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The Thing About Brands

The foodie movement is a pretty new thing, it was not all that long ago that boil-in-a-bag fish from the twollie-for-twollie shop was you midweek tv-dinner. You can knock the millenial generation all you like, but let's be clear, they were never going to settle like we did.

And while mom was content slapping together a "meal" that's litterally cooked in the bag it came in, and dad was happy so long as he got the big piece of fish (although honestly, I have my doubts about that stuff really being fish - or protein - or even carbon based) an electrical stove was a suitable companion for getting the family cooking done.

Looking backwords (hindsight 20-20 and all that) it's pretty obvious that by the time your mom is thinking cook-in-a-bag fish an acceptable meal to put on the table, you have reached rock bottom. The cycle has bottomed out. How much further can you sink?

And what always marks the end of a downward spiral?

Vive la révolution

That's right - it turns out you don't need over-alls and berets to start a revolution. Cultural revolutions are happening all the time. But just like political revolutions, cultural ones mean out with the old and in with new. And for our little revolution some pretty big changes were afoot.

For starters, and possibly the biggest contribution that revolution made was that lay-people (that's average Joe's not hookers you delinquent) discovered there were ways to cook veggies other than boiling them. Which lead many a shattered spirit to cry silent angel tears for the lost years of insufferable gastronomic ignorance. And even elicited a judjy nasal bark from the French collectively.

Another glaring atrocity that needed to be addressed was the practice of factory farming. True, we're not yet anywhere near rid of the practice, but knowledge of it's heinousness has indelibly nestled itself firmly into that dark recess of our collective souls where no light can penetrate and where it's scary to visit, where happy thoughts are ravaged and only sadness-blossoms are allowed to grow.

And the chicken gods smiled upon the humans...

There are countless other positives we can attribute to the gourmand revolution, but the one that's truly of interest to us is the renaissance of home cooking and everything that goes with it. It may be true that a bad worker always blames his tools, but it's also true that a good artisan sees that as the betrayal of a faithful friend. Home cooks now value the right tools; pots and pans, the right utensil and, of course the kitchen furniture (stoves, cookers, hobs and ovens) we use to prepare the meals.

But just because the newly empowered home-cook has learned to value their cooking appliances doesn't mean the market has kept up.

You can go to shops where you can find real entry level stoves (you know the one's you buy from the mass market "building and home-care" shops that have all but destroyed the SME DIY market; where you open the door to the oven inspectingly and end up with the door in your hand completely severed from the stove you were just admiring - and you stand there flushed and panicked thinking you're gonna have to buy this crap now).

You can also find shops (and there are load of them) where you can buy the mid-range units manufactured (or at least China-sourced and then branded) by the brands you know and love (you know the shops where you walk through the door and 7 skinny "sales consultants" and one sumo-gorilla-sales-consultant wrestle first each other and then you to become your honorable guide; who then gleefully drag your unknowing little ass off to the "best unit for your requirements" which they must have discovered telepathically cos you haven't yet told them your requirements. Thankfully this has nothing to do with kickbacks from suppliers.)

You can even find poncy little "boutique" shops specialialsing in robbing you supplying you with only the finest craft money can buy.

But you can't find a shop that covers the complete price spectrum, hand picks it's range (so you don't end up with the door in your hand), specialises in gas (because if you aren't cooking with gas why are you here? These are not your people grandma!), focusses on education, has 70 some years of retail experience in the gas market, delivers after sales service that'll make you wonder how they turn a profit and still remains true to it's reason for being - A specialist gas store.

Cooking with gas is a choice, it's a decision, informed by the brain and made by the heart, the things that seperate the cookers are so much smaller than the things that unite them, because at the end-of-the-day, it's not whether you are planning to make rusks on a henry-ford style production line or copy every page of one of Jamie's epic cooking bibles on a french cooker with more ovens than a government minister has honour. it's the sheer delight that cooking-on-gas adds to your gastronomic experience that unites us all in the quest for the perfect cooker.

This is the nectar we drink while curating our range of gas stoves. Don't be mistaken, curated doesn't mean expensive and well marketed. We really do find the best of the best at every price point. Just like a simple baguette with cheese can be as good as a Paul Bocuse masterpiece, so too can cooking on an entry level stove be as satisfying as cooking on an exquisite french dual oven flagship branded by the master himself.

Insanely, I wouldn't be lying if I told you we've had customers move house - replace the existing stove with a similar model and take the old one with them to their new abode (chester the cat may get left behind ((and in rare cases the youngest son cos he's a rascal)) but never the stove) - it's a love affair, don't try to understand it, just be a part of it.

Vive le revolution

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