A KITCHEN design business in Uxbridge which has created worksurfaces for Royalty is this year celebrating its 25 th anniversary.

The Kitchen Company , based in Belmont Road, Uxbridge, was the brainchild of three designers working in Hayes during the 1980s, and today only one remains as the figurehead of the business.

During their first quarter of a century their clients have included King Hussein of Jordan, and former Eastenders star Shane Ritchie.

Chris Sutherland, owner, 53, said: "We were working at Paynes in Hayes, which was based where the McDonalds is now, when we decided to try something new and open up a business on our own, I was 28 at the time.

"We could see Hayes going downhill, and decided Uxbridge would be a better place for us to be based, as it is a bigger shopping centre, and we would stand a better chance of then pulling in customers from places like Buckinghamshire.

"We took the site (in Belmont Road) of the place of an old furriers.

"It was the era where customers would buy a fur coat, walk out of the shop, and get red paint thrown all over them by animal rights activists, in the end they couldn't stand it and moved."

That was in 1985, and a year later a second unit became available, and several years later so did a third, giving the company the expansive premises it occupies today.

Since then the company has survived two recessions and is still going strong, so what is the secret of their success?

"We find that reputation is everything most of our work comes through recommendations, I would say about 70 per cent.

"You only get that if you do a good job for people, and if something goes wrong you sort it out quickly.

"The early nineties (recession) didn't affect us too much, a slight blip in 1990 but nothing really.

"This latest recession is more substantial, although 2009 was actually a good year for us, better than I had expected."

Employing a small staff of just nine, the name The Kitchen Company does not tell the full story, as the business has also been fitting bedrooms and home offices for several years.

"Most houses just have one kitchen, but three or four bedrooms, so potentially its a good business opportunity for us, they are less complicated, no plumbing to sort out, and quicker to fit."

While former business partners have since moved on elsewhere or simply retired Mr Sutherland is finding that demands of customers seeking kitchens has changed dramatically over the years.

"In the 1980s we were selling nothing but wooden kitchens, carved, with heavy doors, now we don't sell that because nobody wants it.

"Today everybody wants a kitchen that is modern, sleek, easy to clean with nothing on show, completely de-cluttered, usually granite."

One thing Mr Sutherland is not so keen on is the year-round sale technique of big department stores.

"We tend not to do sales, because when you do, customer hold off for the rest of the year.

"Businesses which do year-round sales nowadays anyway, which devalues it and makes it a joke, and people fall for it, it creates pressure to buy now, rather than wait until next month."

And as for the future? Mr Sanderson says he would like to keep going, but slowly ease down on his hours.

"I work 12 hours a day for six days a week, I would like to cut that to 10 hours a day five days a week."