This year at Nicholas Anthony we’re celebrating our 60th anniversary as a family-run business. We’ve evolved a lot in that time, and our roots are not what one might expect from a company that designs and instals luxury kitchens, bathrooms and interiors.
At our core, one thing at Nicholas Anthony has remained unchanged – a commitment to excellence. It’s a value that began in the unlikely realms of the football pitch, when Tony Nicholas Snr started his career playing for Chelsea FC’s first team in the 1950s. So, what brought us from there to where we are today?
Founded on the football pitch
Today, our Managing Director is Tony Nicholas, son of the original brand’s founder. He says: “My father was a professional footballer in the late 1950s, playing against the likes of ‘Busby Babes’ and the late Jimmy Greaves. However, there was no money in it – he was on £18 a week, which was a maximum wage because it was all capped in those days – you got £2 for a win and £1 for a draw. Consequently, when he was an apprentice pro, he also trained as a cabinet maker, and he was very accomplished.”
Whilst playing as a part-time professional, Tony Nicholas Snr had one eye on the future and accrued enough capital to start his own DIY store, which he set up in Chelmsford in 1963. The store was successful and marked out a path for Tony and his family going forwards.
Tony Nicholas Jr and his brother Kevin also showed an aptitude for football. Following in their father’s footsteps, they played semi-professionally for the West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur youth teams. At that point, they too developed an interest in the family business, and with their combined efforts were able to expand to a second DIY store in Colchester.
A commitment to quality
As the market shifted, and with the family’s key skills in craftsmanship, they began to develop a specialist niche in kitchens and bathrooms. The more they became involved in that space, the more installations they started to do, which gave them an insight into the vast breadth of quality design and materials that manufacturers use. So, increasingly they began to design as well, in order to meet the standards that they wanted for their clients.
This emphasis on a complete service, from design and installation, needed a brand in its own right, separate to the original DIY store. It was a high-end offering that needed to be uniquely identifiable, and that’s when Nicholas Anthony was born, transforming our Colchester base (which we had built ourselves) into the first dedicated Nicholas Anthony studio.
Since then, the business has continued to evolve. The initial DIY store in Chelmsford became a Nicholas Anthony studio in the 1980s, and in 1995, during an economic downturn, we had the opportunity to open our flagship site on Wigmore Street. Our first home in the heart of Mayfair was at number 40 – now the home of our partners at Gaggenau. We then moved to 44-48 Wigmore Street and 5 Welbeck Street in 2004 when we found a need for larger premises. We also expanded the brand to include a total of four studios across the UK.
“Today, Nicholas Anthony is recognised as a leader in its field, with a philosophy dedicated to delivering best in class service by focusing on quality design, technical specification and intense project management. There are very few who will have a background like ours, or who have evolved so organically over the years. It’s that authenticity and dedication that has led to industry awards, customer loyalty, and a brand that’s stood the test of time.”
Tony Nicholas, Managing Director