By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub
Ken Cooper has watched the appliance business mature from functional to fashionable in the past four decades.
He began in 1969 selecting appliances for condos on Galt Ocean Mile in Fort Lauderdale while working for Coral Springs Properties. In 1972, he incorporated the appliance segment and named it Coral Springs Appliance Center.
He also transformed the company into a family business and operates it with pride. His daughter, Chris, and sons, Kenny and Mark, have been working with him for more than 20 years.
City & Shore: Who are your customers?
Ken Cooper: We sell to developers, builders and designers. Designers love us because we get into the details. We build relationships with them and their customers.
C&S: What special services do you offer?
KC: We will go out to the house and measure and make sure everything is right. Our sales people know all about the products and can answer specific questions.
C&S: Induction cooktops are back. Why are they successful now? Sears and GE introduced the first induction ranges in 1979 and the product was abandoned in the 1980s after lackluster sales.
KC: Induction cooks with molecular energy and requires special pots and pans. A lot of people didn’t want to change their pots when it came out the first time. It is a great way to cook. If a little kid tries to touch the burner he isn’t going to get burned. Induction produces even cooking and is economical.
C&S: How have you seen appliances change over the years?
KC: They are becoming more stylish, especially for 2015. You are going to see the wet glass look. Miele is leading the pack but Sub Zero-Wolf is also showing them.
C&S: What are your best sellers?
KC: The big thing now is column refrigerators that are available in different sizes. Most are made in Turkey, but Sub-Zero makes them in Wisconsin, which resonates well with customers.
C&S: What are the latest trends?
KC: French door refrigerators and appliances are integrated to look like cabinets. The wet glass look is going to be strong. Viking has introduced a TurboChef oven that cooks the same way as done in fast food restaurants. It has a convection mode and cooks by halogen light. It cooks in a fraction of the time.
C&S: What items do you offer the yacht trade?
KC: Wine coolers are big and so are induction cooktops.
C&S: What is your motto?
KC: We are interested in not how much we can sell but how well we can sell. We build relationships.
Coral Springs Appliance Center, 3500 Coral Ridge Drive, 954-752-3880 or csappliances.com.