After nearly 50 years without a refit, the kitchen at St Joseph’s at Havant was starting to feel the strain. Call it retro or plain old fashioned, the 1950’s kitchen was struggling to cope with St Joseph’s long list of social events, especially when it came to providing a seemingly endless supply of teas and coffees with nothing but a few domestic kettles and volunteers’ determination (sound familiar?)
That's why the Hall Committee turned to Steelplan Kitchens to create a space that suited the needs of the Church and its congregation. Julia Corps, head of St Joseph’s Hall Committee, talks us through the process, and how the new kitchen has had an impact on the church.
St Joseph's needed a kitchen that could cater for a lot of people but was easy to use, easy to maintain and still had a homely, comfortable feel.
The kitchen had been in need of refurbishment for a long time before Julia and other members of the committee approached Steelplan, who offered their free of charge design and consultation process to get the ball rolling. "The kitchen was dated, it wasn’t really working as it should, and it couldn’t cope with the demands of the events we host here at the church," explains Julia.
"We've always had regular jumble sales and used to hold a car boot sale. Add to that our soup lunches and annual Christmas dinner - for around 40 people at a go - and that's a lot of food, tea and coffee for an old kitchen to keep up with! We also hoped a new kitchen would enable us to branch out and offer the hall for other purposes."
One reason that St Joseph’s had delayed kitchen renovations for so long is that the area was an awkward space to work with; a familiar story for many churches. Housed in an old school building, it was a big undertaking to turn plans into reality – one that needed an expert to oversee it.
“Steelplan really laid out the whole project for us and made us feel that we were in control,” explains Julia. "Unlike others who bid for the project, Steelplan really had thought of everything. They knew the right questions to ask to create the best solution for us and even brought models of the shelves and units to show us."
Final layout of the kitchen:
According to Julia, Steelplan Kitchens won the project on quality and professionalism, rather than price. Of the three quotes sent to the Church, Steelplan provided the most well thought-out plan and made the committee feel the most ‘at ease’ with the project. It also fit their flexible budget.
"If you’re going to spend the money," says Julia, "it’s better to spend it on something that will last."
A steel carcass with polyester coated steel doors, in Pearl.
Food prep: A mix of stainless steel and granite-effect Velstone countertops, with DDA-appropriate height and high top stainless food preparation areas.
Dishwasher: Commercial dishwasher (cleans dishes in a matter of minutes) ergonomically place on a stand with storage underneath.
Tea and coffee: counter top water boiler: can pour up to 60 cups of hot water in an instant.
Wet area: Commercial sink with drainer
A key part of Steelplan Kitchen’s process is making sure that every aspect of the kitchen meets demands. When choosing every appliance, the design team take into consideration how often it will be used, how many people it caters for and who will be using it.
For Julia and the St Joseph’s committee, the best addition to the kitchen by far has been the water boiler. "We used to have to boil kettles to make tea for everyone, which took ages and was actually dangerous. Now we have instant hot water available to make tea and coffee on demand, no matter how many people there are to drink it."
The kitchen as it is now:
The church has hosted a great deal of events in the year since the kitchen was completed, and the committee feel that it has opened up the space for many new opportunities.
"With the new kitchen, we can now rent the hall for small corporate events, weddings, christenings…we’ve actually had a lot of children’s parties since the new kitchen was fitted. Now that we’re advertising the hall space with the kitchen included, we’re hope it’s going to get a lot more use; and we’re confident this new kitchen can handle it!"
The inherent strength of metal and a combination of the benefits listed on this page mean that a steel Kitchen will far exceed the life expectancy of a standard wooden carcass kitchens in semi-commercial environments.
The polyester powder coated steel is impervious to water. No more swollen chipboard or rotting MDF.
The metal is fire resistant and the powder coat finish formulated so that no toxic fumes are emitted in the case of fire.
Unlike wooden/chipboard cabinets the Steelplan Kitchen carcass does not contain any material that may sustain, harbour or encourage insects or bacteria.
The powder coated finish means that the units can be kept to an extremely high level of cleanliness and hygiene at all times. Essential when used in health locations.
It looks great! The hidden steel backbone is dressed up with a choice of doors to produce whatever look and feel you want.