Kitchen confidential

The TN card is the Tunbridge Wells loyalty scheme that rewards shoppers for supporting local. This month its founder Jess Gibson chats to Sarah Wood at TN partner Trevor Mottram, the legendary one-stop kitchen shop on The Pantiles…


When did Trevor Mottram kitchen shop open?

We opened our doors in December 1975 so we have been trading on The Pantiles here in Tunbridge Wells for nearly 48 years.


You have an astonishing range of products in the shop. How many lines do you have and what are your best sellers?

We probably stock about 15,000 different lines – but not all of these are on our stock system yet, despite plugging away at it for two years now! It is a huge task. We are very seasonal in terms of what we sell so items change accordingly. At this time of year, heading towards Easter, our best-selling items are bakeware, cookie and cake cutters and Easter decorations. But we sell kitchen staples such as saucepans and knives all year round.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I do like that fact that no two days are ever really the same. We have amazing customers and brilliant suppliers. I do all the buying for the shop and I’ll admit that it’s often a challenge to find new items but I greatly enjoy it all.


In 2021 you invited the BBC’s Interior Design Masters team into the shop. Have you kept any of the design changes they made to the layout of the shop?

We have kept them all! People who watched the TV show often ask us if we changed the shop back to how it was beforehand but the truth is the back half is exactly how the programme’s designers left it.  The only thing we have done is bring a lot more of our stock back out after they streamlined things.


How has Tunbridge Wells shopping changed over the years?

The town has changed massively over the years, but sadly not all for the better. The Pantiles certainly needs more retailers now…


Why is it important to support our independent shops and businesses?

Independents keep the money in the local economy.  All the lovely ladies who work for me live locally and shop locally, and their children were at school locally. It’s a real community.


What is the secret to your longevity and success?

I think it’s that we always offer something new, we have a fabulous team of staff and we all work very hard to give our customers what they want.

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