February 10, 2013 at 8:19 AM
SUMMIT, NJ – When Hurricane Irene flooded much of downtown Millburn, Kitchen Expressions showroom was one of the unfortunate casualties. But they’ve built a new showroom, this time in downtown Summit, and Owner Steven Naphtali said despite the storm’s physical setback, they “didn’t miss a beat.”
Kitchen Expressions designs, installs and remodels kitchens, baths, home offices, basements, laundry and mud rooms, and much, much more. Headquartered in Millburn for 12 years, they established an outstanding reputation for their design work, products and customer service, but everything changed in August of 2011, when Hurricane Irene poured more than two feet of water into their showroom, destroying their beautiful displays and their office space.
They mobilized immediately and relocated their systems, samples and staff to a friend's local office space and a conference room became their temporary office and showroom.
“We didn’t miss a beat,” he said. Moreover, “Our clients (both existing and new) were extremely understanding and supportive throughout our entire ordeal with Hurricane Irene and its aftermath.”
However, Naphtali knew they needed a new location. Initially, the plan was to stay in Millburn, but he couldn’t find a suitable space in town. He then found the perfect spot at 396 Springfield Avenue in Summit, which has wonderful visibility from the street. After a significant top-to-bottom renovation, the store opened in November.
“I’m completely confident that our new location is going to be an outstanding space for us,” he said. “Summit is a vibrant city - We already have an established reputation. We’ve worked everywhere so people know us. It’s just a matter of them discovering that we’ve relocated because of the flood.”
Naphtali started in the industry 13 years ago, when his business partners were looking to open a second showroom and needed a truly detail-oriented individual to help them. After spending over a decade as a real estate lawyer, Naphtali jumped at the opportunity and has truly never regretted it. The company has since grown and the partners currently operate three showrooms – one in Summit, one in New York City’s Flat Iron District (which operates under the name Manhattan Center for Kitchen & Bath (MCK+B)) and another in Brooklyn.
“To me, this is a lot more fun and infinitely more rewarding than the practice of law,” he said.
The majority of their new clients come from existing client referrals and many have taken it upon themselves to post glowing testimonials on a variety of websites like Houzz.com, where design and construction professionals can upload completed project photographs for other homeowners to see.
Naphtali explained, “Our success is grounded in our 3-prong approach to every project we work on – first and foremost, it is important to carefully listen to our client’s specific needs and wants, second, we utilize our expertise and talents to devise a plan that creatively solves their problems and gives them what they want, and lastly, we meticulously implement the plan we’ve created and provide them with an exceptional renovation experience. Moreover, it is of utmost importance to provide our clients with exceptional value every step of the way. During these challenging economic times, people have tended to keep their remodeling more modest than in
the past when clients tended to splurge on non-essential luxuries, he said. “Regardless of what a client’s budget is, they’ll always get a gorgeous project that suits their home and their lifestyle.”
During the process, Naphtali oversees the project from initial concept right through its completion and said the end results always surpass the expectations of the client.
“Our clients keep coming back to us for different projects, which is a testament to the wonderful work we do,” he said.
For more information, visit www.kitchenexpressions.com or call 908-273-4442.