Come along on the 17th of September and celebrate in s-tile with this local, family run business!
Linda and Martyn opened Gateway Tile & Slate in 1982. It was so named due to Launceston being considered the ‘gateway to Cornwall’.
After two years of renting other premises they bought the Old Tannery, and the hard work began again to remodel the building.
To advertise this new showroom, Martyn and Linda had a rather eccentric stand at Launceston show one year! They displayed a whirlpool bath and despite the gloomy weather and the cold water, one of the ladies who worked for them at the time begged to sit in it! So there she sat, withstanding the cold and drinking champagne in her bikini for most of the day!
Tammy, one of Martyn and Linda’s three daughters who is an integral part of the family business, told Launceston Life: “All the years they were working Dad was also in the round table in Launceston raising money and putting on events for the town and local villages. Dad loved it when we were in charge of a candy floss machine at one event but it was a windy night and stuck his beard together till he could hardly talk! He also loved it when he was in charge of an industrial donut maker!”
Martyn also opened a youth club and both Linda and Martyn were on a local village hall committee and worked with a local church as wardens and sponsored Southgate under 18’s.
After a few years Martyn and Linda went to Italy to a trade tile show and were so amazed by the products on offer, they then decided to import their own ranges. These became so successful that other independent showrooms in the south west asked if Gateway tiles would supply them and this is how their distribution started.
Since then ‘Gateway’ have been huge trend setters as they were small enough to bring in ranges quicker than the large retailers. This was when their daughters, Tammy and Jo started with the company - after saying they would never work for mum and dad!!
Jo eventually returned to the family business after studying music and working in the big smoke and about 10 years ago, Tammy took over the upstairs and branched out into bathrooms at Martyn’s encouragement.
They now have over 10 different bathroom/wetroom settings in the showroom with many more they can get hold of! They also have a kiln which enables them to fire pictures onto tiles on site so that people can come up with their own designs.
Tammy said: “We have employed lots of amazing people over the years and had various work experience people in, including my daughter this year! So maybe the next generation will be working here soon!
“We feel we have made lots of friends in this lovely little town so we are holding a little party on the 17th September, 3pm - 8ish at our premises at Newport Industrial Estate to celebrate our 40th, and would like to invite our customers (rsvp firstname.lastname@example.org) to come and have a chat and listen to some music!
“Even if you cannot make it, please contact us so we can put you into our free prize draw to win a smartbox experience of your choice, a shopping voucher or a hamper. Just email your details and you will get a number, which will be drawn on the 17th.
“Thank you to all our customers old and new and here's to the next 40 years!”