John Plant, who was instrumental in the development of Kitchen Craft over almost seven decades, passed away on November 22, aged 84, after a long battle with cancer.
John was father to Andrew and Richard Plant and uncle to Peter Bushell – all Kitchen Craft directors – and grandfather to the company’s export manager, Daniel Wright. He was involved in the company (Thomas Plant, but which now trades as Kitchen Craft) for 67 years, and remained a director and keenly interested in and passionate about the business up until the time of his death.
After leaving school in 1945 he worked in the business prior to joining the Royal Navy for his National Service, and then returned to it, joining his father Hugo, in 1949. Hugo passed on the company’s core values and ethics to John, and in the 1980s some of the foundations for the company it is today were laid.
John started sourcing products from the Far East and as a result of this, imported products were added into the company’s Plumbob range of skin-packed ironmongery. When John first introduced this range in the late 1960s/early 1970s using UK manufactured goods it was amongst the first of its kind in the UK.
By the mid 1980s both Richard and Peter had joined the company and at around the same time the Kitchen Craft trade name was acquired. John was enthusiastic about helping the business grow and was delighted when Andrew and Daniel joined the company in 1994 and 2000 respectively.
Kitchen Craft says that amongst John’s many achievements in the business was introducing an early computerised invoicing system and handing on a solid and financially sound company. This allowed the family to change the business from its wholesale roots into the specialist it is now, designing products for its own brands.
John officially retired in 1993 but often worked a couple of days a week until 2000. Kitchen Craft says he will be sadly missed by friends and colleagues in the industry, both within the company and in the wider housewares community on both the retail and supply side.
Anyone who would like information about John’s funeral, flowers or donations is asked to contact Kitchen Craft on 0121 604 6000.