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Our Story

Classique is an established brand which offers kitchen, laundry and refrigeration that deliver excellent value with the latest trends in technology and design.

Classique was formed in New Zealand in the 1970’s and produced rangehoods locally. One thousand hoods were made and sold in the first year alone and orders started coming in from large stores, including Farmers. Pioneer of the Classique brand, Kerry Harvey, says he distinctly remembers sitting around the lounge table going through the dictionary trying to find a suitable name for the hood collection. “These were beautifully crafted copper canopies with a strong design aesthetic. The family felt the word Classique had a French flavour, and so the name was adopted.”

Classique hoods quickly gained a reputation with leading kitchen manufacturers, who displayed the hoods in their show kitchens, and a national dealership was established. The Parnell store was renamed Hood Centre, and it became the largest retailer of dishwashers, rangehoods and waste disposers in New Zealand, and a significant supplier of high-end cooking appliances and heating systems.

In 1980, Classique developed a downdraft extractor system that could be bench-mounted beside a standard cooker or cooking hob. Kerry Harvey says many customers wanted an alternative unobtrusive system to the canopy hoods. “Having visited Jenn-Air’s facility in the States, I came home and drew up a concept, which was then made into a prototype by our highly skilled metal worker. We spent hours and hours cooking up sausages and steaks and filled the factory with cooking smells while we tested the downdraft, which worked very well.” 

Another key development for Classique was the Tilt-a-Hood extraction system, which resulted from a move towards more integrated appliances. This hood had a tilt door that acted as a hood when opened, creating its own natural canopy. “The kitchen industry loved that, and were very quick to adopt it,” says Kerry. “In fact, one year every kitchen, except one, entered into the Kitchen Industry’s Association competition featuring a Tilt-A-Hood extractor. This became a top-selling appliance.”

The Classique Turbo 600, 750 and 900mm compact hoods were also launched in the early ’80s, and contract manufactured by HJ Ryan in Mt Roskill. These hoods still featured the very effective canopy design, which ensured great steam capture.

From humble beginnings, Classique has expanded to offer a full host of household appliances. Classique has always been a family owned New Zealand brand with a proud history of customer satisfaction.

Classique is sold New Zealand wide and includes a comprehensive range of ovens, cooktops, rangehoods, dishwashers, laundry and refrigeration. The extensive range covers all budgets, starting with entry level products with the latest technology such as induction cooktops and pyrolytic ovens all at very cost effective prices.

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