Former chef Steve re-opens oven valeting business

Ovenu Oxford._[2]

In another indication that the business world is adapting to the new normal, a former Oxford chef who once cooked for Princess Diana as well as two former prime ministers is reopening his oven cleaning business  after receiving an encouraging number of client enquiries.

As well as his domestic customers, Steve Archibald is also looking forward to resuming his work with the city’s private landlords, many of whom are involved in student lettings.

Steve, who has run Ovenu Oxford for 19 years, has already been contacted by several clients rearranging appointments cancelled back in March. As a result, he already has half a month’s worth of bookings.

During the downtime, he has busied himself updating his company’s web page to improve the client booking experience and preparing a range of safety procedures.

He decided to reopen Ovenu Oxford once the government issued revised guidance regarding working inside people’s homes – which immediately led to a number of enquiries.

Steve is accepting bookings at his discretion, with the strict stipulation that both parties observe the two-metre social distancing rule, along with guidelines on hygiene and cleanliness. PPE may also be worn. Payment can be accepted electronically, so it is possible to complete the whole process with minimal or zero customer contact.

Steve previously worked at BMW in Oxford on the MINI, leading a team involved in quality inspection and road-testing. Prior to that he trained as a chef in Oxford French Restaurant, La Sorbonne, where he cooked for Princess Diana, Sir Edward Heath, Harold Wilson and one of Britain’s greatest ever actors, Sir Alec Guinness.

He said: “I, along with many other tradespeople across Oxfordshire, temporarily mothballed my business when lockdown was imposed – a very difficult thing to do when it is your livelihood.

“Since then, I’ve been preparing to re-open at the appropriate time with the correct measures in place. It feels good to be returning to work, but my priority is to keep myself and my clients safe.”

Rik Hellewell, founder and managing director of the Ovenu franchise, said: “Steve has taken a very responsible approach to reopening his business and has clear guidelines in place. I hope this provides reassurance to his customers and allows him to preserve the future of his business and contribute to the local economy.”

As well as Oxford, Steve also covers Chipping Norton, Cumnor, Kidlington, Wheatley, Woodstock and surrounding areas.

The Ovenu valeting process involves dismantling key components of an oven such as the door, interior panels, fan, and shelves and placing them into a design registered tank, using non-caustic cleaning products. The whole process leaves the oven in immaculate condition.