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Our Story

Where We Have Come From

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Originally set up as Chefs Equipment, the business has grown and developed over the period of 35 years to
provide customers with a high quality service from a dependable company.

Business initially commenced operation after the gas works in Christchurch where converted from old town gas to electricity. (It is quite ironic that we are now going the other way and a majority are going back to LPG!)

Movements occurred within 12 months and Chefs Hire, which was known as Chefs Equipment at the time, set up shop on 55 Blenheim Road (previously a Motorbike store and builders workshop opposite Fletchers) pictured to the right.


Leading on from this, 18 months later, Chefs Hire moved to 204 Main South Road, Sockburn in 1987 due to the previous building being sold.


Maurice & Joy Ritchie, with the part time help of his brother Jim and Arthur Schinkle who both played roles in the initial set up of Chefshire, have through their joint efforts been able to proudly served their customers throughout the years.


Chefs Hire then moved from 204 the Main South Road  to 60 Hayton Road at the end of 2002, where Chefs Hire currently trades. The intention at this time was for Maurice to Semi-retire and as he always joked 'Sell Up and Go Fishing'!. This has never eventuated  and as he gets nearer to retirement he still gets motivation from interreaction with his long term/loyal customers and from designing and developing New and Innovative equipment to add to Chefshire's extensive product range.





Business ideas are still providing a lot of stimulus..” The Press, Wednesday August 26, 1987


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This statement still exists today with our current Mobile Kitchens being first developed and designed utilising old caravans. 

These funky, innovative caravans unfortunately turned out to be impractical, hard to clean and had limited headroom. There have been great advancements since in the current Mobile Kitchens, which you will see today, all being designed around the principle of low profile, close to the ground, easy cleaning and multi purpose!






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The company has been trading for a great number of years. Chefs Hire has strived for excellence & service and to be the First in the Industry which it now claims to be, by way of the oldest identity within the companies around, specialising in Catering Equipment Hire. 


The company takes pleasure in being a one stop shop for customers, even going to lengths to custom build equipment suitable for the client and their needs which has always been a inspiration and motivator for the Directors, "We're often asked to custom-build equipment on request, and because I see the entire job through, I give the personal service that many other firms just haven't the time for any longerThe Press, Wednesday August 26, 1987.