Kitchen business to present at home and garden show


River Heights business owner Al Keith was looking for change when he came across kitchen design.

Keith, owner of Tenten Kitchens & Contracting, has always enjoyed working with his hands, but it wasn’t until an acquaintance pointed out his talent that he decided to make it his full-time job.

“Their commentary was moving. They said, ‘When you’re not working, you seem to take a lot of fun building exceptional things,’ he said.

Keith started out building decks before moving on to renovating the kitchen of his old home. Most of what he learned comes from his father, who he says is still building things or doing renovations in their family home.

“He let me make mistakes; he didn’t tell me what to do. I watched what he was doing and imitated things, Keith added.

Today, he manages an award-winning team of designers and entrepreneurs.

The majority of Tenten Kitchen’s work focuses on kitchens, but it doesn’t stop there. Keith and his team also design and build bathrooms, dressing rooms, basements and entertainment units. They can remove and redesign a room’s existing layout, install countertops, tile, flooring, windows and backsplashes.

Keith says the process begins with a phone call about a client’s interests and whether or not they’re looking to do a full kitchen remodel. Then they have their first meeting with the client where they look at the space and talk about their ideas.

“We’re trying to find out what their best kitchen might look like and what their vision is because, ultimately, it’s theirs; it’s a statement, it’s an extension of who they are,” Keith said. “Your kitchen should be yours and reflect who you are and how you live.”

Once a design is finalized and a price has been agreed upon, usually during the third meeting, Keith sets a date to begin the renovation. Currently, Tenten Kitchens builds between six and eight months, although it only takes about 12 weeks to complete a renovation.

“We want kitchens that are aesthetically beautiful and inherently functional,” Keith said. “We want to add space if the customer is thinking of regular entertaining, so we take into consideration what that might look like. We love what we do and we try to put that passion into every kitchen we build.

Keith says white maple kitchens have dominated the industry in recent years, and that’s over 90% of what Tenten Kitchens has built.

“It’s the kitchen company’s little black dress,” Keith said. “It’s always a good choice, and it will never completely go out of style.”

Gray tones and marble are also proving popular, and people are starting to introduce more warm wood elements, like teak, walnut or maple floating shelves.

Tenten Kitchens will be at the upcoming Winnipeg Home + Garden Renovation Show, which returns to the RBC Convention Center April 7-10 after a two-year hiatus. The team will have a display space where they will seek to discuss with clients any projects they plan to pursue.

Keith will also be on the main stage at Ikea on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to talk about how to design your best kitchen.

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Kelsey James

Kelsey James
Community journalist

Kelsey James is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in 2018 with a major in Journalism and holds a BA in Rhetoric, Writing and Communications from the University of Winnipeg. A lifelong Winnipegger who grew up in southwest Winnipeg, Kelsey is thrilled to cover the neighborhoods she still calls “home”.

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