range…
“In the past we’ve struggled to get good electric knife sharpeners, but the Nirey is the best we’ve seen and there’s a model to suit most uses.” adds Graeme.
Graeme and Kathryn are currently riding the wave of the food processor cookers – the latest gadget for the modern kitchen (next step – robots). As we’ve had mentioned to us before, what you sell in a kitchenware retailer on Monday is heavily influenced by whatever was happening on the TV cooking shows over the weekend! Or the ads.
As well as the kitchenware outlet, Graeme and Kathryn have opened a sister store in Coffs Harbour called Let’s Bake & Decorate, where they stock baking and cake decoration items and offer Wilton Method cake decorating courses.
It might not surprise you to know that Graeme is not a big fan of cooking and making cakes in his spare time – he is in fact a keen motorcycle rider. They may have an impressively large range of kitchen and cooking equipment in store, but there’s one piece of equipment Graeme won’t be selling you any time soon – his 1000cc Kawasaki motorbike.
Your Kitchen Shop
13 Harbour Drive