Meet our Team

The Sustainable Kitchens Team

Sam & Charlie joined forces in 2008 and have grown from two men and a van to a small innovative team of designers, office staff and a workshop team.

In order from left to right we have;

Patrick Duffy – Maker, Olga Alexandru – Marketing Executive, Jamie Aubrey – Apprentice (no longer with the company), Nicky Spear – Head of Development, Jake Shaw – Workshop Manager, Mathew Storr – Workshop Assistant, Sam Shaw – Head Designer, Connor Andrews – Workshop Assistant, Jess Couceiro – Designer, Lindsay Anderson – Development Assistant, Joseph Ross – Assembly Technician, Charlie Flemons – Designer.

People Not in the photo –  Charlie O’Beirne (as he was taking the photo)


Our Design and Office team

Sam Shaw - Founder, Head Designer

I studied BSc (Hons) Environmental Science at Newcastle. But I have always been passionate about woodwork and spent much of my time post university renovating houses and working for myself on all types of carpentry and joinery projects.  I started It Woodwork in 2006 with a toolbox and a small van, In 2008 I joined forces with Charlie and we got our first workshop, we changed the business name to Sustainable Kitchens in 2014.

Why are kitchens important to you?
My first big renovation project was a lot of fun but the kitchen design particularly was a real thrill for me. I have enjoyed learning to use design software and creating family spaces for all the amazing people I have met over the years.

What you do in your spare time?
My absolute favourite pursuit is to head off into the woods with my hammock and kit bag for some wild camping, foraging and bushcraft.

Charlie Flemons - Senior Designer

I went to Loughborough University and studied Industrial Design & Technology. I then completed an internship in Graphic Design at Loughborough University, before starting work as a kitchen designer at deVOL Kitchens. I joined Sustainable Kitchens in March 2016.

Why are kitchens important to you?
A kitchen is the centrepiece of any home. It’s the place we go to fuel and sustain our bodies, to create and experiment with new recipes, and the place we congregate to socialise at parties. The kitchen has so many different roles to play and the diversity of the space is what makes them such a joy to work with.

What you do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I like to make things, such as cards, jewellery and paintings – but I’m always looking to learn new crafts and creative skills. I enjoy swimming, being outdoors and travel; I love finding inspiration for my design work in nature, and love learning about new cultures.


Jess Couceiro - Designer

I graduated from Brighton University in Interior Architecture in 2014 and since then have been travelling, selling art work and working as a freelance artist.

Why are kitchens important to you?

A well designed kitchen creates a central hub to host a versatile life.  Having a space to cook, work and socialize creates life, and turns a house into a home.

What you do in your spare time?
I have an allotment which is currently taking up most of my spare time, designing and planning how the outdoor space will work, building beds and a shed and generally learning about plants and growing. This is a personal project I took on, to challenge my own creativity, and to have the opportunity to grow my own food. Trying to take a more mindful approach to how I live.


Matt Higgins - Designer

I studied Furniture and Product Design at Nottingham Trent Design, before working as a designer at Cantilever Bars. I started at Sustainable Kitchen in January 2017. My aim as a designer is to create spaces and designs that are of heirloom quality, designs that will last for years to come, designs you can’t resist cherishing.

Why are kitchens important to you?
Kitchens are the place to meet. For me it is where the most fun happens, whether it is gathering around preparing a hearty curry or having friends around for a refreshing cocktail, the kitchen is the main gathering point in the house. At the same time it is a place you can play and experiment all whilst dancing and singing your heart out, hopefully without being spotted!

What you do in your spare time?
I like to keep busy and get my hands dirty, amongst many things I enjoy playing the violin and I have a pottery studio based in Clifton, Bristol where I throw my own ceramic designs under the Muddy Duck Ceramics brand. There is always something baking in the oven at home, nothing is harder to beat than the urge to have that irristable smell of freshly baked bread in the air! In order to burn off all those delicious baked goods a large proportion of my time is also spent outdoors, walking/cycling and otherwise exploring whenever I can.

Rui Alves - Designer

I studied design at Madeira University in Portugal, but before that I was a sailor for seven years in the Portuguese Navy. In my last year at the university I worked in an architecture and design studio with interior design, 3D modelling and 3D printing. I believe that through design I am able to bring happiness and excellence to people’s lives in a sustainable way. I started working at Sustainable Kitchens in February 2017.

Why are kitchens important to you?
Kitchens are very special for me. It is where you cook with your loved ones, can be creative, also where you can travel the world with different flavours and dishes. I love to cook and to eat homemade food so having the right environment is essential for me. Recently I have been experimenting with vegetarian food. I have been even more amazed how easy and fun it can be to create good food with just a wooden spoon, couple of ingredients and your imagination. A great kitchen is without a doubt what makes you say that you are at home.

What you do in your spare time?
In my spare time you will probably see me building and fixing things at home. I enjoy swimming, going for long walks, going out with friends our just watching a good movie with popcorn. I love travelling, meeting new people, getting to know different cultures and cuisines. Oh and did I mention that I love baking cookies?


Nicky Spear - Head of Development

I studied BA(Hons) Merchandising Management and worked in retail head offices for a number of years in London before switching focus to sustainability. I’ve worked for small start-ups for a number of years mainly focused on sustainability, community initiatives and food. I started working for Sustainable Kitchens in 2014 and enjoy pushing the company in new exciting directions.

Why are kitchens important to you:
Kitchens are the heart of any home for me, I love food and have spent a lot of time in both residential and commercial kitchens. They are integral to everything and I really enjoy working for a company that make them so beautifully.

What you do in your spare time:
In my spare time I enjoy making new recipes, finding new places to eat out and to balance this out I practice martial arts and have belts in two systems. I also help mentor friends who are starting their own amazing projects, I love being involved with helping making ideas a reality. I really enjoy all things sporting and outdoors and enjoy being involved in activities and travel when I can.

Olga Alexandru - Marketing Executive

I graduated with a BA in Art History and Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. I worked in the visual and performing arts in Vancouver doing marketing and communications before moving to the UK. Here I developed an interest in green initiatives and sustainability wanting to work for an organisation that shared my values.

Why are kitchens important to you?
I love cooking (and eating)! It’s important that I have the right tools, a good amount of space and the freedom to try new recipes in my kitchen. For me kitchens represent creativity, inspiration and experimentation.

What you do in your spare time?
I try to maintain a healthy mind-body balance so in my spare time I like alternate between physical activities like indoor bouldering and boxercise and brainy pursuits like playing board games and writing poetry.



Lindsay Anderson - Development Assistant

I studied Graphic Design at college and then worked in London as a fashion and Sports clothing buyer for over fifteen years before taking a career break to start a family. I’m really pleased to now be back at work and at Sustainable Kitchens.

Why are kitchens important to you?
I have always loved kitchens and the design of them and am still working towards my dream kitchen at home. I love to cook and it definitely helps to do so in a beautiful looking one.

What you do in your spare time?
Most of my spare time is taken up with family life but when I do get some free time I love to cook, exercise and spend time on my home. I like to sew and have almost finished making all the window blinds in my house.

The Workshop Team

Jake Shaw - Workshop Manager

I studied music at college. I then worked for an interior design company learning a wide variety of skills including; carpentry, metalwork and general building work. I then worked for a furniture making company in London where I learnt cabinet making, veneering and fine woodwork. While at this job I studied for my NVQ 2 in wood machining and cabinet making. I then had a short spell of working as a self employed carpenter before staring to work with Sam in 2012.

Why are kitchens important to you?
I believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. I think a kitchen should be a lot more than just somewhere to cook, I spend most of my time at home in my open plan kitchen/diner/living space and I love entertaining guests in that room. A kitchen should be as much form as function.

What you do in your spare time?
I like designing and making my own furniture. I like to climb, play tennis and and many other outdoor sports. I play the guitar and enjoy writing and recording music as well as playing gigs. I’m a keen photographer  and am passionate about wildlife photography. I love eating out and socialising with friends and family. I love walking in the countryside and love to travel.

Phil Jarratt - Head Maker & Supervisor

After years of enjoying woodwork at school up to A Levels, I went on to study a Higher National Diploma in Furniture Making and restoration at Leeds College of Art and Design. 10 years on I have worked in some of the highest end workshops in England, Australia and New Zealand. Being lucky enough to build kitchens, furniture and full house interiors for some of the most desirable properties in the world.

Why are kitchens important to you?
The reason I enjoy cabinet making is because I get to build and help solve customers storage issues around the home whilst making them a piece of art at the same time.This is particularly satisfying when building a kitchen as it is almost always the most used and viewed room in a house.

What you do in your spare time?
In my spare time my favourite thing to do is to keep fit. I am regularly found crossfitting, running, hiking and playing badminton. I’m also a very keen cricketer and golfer in the summer months when time and weather allows. When not exercising I love to play and listen to music. I play guitar and bass.


Patrick Duffy - Maker

I studied psychology at the university of Liverpool before deciding on a different career path  and undertaking a course in furniture production (at a college in Liverpool). I then moved back to Bristol  and began an apprenticeship in joinery with Sustainable Kitchens. I have worked in bars, cafes and restaurants as well.

Why are kitchens important to you?
I enjoy cooking and eating well and trying new things to make and eat. There can be a lot of creativity in the design and production of kitchens and there is a challenge in the variety of different designs. It takes attention to detail to make an impressive kitchen.

What you do in your spare time?
I am a big fan of music; listening to, making and going to see it live. I enjoy football, cooking, socialising, film/TV, holidays, reading and making furniture.




Tyrell Simpson - Workshop Assistant

I have completed my Level 1 NVQ in carpentry and joinery and my level 2 NVQ in Furniture making. I have also had some experience working in a kitchen and furniture  environment whilst at college.

Why are kitchens important to you?
Kitchens are important to me because I have been interested in joinery and kitchens since I was at school. I would really like to develop my career and go on to be a qualified joiner.

What you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I really like to enjoy time with my friends, play football, practice my woodwork and relax at home.

Connor Andrews - Workshop Assistant

At sixth form I studied performing arts, English literature, music photography and forensic science at A level and AS level. When I finished sixth form I started work as an apprentice at Bristol marble. It was all on the job training, learning all the the different functions and job roles as well as learning about the different stones, marble and man made material.

Why are kitchens important to you?
Kitchens are in a lot of the homes, the life of the household. Many people chill out and eat in kitchens whilst catching up with each other and on how their day as been. Dinner parties and house parties tend to revolve around the kitchen because of drink and food of course!

What you do in your spare time?
I keep as active as I can and go to the gym and play lots of football. Spending a lot of time with friends is something I do plenty of, whether that’s in the pub playing pool, going to the cinema or even just chilling at a friends house. On the odd occasion, I like to go bowling, for a bike ride and to as many gigs and music events as I can.

Matthew Storr - Workshop Assistant

Whilst I was at college I studied level 2 NVQ in carpentry, joinery, furniture and bricklaying. I then worked within a warehouse distribution company,where I acquired a forklifting license. I have also worked in office administration.

Why are kitchens important to you?
I enjoy cooking and baking and am the resident cake bakers for birthdays and events at Sustainable Kitchens! I really like trying different foods.

What you do in your spare time?
I enjoy go karting and golf and occasionally I go fishing and snowboarding on dry ski slopes. I enjoy socialising in the pub at the weekends with my friends.

Shaine Summers - Installations Manager

I’ve been in the kitchen fitting trade for 21 years as a carpenter and joiner. I am also qualified in electrics and plumbing. I have worked all over the world moving back to Gloucester recently.

Why are kitchens important to you?
Kitchens are a passion of mine. I remember fitting my first kitchen in 1999 in Florida. The excitement of working in that environment and being involved from the ground level was fun and providing a great service to the customer was a great feeling.

What you do in your spare time?
I enjoy playing golf. I play off 16 which I’m quite proud of. I also love watching football with my two kids. I am an avid traveller always looking for the next adventure.


Wes Reuben - Kitchen Installer & Site Joiner

I have mainly worked in automotive and building/construction industries. I have studied towards an NVQ level 3 in vehicle body repair and a Diploma in carpentry and joinery. I have had many jobs in my career up to now, but for the last ten years I have been working in residential building and maintenance. So far this is where I have been most happiest as I enjoy that it allows me to grow and express my passion my building and creating. As I have grown older and wiser I’ve become much more aware of my surrounding and responsibilities. I strongly believe we all need to start living with this planet and not against it, which makes me feel proud to be part of the team at Sustainable Kitchens.

Why are kitchens important to you?
I am a massive foodie, I love to create and experiment with new ideas. When I’m not working I’m always in the kitchen, I would definitely say I have a big passion for cooking and believe this helps me to understand how a kitchen needs to work from a cooks prospective, I also think the kitchen is a great place to chill and even entertain which is why many refer to it as the heart of the home.

What you do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with family and socialising with friends. I like to cycle and swim when I can.


Gianluca Dessena - Kitchen Installer

I am originally from Italy and moved to England at the age of 16. I worked in property maintenance for over five years, which helped me to develop a range of manual skills and work towards a Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing. I am looking forward to taking these skills to the next level at Sustainable Kitchens.

Why are kitchens important to you?
Spending time in the kitchen with my family was a big part of growing up in Italy and was where my love of food and cooking began. The kitchen has always been the centre of my home and I really enjoy spending time there making recipes passed down through my family as well as trying out new ideas.

What you do in your spare time?
I like to read, particularly crime and historical fiction. I also like to explore new places, from cities to small countryside villages, and to try out new coffee shops, bars and restaurants.

Joe Hoyle - Final Assembly

I studied Art and Photography at college and completed a foundation year before moving to London to study photography. I loved photographing architecture and printing my own photographs in the darkroom. Shortly after moving back to Somerset I enrolled in a City & Guilds Furniture Making course which gave me a good grounding in furniture making. I decided I wanted to pursue this as a career and managed to secure a job at a woodworking firm relatively quickly where I was lucky enough to work on many varied projects from kitchens to architectural joinery.

Why are kitchens important to you?
I have always enjoyed being involved in the making process of kitchens because good kitchens are a combination of design, practically and aesthetics. I spend a lot of time cooking in our kitchen which is an original 1930’s design. It has a fold out table and ironing board which I think are great, as many contemporary kitchens have a need for clever space saving solutions, but few are as extreme as having a fold out dining table!

What do you do in your spare time?
My partner and I enjoy visiting botanical gardens, the Berlin Botanical Gardens being our most recent highlight, and we are looking forward to a trip to Kew gardens soon. Recently I’ve started growing trees for Bonsai and I also grow cacti and succulents. There are many great pubs and breweries in Bristol which I enjoy visiting.

Working in partnership with..

Jon Lewin & The Locals Cook Book

Jon is a chef and photographer who has travelled the world indulging in his love of food and surfing. His extensive travels through south east Asia and Sri Lanka inspired him to write The Locals Cook Book, so he could share the recipes and stories he had gathered a long the way.

The Locals Cook Book is the first in a series of travel documentary style cookbooks which combine authentic local recipes and beautiful photography along with fascinating accounts of local culture and the stories behind the people that Jon has met.

Sustainable Kitchens, Avondale Works, Woodland Way, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 1PA
0117 961 6471
Best of Houzz Design 2016, Best of Houzz Service 2015/16