Trevor Draper has stepped down as chair of the CHA (Cookshop & Housewares Association), following the sale of his cookshop.
Trevor and his wife Lesley founded The Billericay Cookshop in 2003 but recently sold the Essex business. Under the new owners, the retail outlet is set to become a delicatessen which will include some cookware in its offering.
At the time, Trevor Draper said: “We wish the new owners every success. We have enjoyed our 12 wonderful years in the housewares industry and look forward to keeping in touch with the many friends we have made.”
Alan Hawkins, ceo of bira (British Independent Retailers Association) of which CHA is a division, said: “We wish Trevor well in his retirement and thank him for his hard work on behalf of the CHA and bira in various roles over the years.”
Vice chair Joan Woulfe, managing director of Cooking Marvellous, has agreed to step up to the position of CHA chair.
She said: “I joined bira in 2002 when I bought my first business, which was a hardware shop in Much Wenlock. Over the years my membership has been hugely important as a support network. Until my daughter Katie Smith joined me in the business four years ago, I worked on my own, and I’ve always felt that being a member of a trade organisation gives the kind of support that’s a real comfort when you’re a sole trader. I always felt that in a time of crisis – whether financial, legal or HR – I had someone on my side to offer advice and support.”
Commenting on her new role, Joan added: “I hope that I can in some way contribute to the work that is carried out by CHA/bira which supports the independent retailer. I’ve had a relatively broad span of experience in the industry, starting with my hardware shop, then moving into cookware. I’m as experienced on the shop floor as I am in internet retailing, so I would like to think that I can use this experience to help give independent retailers the kind of support that has given me comfort over the past 13 years.”
Joan Woulfe recently sold her high street shop in Shrewsbury in Shropshire to focus on its burgeoning online operation. The store has been sold to staff member Gill Gradwell, and has been renamed Cooking Kneads. Joan is now concentrating on online operations at the Cooking Marvellous warehouse just outside Shrewsbury, which dispatches more than 1,000 orders a day.
Cooking Marvellous was named as a winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade 2014. The business, which Joan runs alongside Katie, packs and dispatches orders containing housewares and grocery products, of which 65% are sent outside the UK to more than 90 different countries. It garnered another award last year when www.cookingmarvellous.com was crowned Britain’s Best Retail Website at the Housewares Innovation Awards 2014, organised by Housewares Magazine and www.HousewaresLive.net.