How we became specialists in compact living

The very early foundations or John Strand began when Johann Schön came to the UK around 100 years ago as a refugee.  He had two sons, Harry and Hugh and together they opened furniture stores in and around North London in the 1940’s using their ‘demob grants’ to finance the business.  Johann wanted to integrate into British society as quickly and easily as possible and so he anglicised his name to John Strand, the name we still proudly carry today.

The business originally sold ‘CC41 utility furniture’.  The CC41 Utility logo was a British Board of Trade requirement that appeared on utility furniture, footwear, textiles and utility clothing for just over ten years from 1941.  CC41 meant “Controlled Commodity” and designated that the item met the government’s austerity regulations

The CC41 logo was designed by Reginald Shipp. Even in the austere post-war atmosphere, good design flourished.

CC41_markThrough the 1950’s and 1960’s, the John Strand retail business developed and expanded into more specialist areas such as furnishing entire properties in the increasingly popular rented residential sector. 

Eventually, the retail shops were closed and the furniture rental part of the business was separated out and sold on.  In 1996 John Strand MK Ltd refocused its business on the mini kitchens that it was famous for and the space saving, multi-functional furniture that more contemporary, smaller living, office and shop spaces demanded. 

John Strand is proud of its heritage and has provided furniture solutions in all types of settings from student accommodation to care homes, apart-hotels, shops, flat conversions and new-builds and has even supplied a mini kitchen to Buckingham Palace.


We now operate from our small (of course – just so we can make good use of our own mini-kitchen) office with adjoining showroom in Harrow, North West London.  The warehouse is based in Milton Keynes and we supply products nationwide.

The products we supply are available exclusively from John Strand only. 

Our friendly and helpful team, led by Director Calvin Reeves are on hand to help with enquiries and after-sales.

Questions our customers sometimes ask…

What does the MK stand for?
Mini-kitchens (not Milton Keynes)

Who is John Strand?
The man behind the legend often confused with Calvin Reeves.

Can we have a discount?
We welcome enquiries for bulk orders and trade enquiries and will happily discuss quantity discounts.

Our team are here to help

John Strand started out as a family venture and we still maintain the ethos of family today.  We aim to provide friendly, professional and experienced advice, a professional service and excellent products.

Calvin Reeves
Managing Director

Calvin has been managing John Strand since 1996 coming from a background in furniture and high end office design.  Years of expertise and natural design flair, along with thorough knowledge of the kitchen and furniture industry have enabled Calvin to develop John Strand into an industry respected supplier of kitchens and small space living solutions. Calvin mostly oversees our larger contracts but will also be on hand to lend expertise for bespoke projects too. 

Rudi Reeves

Rudi comes from a background of senior management and law.  She manages all of our policies, contracts, HR and the ‘business’ side of John Strand.  Rudi is passionate about art and design and brings her keen eye for interiors to the table when selecting products from suppliers.

Kas Khimji
Office/ Accounts Manager

Kas is here to help and knows all there is to know about John Strand having been a  key member of the team for an impressive 15 years.  It might be confirming a delivery date, chasing an invoice or tracking down a rarely found kitchen door colour, whatever the challenge Kas can meet it.

Jay Gorsia
Head of Kitchen Design

Jay is our in-house CAD designer; working alongside Calvin, Jay brings space saving concepts into a practical reality.  Jay is skilled at marrying the practical demands of a kitchen or small space with a client’s design brief and has produced some fantastic kitchens on a wide array of projects.

Donna Connolly
Marketing Manager and Customer Services

Donna is a member of the Senior Management Team and has a wealth of marketing and management experience.  She oversees the website and spreads the word about John Strand but is also on hand to assist our clients with any issues that might arise on a project.


Please call 020 8930 6006 or email: to find out more, request a quote or just chat through plans for any projects you might have where space is at a premium.