Matt Rotherham is a man who values his heritage but won’t let it stop him embracing the future and the changes it brings. “I love what we do – the biggest satisfaction is seeing the huge impact our beautiful quartz worktops have on people’s homes,” he says.
“We’re constantly updating how we make and sell our products as technology develops; it’s a real creative outlet for me.”
Thirty-nine-year-old Matt is CEO of Gemini Worktops, an innovative kitchen worktop company based in East Yorkshire. It’s the first stone company to own the full supply chain, whether that’s sourcing materials direct from the quarries, advising customers on their kitchen design and installation – or providing meticulous customer service and after-sales care.
Most of the company’s business is now done online through its website, and it has a strong social media presence to help showcase beautiful images of the kitchens it has helped transform across the UK.
Potential customers can visit an impressive showroom in Melbourne near York, where the full range of Gemini Quartz and Gemini Solid Surface material slabs are on display – and if they’re lucky, also catch a glimpse of Matt’s constant companion, Coco the cockapoo.
Matt says: “We realise not everyone can make it to the showroom so we also offer a virtual showroom experience, with free samples delivered to people’s homes and the chance to book a video appointment with one of the team.”
This virtual experience is a far cry from how the fourth-generation family firm began with Matt’s great-grandfather Henry Rotherham working in the South Yorkshire quarries before becoming a self-employed carving stonemason in 1927. Once Henry’s son Joseph Rotherham Senior reached working age he became his father’s apprentice and also learned stone carving skills.
“Joseph Senior – my grandfather – was a talented artist. He was offered a place at the Royal Academy of Arts but didn’t have enough money to go,” Matt adds.
“He worked with his father instead, making carvings for memorials, public monuments and architectural stonework for banks.”
After serving in the Second World War Joseph Senior returned to Yorkshire and established his own stonemasonry yard, where Matt’s father Joe Rotherham Junior started work in 1973.
J Rotherham Limited moved into commercial marble and granite stonework and was one of the first companies to import coloured marbles and install commercial products across the UK. Always innovating, the family firm was also the first company to start using computer numerically controlled (CNC) technology which cuts and shapes the stone.
Matt says: “This is a more accurate and efficient method of production compared to cutting by hand and allowed the company to grow. In the early 1990s we were the first company to start installing granite and quartz worktops across the UK, working with building contractors, retailers and kitchen showrooms. “Soon we were installing more than 100 worktops a week and employed 120 people in the factory.”
The Gemini Worktops brand was first launched in 2003, with the high quality quartz surfaces initially sold by kitchen retailers. In 2020 Matt then set up geminiworktops.com and started selling directly to customers looking to transform their kitchens.
Despite making use of the latest technologies, Matt is keen for the company to remain true to its expert heritage and commitment to quality. He says: “Through our nearly 100 years of stonemasonry experience – and 50,000 kitchen worktop installations across the UK – we know that by selling direct to customers we can help them achieve the very best design and finished result. We create our own high quality products and our talented engineers and designers ensure it looks beautiful, is durable and will last a lifetime. And because we own the whole supply chain we’re able to pass significant cost savings on to our customers.”
“We want every customer to have the very best experience and be delighted by the impact their new Gemini worktop has on their home.”
Anyone looking for a stunning addition to their kitchen can order free samples or book an in-person or online consultation via the Gemini Worktops website here