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 - Project Manager

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.

Alice Lyons - Customer Liaison and Administrative Assistant

I graduated from Bath Spa University in 2010 with a BA in Creative Writing and Media Communications. I spent the next six years working in customer service and management roles in the retail, property and hospitality sectors. Having always wanted to travel, I decided to take a brief career break in 2016 to backpack around South East Asia. On my return, I undertook an interior design course before joining Sustainable Kitchens as Client Liaison and Admin Assistant in early 2017, and I am thrilled to be part of such a fantastic team.

Why are kitchens important to you?
They are the most dynamic part of any home. So many activities take place in our kitchens and they have to fulfil the needs of many people. They are amazingly vibrant and complex spaces.

What you do in your spare time?
I love to keep active, whether it’s through yoga at home, fitness classes at the gym or cycling in the countryside. On less energetic days, I love to find new coffee shops, bars and cafes in the city where I can curl up with a good book or socialise with friends.

Sarah Preece - Accounts Executive

I studied Accounting and Finance at UWE in Bristol, graduating in 2011. Since then I’ve spent some time in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside managing a small eco-tourism business, travelled a healthy amount and finally settled back in Bristol last year. I now work for Sustainable Kitchen’s part-time whilst also working self-employed with various ventures across Bristol, one of which being our very close friend – The Locals Cookbook.

Why are kitchens important to you?
Kitchens for me are the hub of every home. My most fond memories are where my friends and family are together, cooking, eating, drinking and continuously laughing. I love to cook and have a passion for good food, so the kitchen for me is essential. The design can really change the feel of the space, so knowing something has been built with real craftsmanship, passion and a sense of environmental awareness can make an amazing difference.

What you do in your spare time?
I enjoy exploring in most senses of the word. I love to travel, at home and away, from finding new walks in Bristol to flying away for a micro-adventure. I’m also passionate about having an open mind and trying my hand at everything I can. This year I have learnt to throw pottery in a new ceramics class, grow my own food in my new allotment and have just this week tried my hand at riding a motorbike. Next on my list, learning some woodworking skills – hopefully, I’m in right place!

 

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.

 

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.

Alex Siossios - Workshop Assistant

After finishing school I attended Bridgwater College and gained my level 3 diploma in Fine Furniture Making and Design, alongside college I worked in a joinery work shop in Dorset for 3 years making doors, windows and some bespoke furniture out of solid timber.

Why are kitchens important to you?
In my opinion the kitchen is the most important room in the house because it is one of the only rooms where family and friends get to sit down together and enjoy their favourite foods and drink. It’s also a great place for people to get together and discuss their day. It can be a place to relax or it can be the liveliest room in the house that’s why I’m interested in making bespoke kitchens.

What you do in your spare time?
I love to snowboard and surf so every year me and a group of friends go away for the week snowboarding in the winter and surfing in the summer. In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym with friends throughout the week.

 

Ben Fisher - Cabinet Maker

I am originally from London, where I studied at the Building Crafts College to achieve a City & Guilds Fine Woodwork Diploma. After showing my work at the New Designers exhibition, I was lucky enough to get some commissions, a personal highlight being a free standing jewellery cabinet in American Black Walnut. Since moving to Bristol I have worked in several different areas of joinery, from conservation standard sash windows to commercial shop fitting.

Why are kitchens important to you?
It’s where you’ll find me at parties, and I like cooking and baking. A well designed, quality made kitchen can really help the process.

What you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy playing music, reading and also writing my own stories. I enjoy designing and making my own pieces, most recently I made my own guitar.

Barney Moore - Workshop Maker

I grew up near by in Stroud and after studying Art and Design at A Level went on to do a degree in Product & Furniture Design in London. The course had practical hands on elements as well as a more conceptual side which gave me a varied outlook and skill base. After working a variety of jobs in carpentry, gallery design, festival decor production and even as a librarian I moved to Bristol and began work as a D&T technician – assisting in teaching GCSE and A Level Product Design students. I absolutely love the alternative, friendly and creative attitude of Bristol and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. 

Why are kitchens important to you?
A house needs a good kitchen; it’s a communal place that should be at the centre of any home. In the modern day when space is at a premium kitchens have become multi functional rooms, used for living, not just cooking. For me this offers an interesting opportunity for design and problem solving. The challenge is to utilise space efficiently whilst making a functional, beautiful and comfortable environment.

What you do in your spare time?
I have a pretty busy social life and am always out and about seeing friends. Possessing a broad love of music, I listen to anything from Folk to Disco and have collected records since my late teens. I now own a worrying amount, with thousands of them slowly taking over my house! To try and put this to use I regularly put on events around Bristol, DJing and doing a bit of event production. Otherwise I can be found making furniture, drawing and painting or at the pub sipping tasty ales.

 

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.

Mike Roberts - Kitchen Installer

After studying art and music in a level, I undertook an apprenticeship in Carpentry in 2001. I continue to enjoy carpentry and have been fully dedicated in continuing to develop my design and construction skills. I am excited to be a part of something sustainable and kind to the earth, yet not compromising on design.

Why are kitchens important to you?
Although I enjoy all aspects of development, fitting a custom made beautifully designed kitchen has to be my favourite. Kitchens are the main hub of the home, so it’s important to have it exactly how you want it. Whether it be for cooking, socialising or relaxing. The design of a kitchen is a good opportunity to add your own personality and touches. Having a part in installing a beautiful handmade kitchen, that will  be enjoyed for many years, is very satisfying and I’m still dreaming about fitting my own, one day. But not before an outdoor pizza oven,  because I love pizza!

What you do in your spare time?
I spend most of my time with family and friends but especially with my kids, because they’re growing up too fast. I also enjoy playing basketball, cycling and swimming. I like to travel as often as I can, learning about different cultures. I also enjoy drawing and am a self taught guitarist. I have also composed a couple of songs which aren’t taken very seriously by my family.

 

Emily Anderton - Operations, Installations & Planning PA

After studying Journalism in London, I made the move to Bristol where I worked for a few years in marketing. Bristol is a beautiful city and I love the environmental and community ethos here. When I made the decision to change my career path, it was these same aspects that drew me to Sustainable Kitchens: the love of design, sustainability and community.

Why are kitchens important to you?
Kitchens are a place for expression and much more than just a place to cook. Every household uses its kitchen differently – whether it’s a social hub, a family room or a place to get creative with your cooking. My dream kitchen is constantly evolving in my mind, but I’m getting closer all the time!

What you do in your spare time?
A lot of my spare time is spent keeping fit at various exercise classes and eating well. I like to balance this out with a sociable lifestyle – I love trying new restaurants and spending time with friends.

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.

Dan Sands - Final Assembly Technician

My higher education started at Leeds College of Art studying a national diploma, where after completion I decided to work in a local bike shop building and repairing bikes. Feeling creative again I then completed a degree in product and furniture design which I finished in 2016. Straight after this, I moved to Brittany, France where I built my own workshop and worked on commissioned furniture restoration amongst other small projects. In between this I also worked with a building and landscape company working on larger scale projects.

Why are kitchens important to you?
For me a kitchen is a workshop with different tools. It is a creative and communal space where we can spend a lot of time and it important that it works for our needs.

What do you do in your spare time?
At weekends you will see me pedalling towards the nearest green hill on my mountain bike, followed by a fine pint of ale.

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
hello@sustainablekitchens.co.uk
0117 961 6471
Best of Houzz Design 2016, Best of Houzz Service 2015/16
MENU