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This feature was updated at 1 pm on December 5 correcting the company’s new location.
SOUTHBURY — When customers head into the new location of Southbury Kitchens at Playhouse Corner, they are typically seeking a few bright ideas about how to enhance a couple of the busiest rooms in their house. But they will also experience owners Lorie and Wayne Grabowski’s cozy and more sun-drenched showroom nestled beside a popular bakery and local bike shop.
“We’ve got a little less room than our previous location,” Ms Grabowski said during a recent visit. “But we’re surrounded with glass that really lets the sun and natural light filter all the way through the shop.”
That natural illumination helps give Southbury Kitchens clients a better idea of what their own new kitchen or bathroom might look like once the local couple and their son, Kevin, work their own brand of rehab magic.
After several months of refitting displays and fixtures into the Playhouse Corner site, just a couple of blocks from their prior location off Main Street South and Poverty Road, the Grabowskis are taking a few hours to celebrate, socialize, and show off their new digs. The family is hosting an open house from 3 to 7 pm on Saturday, December 10, featuring refreshments, product reps, and door prizes.
While the event will be an opportunity to reacquaint with old friends and fans, the Grabowskis also see it as a chance to meet new ones.
“By having a social event, it removes that stigma of walking in during regular business hours, when you feel much more like a customer,” Ms Grabowski said. “When you come to our open house, it’s much more like coming to a welcoming social event — you don’t need to bring your sketches or plans on December 10.”
Although there may be a couple of cabinet or countertop supplier representatives mixing with visitors, the Grabowskis will be happy to invite any new friends or clients back to their cozy conference area to imagine and plan specific projects on another day.
The couple explained that they decided to relocate to Playhouse Corner when they got the chance to purchase the space outright, versus extending a lease at their former site. And they couldn’t be happier with the results.
“We even changed the configuration of the office,” Mr Grabowski said. “Now it’s right in the middle of the action.”
“It’s great because the office used to be way in the back,” Ms Grabowski added. “Now I can see both the front and back doors right from my desk, so I can greet visitors as soon as they come in — instead of making that long walk from the back room.”
Longtime friends and former clients from over the past decade will learn that out of sheer demand, Southbury Kitchens is actually doing a lot more bathroom renovations today than they were during their first few years in business.
“We found there are less and less people out there doing the kind of quality work that our clients appreciate, so when more of them started asking us to also work on their bathrooms, we kind of expanded that aspect of the company by default.”
Getting into specifics, the Grabowskis also pointed out how their clients’ needs have changed very little during the past decade.
“The major difference probably is we’re doing about 80 percent of our finishes in paint now versus natural or stained finishes,” Kevin Grabowski said.
And they are still reassuring clients that after all the momentary color trends over the years, it is still a popular choice to settle on white. “I tell our clients who are agonizing over color choices that white has been going out of style since the 1940s,” Mr Grabowski said.
To learn more about the award-winning work of Southbury Kitchens, visit southburykitchens.com, call 203-264-4800, or stop in to the company’s new location at 77 Main Street North, Suite 111, in Playhouse Corner.