A Disruptive 40-Year-Old

Made For Trade is now 40 years old. How has the firm established itself as an innovator and a disruptor especially when it comes to highly engineered aluminium roof lanterns, flat rooflights and bi-folding doors?

Originally established as Aanco in Sheffield by Richard Gaunt in 1979, the company was officially incorporated on 13 December 1983. It was a business that began as a supplier and installer of windows and conservatories to the retail market. It carried on in this sector throughout the 1980s and 1990s before moving back to Gaunt’s native North-East.


Continuation in retail

It wasn’t long before the company was booming in the Tees Valley area – so much so that it took on a factory, swiftly followed by a show village.

However, there came a time to transition from retail to trade and to a focus on new and innovative products. The strive to constantly improve production and manufacturing took a huge leap forwards in the early 2000s when Richard’s son Bradley joined the team, bringing with him qualified experience in lean manufacturing that would take the company through newfound efficiencies and on to pioneer new precision engineering standards.

The Made for Trade name was established in 2005.



Aluminium and engineering in tandem

The next significant step came in 2016, with the launch of the Korniche brand with an engineering-led focus. The first Korniche product to market was the aluminium roof lantern, which set the bar to new heights when it came to ease of installation, graphic instructions and its ability to reduce the time spent on site for installers.

The brand established its presence as a household name for both consumer and trade buyers at the 2016 FIT Show and the Homebuilding and Renovating Show two years later where live demonstrations wowed onlookers via installations measured in minutes.


Bi-folding door

Designed by the ever-growing engineering team now headed up by Bradley’s brother, Ashley Gaunt – recruited back to the family firm from his role designing motorsport suspension systems in Italy – the second clean-sheet product to be announced under the Korniche brand was a bi-folding door. It appeared for the first time at the 2019 FIT Show to a great reception thanks to a number of innovative features, plus a price that saw it compete with industry bestsellers. Product number two swiftly became one of the most sought-after aluminium glazed product in the UK as a result.


Even bigger premises

Production commenced the following year just as the company settled into its new home –  a huge 120,000sq.ft three-factory site in Wynyard that brought most of the core functions of Made for Trade under one roof. From initial quotation to final delivery – something which would soon include glass on the same drop – Made for Trade now served the entire UK market.


Quality standards

The next three years saw extensive growth as the family team geared up to meet exceptional demand whilst a new site in Hartlepool underwent redevelopment ready for the next stage of expansion. Of key importance during this time was gaining enviable ISO 9001 accreditation for quality standards.


Flat glass rooflight

The Korniche ‘Flat Glass’ was unveiled in MFT’s 40th Anniversary year as the third product under the game-changing brand name again at the ideal time to capitalise on market demand. The system is now available to order with deliveries starting in January.


Long service awards

Not only does Made For Trade invite the press to its stunning premises, it also hosts regular trade days and in-house celebrations to honour its dedicated staff, many of whom have been with the company throughout its remarkable journey.

Most recently there have been awards for staff who have attained from five to over thirty-five years of consecutive service with Aanco and Made for Trade.


Famous five

A remarkable group of five employees collectively boast an astounding 140 years of service with the company. Amy Pout, Richie Bezance, Brenda Webster, Frank Donaghy and Kevin Southall are the famous five, whose dedication has made a significant impact on Made for Trade. Pout has devoted 21 years to the company, while Bezance has reached the 20-years milestone. Donaghy has been with the firm for 35 years, followed closely by Webster 's 33 years of service. Southall is celebrating an astonishing 37 years with Made for Trade.

In recognition of their service, Made for Trade's founder, Richard Gaunt, and his son, now managing director, Bradley Gaunt, hosted an event to honour these long-standing staff members. Each employee was presented with awards and certificates, acknowledging their commitment and outstanding contributions to the company.

As this business continues to grow and prosper, it remains committed to recognising and celebrating the invaluable contributions of its exceptional staff members.


Picture: Bradley (left) and Richard Gaunt.


Article written by Brian Shillibeer
12th February 2024


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