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As the nation’s largest retail kitchen facelift franchise, Dream Doors now boasts a network of more than 30 showrooms. Spanning the country from Exeter to Lancaster and from Bolton to Bath, Dream Doors has grown from its humble beginnings as a single outfit in Gosport.
Last week, Dream Doors franchisees, Lorna and Roy Easthope opened the company’s latest showroom in the London Borough of Croydon. Joining friends, family and customers of the Easthope’s were Dream Doors Managing Director, Troy Tappenden – who started the franchised business over a decade ago – and the Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Avril Slipper.
“I’m delighted to see such an exciting new business open in Croydon,” said Councillor Slipper. “It really is a super shop, with a strong brand behind it. And replacing kitchen doors is such a simple idea, no wonder Dream Doors is growing in this climate when others have sadly failed.”
After cutting the ribbon, Councillor Slipper joined the guests in raising a glass of champagne to toast the Easthope’s new venture. She went on to say: “It’s so important to have variety in these smaller local shopping parades. In the past few years the only businesses that seem to open are takeaways and charity shops. People want to shop locally, where they can get to know and trust the business owners. This is great news for Croydon, and I know Lorna and Roy will make a success of their franchise.”
Prominently located beside a pedestrian crossing on the busy Shirley Road, the showroom benefits from good passing trade. “Cars are slowing down and stopping outside all day long,” says Roy. “The busiest time is between four and five in the afternoon, where hundreds of cars must see our shop front. Local awareness is steadily building, and we’ve had plenty of people knocking on the showroom door before we even opened. Soon, Dream Doors will be as well known here in Croydon as it is in Gosport, and in all those areas that have had shops for six or seven years. Dream Doors is a big name nationally, and that’s one of the reasons I bought into the brand. I know that Dream Doors Croydon will have more kudos than Roy’s Kitchens ever could!”
He continues: “We’ve been building up to this weekend for months, working long hours project managing the showroom fit-out as well as going out on appointments. It has been hard work, but we’ve had lots of help from friends and family. And we get great support from head office – in particular Bryn Jones, Dream Doors’ Southern Franchise Manager.”
Six months after joining the franchise, Roy is relishing being his own boss and running a family business in a sector that, pre-Dream Doors, he had no direct experience in. “I’ve worked in sales and in retail for all of my career, but never in the kitchen industry,” he says. “I’d got disheartened with corporate life and was fed up of going through the motions in soulless meetings. So when I moved on from a senior position at Woolworths, I knew I couldn’t face that life any more. This is what I left the corporate arena for. I’m more excited about Dream Doors than anything I’ve done before. It is a steep learning curve, but I enjoy the pressure. And what’s more, I get to work alongside my wife, and see much more of my family.”
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