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Legacy Kitchens – Celebrating 40 Years

Legacy Kitchens – Celebrating 40 Years

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Commercial advertising photography for an upcoming campaign and article in the Business in Calgary magazine as well as for the company website and social media accounts. ©2024, Sean Phillips

Home is where the heart is, and that heart has always been found in the family kitchen. Legacy Kitchens has been bringing that heart to life for 40 years and counting, creating dream kitchens for Calgary homeowners.

The Buller family knows kitchens: they started Winnipeg-based Kitchen Craft Connection in 1977 and John Buller moved to Calgary to run the western locations in 1978. The industry boomed, but when the economy crashed in the early 1980s, construction lagged and home builders floundered. John and a partner took a chance and bought the three Alberta locations from Kitchen Craft in 1984. Starting with a small team, they poured their talents and attention into the Calgary store which they rebranded as Legacy Kitchens in 1999 and remains the flagship for the company today.

Since the early 1990s, Legacy has added seven additional locations in Calgary, Kelowna and Arizona, and are proud to meet the diversity of customer needs. As Legacy grew into a highly respected and successful organization serving homeowners and homebuilders, Stephen and Andrew Buller became second-generation leaders, ready to carry Legacy Kitchens into the future. They were the perfect succession choice having worked their way up from sweeping floors and loading trailers as teens to estimating projects and ultimately leadership roles in the company.
Changing economic conditions and circumstances created challenging periods of leadership for Stephen and Andrew, but the pair endured and came out the other end stronger for it.

“The first year of COVID was our lowest year but ever since that we’ve seen growth and are excited for the company’s future. We’re grateful for that,” says Stephen Buller, CEO of Legacy Kitchens. “And this summer we’re going to install our 100,000th kitchen in Calgary. It’s quite a milestone.”

Making this growth and success possible is the incredible team of around 140 professionals who are committed to delivering quality customer service and who proudly earn Legacy its worldclass Net Promoter customer satisfaction ratings every day. One Legacy client shared their experience and wholeheartedly recommended the team: “I had my kitchen renovated this year and was impressed by the efficient, professional way that Legacy Kitchens handled my reno. My designer, Kimberley, was amazing. She was creative but able to pull my ideas into the design seamlessly. It was her vision that led me to choose Legacy. The install was incredible. The cupboards are perfect and the follow-up to ensure everything was done right was a game changer.”

Employees are the key elements and game changers leading to the long-term success of the company. One designer has worked as a Legacy employee for 38 years of the company’s 40 years in Calgary, and there are several other employees celebrating 10-, 20- and 30-year milestones. In a labour-strained construction industry, this is a coup. The Bullers know it can be challenging to attract and retain skilled staff, so they strive to create a positive, safe environment that makes employees want to stick around.
“We have an incredible staff here at Legacy that contributes to our great company culture,” says Stephen.

Customers expect a top-tier experience from this incredible team and Legacy delivers, all the while honouring the founding principles and core values. From a client’s first meeting in the state-of-the-art showroom and initiation of the design process, all the way through kitchen installation, the team puts in the time to understand what a client wants from the space to create the perfect kitchen, always treating their customers’ home as if it was their own along the way. They want nothing but the best for their customers.

“We don’t wait for customers to tell us what is wrong with our kitchens. Each kitchen is thoroughly inspected by a field supervisor and serviced by one of our experienced technicians,” says Russ Jowett, Legacy’s Customer Service manager.

Stephen adds, “Legacy has come a long way in four decades, and what we’re doing today is very different than it was in the beginning. In the early days it very much was putting boxes on walls whereas now it’s much more sophisticated.”

The goal is to ensure every interaction is a positive, warm and welcoming one to build long-lasting relationships. These relationships are critical, and Legacy works at maintaining solid relationships with not only customers but also with vendors and suppliers. Their main suppliers have a long history with Legacy, with Kitchen Craft working with them for 40 years and Décor Cabinets for 15.

Legacy Kitchens partners with suppliers to provide the best products for each job no matter the size, scope or budget. The company’s entry-level Cabinet Solutions brand offers do-it-yourself products similar to big box retail stores with the added advantage of having design professionals onsite and in-stock cabinets to make it easy to tackle renovation projects of any size.

“We supply the cabinets, and customers pick up their cabinetry and install it themselves. It’s a much more scaled-down, simplified business model. It’s done very well for us,” says Andrew Buller, director of Operations.

Legacy has done well for all clients, with DIY to high-end products, and clients know they will get the perfect cabinets for their family home. After all, family is important at Legacy, and the company strives to support its work families, client families and the families in the community and around the world through its philanthropy.

Since its inception, Legacy has been intentional in its charitable giving. Currently, Legacy has three Charities of Choice. The first is Umoja Community Mosaic, a grassroots organization that serves newcomers and low-income families in Calgary through sport, learning and inclusion. The second is Investing Hope Foundation which teaches kids and young adults in Colombia savings strategies and business principles through education models and hands-on entrepreneurial work. Habitat for Humanity is the third Charity of Choice, and Legacy donated cabinetry for 18 homes in Calgary last year with another dozen slated for 2024, and its employees participate in the organization’s Build Days.

Over its 40-year history, Legacy has been proud to join forces with many other incredible organizations including the Mustard Seed and most recently, supplying cabinets for the new Children’s Cottage Crisis Nursery and Family Support Centre in the city’s northwest.

“Charitable giving was a foundational principle right from the beginning. We try to engage our employees directly in our charitable initiatives so they can have a direct impact on real families,” says Andrew.

It all goes along with Legacy’s driving passion for creating opportunity for transformation not only in spaces but people every day.

“Everything happens in the kitchen, from homework to relationship building over food and conversation. We get to be a part of the transformation of such a meaningful space for our customers,” says Stephen. “We are grateful to be celebrating 40 years of providing beautiful kitchens and getting to see transformation in action.”

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