On September 12th, Express Kitchens held an employee appreciation breakfast at our Hartford showroom. It was a great opportunity for our newest employees to meet the rest of the staff over some great home cooking. We have to thank our great customers for helping us grow to almost 100 employees – now that’s what you call a recipe for success!

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October 30th, 2014

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Aristokraft Cabinetry and its Connecticut distributor, Express Kitchens, are proud to announce the release of eleven new drawer front styles and Pumpernickel, a new glaze finish. The Pumpernickel finish and new drawer fronts are available now at any Express Kitchens location.
Ideal for creating cozy and welcoming kitchens, Pumpernickel is destined to be a new favorite finish. Like a fresh, hot loaf of the bread it’s named for, this warm medium-brown feels right at home on woods where the dark glaze can nestle into the grain and enhance texture.
The new 5-Piece Drawer Front option offers an elevated level of detail to your designs. By incorporating a more intricate style, it enhances the look of any kitchen.
“We now offer over 125 finishes between all of our wood and color options,” said Jerry Mazur, sales consultant for Aristokraft Cabinetry. “In addition, these products are made and manufactured in Indiana.”
Recently being named one of the nation’s best small businesses by the SBA, Express Kitchens offers customers throughout Connecticut and Western Massachusetts an increasing number of options along with better buying power and bigger savings. “They are a dedicated group of business people,” explained Mazur. “They are dedicated to what they are trying to achieve in this industry. They are keeping up with the changes in this industry and competing with the big boys as an independent small business. They are working hard.”
Express Kitchens recently purchased a 120,000-square-foot facility in Hartford and plans to open more locations in both Fairfield and New London counties.

October 28th, 2014

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Max Kothari, CEO, Express Kitchens and his sons are congratulated by Harvard Professor Michael Porter at Inner City Awards ceremony held in Boston.

Max Kothari, CEO, Express Kitchens and his sons are congratulated by Harvard Professor Michael Porter at Inner City Awards ceremony held in Boston.

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and FORTUNE announced that Express Kitchens was selected for the 2014 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing inner city businesses in the United States. Ranking #4 in the Retail category with a 172% gross growth rate over the last five years, Express Kitchens has been in business since 2002. They are the largest kitchen cabinet supplier and countertop manufacturer in Connecticut with over 5000 kitchens already installed. Providing free 3D design services coupled with almost limitless kitchen cabinet styles, customization features and accessories, Express Kitchens has grown rapidly in over ten years of operation. Per Max Kothari, CEO, “we are a family owned and operated business — we are one of the largest cabinet suppliers in Connecticut, supplying the entire Northeast market. Producing and assembling our own cabinet line including laminate and granite counter-tops allows Express Kitchens to pass along savings to customers with monthly store wide promotions as well.” With current locations in Hartford, Newington, Waterbury, Hamden, Orange, Brookfield, CT and West Springfield, MA, Express Kitchens will be opening three new showrooms within the next year. Express Kitchens, having now close to 100 employees, increasingly competes with industry titans Home Depot and Lowe’s on service and quality, reported 2013 revenues of over $14.5 million.

This year, for the first time in the list’s 16-year history, the Inner City 100 consists of 10 fast-growing businesses from 10 industry categories. The 10 industry categories are: Construction; Manufacturing; Professional Services; Food and Beverage; Retail; Media and Communications; Software and Information Technology; Transportation and Logistics; Healthcare and Biotechnology; and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. Applicants ranked according to revenue growth against their industry peers, as well as overall. Express Kitchens ranked 67th overall on the list of 100. The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city businesses and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities.

The 2014 Inner City 100 winners represent a wide span of geography, hailing from 53 cities and 23 states. The winners grew at an average compound annual growth rate of 39 percent and an average gross growth rate of 336 percent between 2009 and 2013. Collectively, the top 100 inner city businesses employ 8,276 people and have created 5,119 new jobs between 2009 and 2013. Not only are the winners powerful job creators in their communities, they also help develop their employees – 73% provide business skills training and 69% provide professional development training to all full-time employees.

“It’s important to recognize businesses like Express Kitchens that are truly driving economic growth and job creation and America’s urban cores,” said Matt Camp, President, ICIC. “We believe that inner cities hold unique competitive advantages for business and the success of these firms underscores that market opportunity.”

Link to Fortune magazine article: http://fortune.com/inner-city-100/

October 24th, 2014

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Consumer Reports: Five hot kitchen trends


Try putting outlets under a kitchen shelf to create a tucked-away charging station.

Try putting outlets under a kitchen shelf to create a tucked-away charging station.

Gray walls and counters, beverage centers, distressed wood and appliances in orange, turquoise and other cheery colors are big design trends in kitchens, according to ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports. Check out those hot looks:

>> Shades of gray. All-white kitchens have been the rage in recent years. They’re still popular, but more designers are shaking things up by using grays and beiges (or “greige,” a combo of the two), according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s 2014 Kitchen & Bath Style Report. Those neutrals look crisp and classic on their own and blend well with many other colors.

Get the look without remodeling. One of the easiest ways to give your kitchen a cool and modern vibe is to paint the walls, backsplash or cabinets a neutral shade of gray. But you have to do it right, or gray can end up giving your kitchen a chilly, industrial look. One way to warm things up is to pair gray with wood tones or energetic accent colors such as red, orange or yellow. And be sure to choose a semigloss paint, which is the perfect finish for a kitchen because it’s easy to clean.

>> Built-in charging stations. With more people downloading recipes, using FaceTime with friends and reading their morning news on a tablet, the kitchen has become a hub for electronic devices. That has led to the rise of cleverly concealed charging stations showing up in drawers, utility closets or cabinets with built-in electrical outlets and USB ports.

Get the look without remodeling. To keep a tangle of cords from messing up your countertops, ShopSmart suggests looking for a freestanding multidevice charging station that looks nice when left out or that can be tucked into a cabinet. Or consider an electrical outlet with a built-in USB port, about $20 at amazon.com. When installed on a backsplash, those outlets let you charge your phone or tablet while using the blender.

>> Distressed wood flooring. Traditional kitchen flooring — tile, laminate and vinyl — still has its fans, but hardwood floors are becoming more widely used in open-plan kitchens. They create a warm, seamless look between living areas. What’s new is that designers are using hand-scraped, grooved and other distressed floors because their dents and dings conceal wear and tear.

Get the look without remodeling. You don’t have to rip anything out if you install floating floors. They fit together without being glued or nailed down to a subfloor and can be laid over an old, dingy floor as long as it’s flat and level.

>> Beverage centers. For people who entertain a lot, creating a designated spot where guests can hang out and help themselves to coffee, cocktails and more is catching on. It can be anything from a simple coffee station to the works — liquor cabinet, wine chiller, ice maker, sink, built-in coffee maker or espresso machine and cabinets for mugs, glasses and supplies.

Get the look without remodeling. If you have space, add a pretty armoire to house wine racks, glasses and coffee fixings. Or park a freestanding coffee maker on a counter with wall-mounted coffee mugs above it.

>> Colorful appliances. Move over, stainless; ShopSmart says it is seeing a lot more colorful appliance finishes. The latest design shows, including the spring 2014 Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York, were ablaze with dishwashers, ranges, range hoods and refrigerators in vibrant hues from high-end manufacturers.

Bertazzoni, based in Italy, says that 10 percent of its appliances are sold in bold colors, including an eye-popping orange. Big Chill, based in Colorado, offers more than 200 bright and cheery colors on its retro-style appliances. And Miele recently unveiled a subtle shade called Truffle Brown. Sounds yummy!

Get the look without remodeling. Keep the expensive stuff — cabinets, counters, major appliances — in neutral shades and inject color with easy, affordable accents such as canisters, place mats and small appliances.

Editors, Consumer Reports

October 21st, 2014

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October 15th, 2014

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October 7th, 2014

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