Couple fulfil ambition to open new showroom

Dale and Jaime OConnor with children Harrison and Holly.
Dale and Jaime OConnor with children Harrison and Holly.

A couple from Southowram will achieve their long-held ambition of opening their own AGA showroom later this month.

Dale and Jaime O’Connor, who have run an AGA servicing business from their base in Southowram for more than 15 years, will open their Ripponden store on June 23.

The couple, who have built up a 2,000-strong client base, have been appointed AGA’s new “retail partners” for areas of West Yorkshire and will for the first time sell AGA’s “new generation” cookers as well as cookware and textiles.

Jaime, who appeared on BBC television’s Dragons’ Den in 2012 with a range of products she created for cleaning AGA cookers and other ovens, said: “We are delighted to have been given this opportunity, something we have worked for as we built up our reputation over years.”

Only last year, fearing their dream may never come true, the couple and their two children visited New Zealand ahead of plans to emigrate. “Dale was offered a job there and we loved it.

But soon after we arrived home, we were offered this opportunity and we didn’t hesitate to accept.”

The new showroom on Oldham Road, Ripponden, the only official AGA outlet serving customers in Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford, Wakefield and Oldham, will stock the latest range of the cookers, including AGA’s new 3 series, launched on their opening date. They will also sell a range of cookware including pans, kettles and baking trays.

Dale said: “I have been servicing AGA cookers for 15 years and the latest range includes everything people love about them but gives you more flexibility and better energy efficiency. And we will continue to run our servicing department from the new showroom.”

The couple believe their reputation was inadvertently endorsed when they took the AGA representatives for lunch to a local restaurant after their discussions at the showroom. “As we were leaving, there were two or three of our regular clients at separate tables,” Jaime said. “One told Dale she had recommended him to a friend and another said seeing him had reminded her to book her AGA service. It was just as though we had planned it!”