Katherina Saunders, Re-creating a Tradition
We are big fans of Ella’s Kitchen Company, an artisan company started ten years ago by Norwegian born Katherina Saunders in Shropshire, England who is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year.
It all started when Katherina inherited her kitchen cabinet from her Norwegian grandmother, Ella, the name she also gave to her daughter. After her three children were born, Katherina, originally a chef, decided to go back to work and began by giving cooking lessons for children in her kitchen. The children were so excited when they’d line up to use cabinet which held the flour, sugar and spices – the highlight of their lesson, that they would go home and ask their parents to buy one. Besides her students’ parents, Katherina was asked repeatedly from friends and visitors as to where they could buy this extraordinary Norwegian Grain and Spice cabinet. Since the cabinet had been out of production for years and the demand was evidently there, Katherina decided to try and replicate it and sell it herself.
It took about a year to get it right – one of the hardest parts was perfecting the scoops, which along with the bottles are created using artisanal methods with recycled materials. The wood is responsibly sourced, the cabinet handmade by Steven, a local craftsman and the paint used is a low VOC made by Little Greene Paints from the U.K. Katherina has created her environmentally friendly products to last and hopes that their owners will pass them along to the next generation, just like her grandmother Ella passed cabinet on to her.
“When I started the Company everything was painted Norwegian Blue. We painted all the accessories such as the tongs, ladles, scrubbing brushes and mugboards in my house. My husband used to walk in after a long day at work and see nothing but a sea of Norwegian Blue…I got everyone painting and my kids used to sit watching TV surrounded by packing bags and stickers to pack all the utensils in. No one and no surface was immune to it! A bit like Mr Ford and his black car…people could have any colour they liked as long as it was Norwegian Blue!” says Katherina! Now, the colour line has expanded and they will even do custom colours if you need.
Over the years, Ella’s Kitchen Company has expanded to include Bread bins, Storage Boxes, hanging boards and Coat Hooks. The cabinets and storage boxes are all made and hand-painted in Shropshire England and are sold worldwide.