Kitchen Encounters, a family-owned business since 1981 — offering a unique and effective approach to kitchen design — is celebrating its 40th anniversary in May.
Situated in the heart of the Annapolis Design District, Kitchen Encounters has earned a reputation for exquisite designs and exceptional customer service, boasting a staff of certified kitchen and bath designers (CKBD) through the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).
Mark T. White, a certified master kitchen and bath designer (CMKDB) and native Annapolitan, established Kitchen Encounters in 1981. After four decades as a small business in Annapolis, the family-owned enterprise is still known for its quality products, and unique and creative designs — having received many design awards, and having projects appear on HGTV and featured in national and regional publications.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years since I started Kitchen Encounters as a small custom countertop shop in a rented basement, and my first delivery was in a 1967 Volkswagen microbus on which I stenciled Kitchen Encounters over gray primer,” White said. “I moved into selling cabinetry a year or two later and have loved it ever since.”
White said the most important thing to him has always been to do everything possible to make sure clients are happy with the Kitchen Encounters experience.
“Born and raised in Annapolis, I have many relatives and lifelong ties to the community,” he said. “My great-grandfather owned a home goods store for many years at 49 West Street, so I’ve always known that building strong relationships with clients and other businesses would be a key to success. We have worked hard to build and maintain these relationships and our reputation of being one of the best in our field in central Maryland.”
Forty years of success has not come without ups and downs, White explained. “I owe it all to the support of my family and friends,” he said. “Thanks to all those who have been part of the journey that brought us to where we are today.”
Kitchen Encounters serves as a founding member of the Annapolis Design District, which was established in 2007 with several other businesses located within the industrial area of Annapolis, off Chinquapin Round Road. The idea was a simple: to build a “cool” urban neighborhood where leading design/build companies, artists and other innovative/entrepreneurial businesses could create and collaborate.
Kitchen Encounters has a strong reputation in the community, working regularly over the years with some of the region’s finest architects and builders, interior designers and manufacturers. The team bases their designs on a simple premise that client-involved design leads to greater client satisfaction. The interactive design process guides clients to the best design solution for their home and family.
“Our interactive design process, developed by Mark, ensures that comfort, beauty and function merge successfully in the remodeling or new construction experience,” said Cathy Terranova, sales manager and certified kitchen and bath designer at Kitchen Encounters. “By using numerous sketches to illustrate design possibilities, clients are able to identify features that fit their lifestyle. When working with Kitchen Encounters, our clients work with the entire team, not just an individual.”