Over the course of the last two weeks I have played phone tag, dropped in on with no luck, and grilled his showroom manager to get a sit down with a very busy man. His name is Darren Boyd and he is the Western Canadian Director of Sales for Euro-Line (fittingly they call his division Euro-Line West) and I learned quite quickly over coffee at some Tim Horton’s in the Tri-Cities (that was my only shot and deadline was coming) why this man is so busy. He represents the finest in German appliances … I will say that out loud with no fear of restitution after an extremely informative session with his showroom manager Marina Sorrenti (who’s courtesy is only surpassed by her knowledge of the products that they display).
I started the interview by asking about him. He replied by telling me that the more important topic of conversation was his appliance lines. I appeased him but managed to get out a few details. I learned that he is a veteran of 17 years in the industry and the first 15 were with one company. When asked why he left them to join Euro-Line, he told me his reason for leaving came down to two words ‘the products’.
Darren went on to tell me about four other words (names actually), Franke (provides them with premium sinks and faucets), Porter & Charles (who provide them with compact appliances), and of course their heavy hitters Liebherr for refrigeration and AEG for cooking appliances and dish washing. Then he did something that took me just a little off guard … he sat back, took a sip of his coffee and smiled. That smile turned to a grin and he began to explain that the German appliances that he now represents gave him back his faith in the industry. No, more than that, a realization that there is a difference between German appliances and the rest. He went on to tell about his trips to Germany to go thru the manufacturing facilities where he received training and was given a tour of their R&D departments (that he says are out of this world). Darren informed me that German appliances come with warranties that extend to 12 years in most cases.
Well let me tell you, this man definitely perked my interest so I sat there and listened to him talk about his German products for a while. Porter and Charles were first up to bat. I had no idea you could pack an entire kitchen into a space that is smaller than my bathroom! No, seriously … check out the pic at bottom right of opposite page. This company also specialized in touch control appliances (bottom left of opposite page). He continued by telling me about Liebherr and how their attention to detail and precision (an inherent trait of the Germans) affected the quality and durability of the product. Liebherr actually hangs the plastic linings of their fridges in huge warehouses for six months to air them out (they call it ‘off gasing’) so that you do not get that horrible plasticy (I know that’s not a word) smell out of the appliance before you use it. I always wondered if that got into the food? He then mentioned that they also have flush mount and panel front fridges, so you can make your fridge disappear into the paneling. They also have a great selection of bar fridges and wine refrigerators too.
Then Darren sat back and smiled again as he started telling me about his line of AEG products (I think this guy has as much passion for the products as the Germans!). Does AEG have more than just cooking products I ask him? Sure, he says. They manufacture dishwashers that flash heat the water internally instead of using your hot water tank in order to cut down electrical expense (again with that German engineering) as well as laundry appliances and range hoods. But let me tell you about their cooking products (again with that smile), he says. AEG’s ovens, ranges, and microwaves are second to none … and they have the most spectacular steam oven. Embarrassingly, I admitted that I didn’t even know that steam ovens existed (I must be working too much). Without hesitation he began to tell me (obviously from experience) about the steam oven, and how wonderful the vegetables become and how the meat just falls apart. Mmmmmmmmmmm
Well with that we decided to wrap up the interview. I snapped a photo; we shook hands, headed out. On the drive back to the office I began thinking about our meeting and got a little bit confused. I couldn’t figure out which he was better at, his knowledge & passion of his products … or his ability to make me hungry!