Ovenu was founded in 1994 and now operates as a UK-wide network of more than 100 franchisees, with operators as far afield as America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The company also sells replacement parts for domestic ovens. “More and more households are looking to keep their expensive items rather than upgrading them – and they’re turning to people like us,” says Hellewell.
The Ovenu valeting process involves dismantling key components of an oven such as the door, interior panels, fan and shelves and placing them into design-registered equipment, which uses non-caustic products to clean the oven parts.The whole process takes around three hours.
“I use the internet to measure how we’re doing," says Hellewell. "November 2008 was the best month for trading we’ve ever had. The service we offer to supply replacement and spare parts for ovens has also grown substantially; sales last year doubled. Customers are looking at ways to prolong the life of their appliances and are putting off buying big-ticket items.”