The Real Heart Of A Home

By Jean Nakanishi
Wednesday - February 08, 2006
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Sub-Zero/Wolf staff members Michael Yee, Buddy Moore, Roberta Watanabe, Brad Yano, Rory Ikeda, Jamie Saulibio, Carol Nakagawa, Russell Uyehara, Carol Nardello and Jean Nakanishi

Sub-Zero/Wolf staff members Michael Yee, Buddy
Moore, Roberta Watanabe, Brad Yano, Rory Ikeda,
Jamie Saulibio, Carol Nakagawa, Russell Uyehara,
Carol Nardello and Jean Nakanishi

From the time I was a young girl I understood the importance of a well-designed kitchen. My petite mother, at barely 5 feet tall, had a passion for cooking. The standard counter height was awkward for her and made it tiresome for her to cook. Fortunately, my father was a general contractor so he custom-built the kitchen counter tops to better fit her small stature. With this, I realized that when it comes to kitchens, one size does not fit all.

Growing up, our kitchen was the heart of our home. I think this still rings true for most families. The kitchen isn’t just a place where you prepare meals, but a place where the kids do their homework, where bills are paid, conversations blossom, and memories are created. It’s the first room that gets the renovation and typically the room where the most money is spent.

It’s not surprising that I now work for Sub-Zero/Wolf, the industry’s leading manufacturer of top-of-the-line refrigeration and cooking appliances.

In the past, the typical SubZero/Wolf customers were food-savvy people in the upper income bracket and over 50 years old. Now, gourmets of all ages know about the food preservation benefits of the Sub-Zero dual refrigeration system and precise cooking control provided by Wolf appliances.

Young couples in their 30s and early 40s are coming into the showroom with kids in tow. They may be young, but not naïve about the world of kitchen appliances. Young people have done their own research that extends beyond The Food Network and Home and Garden Television.

Movies like Sideways have increased interest in wine among younger crowds, which has spurred interest in our wine storage units. We’re finding these trends are driving customers into our showroom who know what they want with the money saved for their well-planned purchase.

Our showroom, the first of its kind in Hawaii, allows customers to touch, feel and visualize the appliances in their home by walking through eight beautiful kitchen vignettes. Each one has a distinct personality. I’ve found that because we don’t do direct sales in the showroom, our customers seem at ease knowing they are visiting to be educated. We pride ourselves on being able to answer questions about our wide range of products distributed through 16 authorized dealers throughout the state.

Our customers are so important to us that we periodically invite them into our showroom for complimentary cooking demonstrations. In 2004, we hired Island Chef Carol Nardello for her culinary expertise and for a chef’s perspective of what kitchen features are important. Chef Carol teaches even the most inexperienced cook how to prepare meals on their newly purchased Wolf ranges, cooktops and ovens, while our knowledgeable product specialists demonstrate features and benefits as well as educate on how to maintain the appliances.

An important goal at SubZero/Wolf is to give back to the community by educating and encouraging culinary students. We partnered with Roy’s Restaurants and the Culinary Institute of the Pacific in November 2005 and hosted the second annual culinary competition at our SubZero/Wolf showroom in which proceeds went to scholarships for the participating students. We’re looking forward to our next event in early March.

It feels great to be part of a company that has been in Hawaii for more than 15 years, distributing a brand that is trusted by so many families. It’s not until you own a Sub-Zero refrigerator and cook on a Wolf appliance that you truly understand the joy a kitchen can bring to your home.

Next Week: Mattson Davis, Kona Brewing Co.

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