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Kittridge Kitchen Supply reopens in Agawam

By Jim Kinney

06/04/2008- The Republican

AGAWAM - From 25-gallon stock pots selling for $149 to juice glasses on sale for $1 each, Kittredge Equipment Supply Co. still has a lot to offer - only now it's across the Connecticut River from where it had done business for more than 40 years.

Kittredge is marking the grand opening this week of its new showroom and warehouse with day-long festivities today and tomorrow. Representatives of various manufacturers are on hand to demonstrate ovens, knives, dishwashers, deli slicers and all manner of restaurant equipment including an oven that can cook 200 grilled cheese sandwiches in four minutes.

"We go from the kitchen to table top with dishes and glassware," said Neal B. Webber, Kittredge's president and the third generation of his family to run the 87-year-old business. "We even sell tables and chairs."


Kittredge moved in December

Kittredge moved in December from 2155 East Columbus Ave. in downtown Springfield. The company had been in the century-old buildings since 1965. "We had no room to grow," Webber said.

The new 55,000-square-foot showroom and warehouse on Bowles Road here is all on one level. It also has plenty of parking and nicer, easier to keep clean display space, he said.

"We're in a modern, efficient building," Webber said.

Kittredge has two other locations, one in Natick and the other in Williston, Vt., near Burlington.

Most of its customers, according to Webber, are commercial kitchens: restaurants, bars, schools, corporate cafeterias, convenience stores. "Most of our business is delivery, very little cash and carry," he said.

Showroom open to the public

But the showroom is also open to the public.

Linda F. Castellanos and her daughter, Lianne J. Castellanos, both of Agawam, browsed among the glasses and plates today. Lianne just graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is looking to stock an apartment she hopes to get in Boston.

"I've gotten a lot of things from them over the years," Linda Castellanos said. "You see something in a restaurant, and you can come here and get it for your home."

Webber said restaurants are buying equipment even in a slack economy, especially high-efficiency steam tables and dishwashers that can save on utility costs.

Sidney and George Kittredge and Ruth Webber owned the Springfield building and sold it in February to a company called 6 Liberty Street LLC for $450,000, according to records on file with the Hampden County Registry of Deeds.

They had put the 83,000-square-foot building on the market in February 2007 for $1.75 million.

The new owners, 6 Liberty Street LLC, list Hansraj Gada, of 15 Worthington Brook Circle, Agawam, as the manager on a filing with the corporations division of the secretary of state's office. Gada didn't respond to a phone message left at his home.