Graham Hopper 1959-2020
By Liam, James and Arran Hopper
Graham Hopper sadly passed away from an embolism in the leg in his office at home at the age of 61. Graham leaves behind his wife Wendy and a marriage of 37years, three grown up children and a granddaughter. He was a partner in three separate businesses and he helped to build a multi-million pound UK-wide Leicht dealer network over his amazing 40 year career which became his ultimate legacy.
Graham Hopper was known as “Mr Leicht UK”. He started working for Leicht in 1980 and went on to mastermind one of the largest and most prestigious brands of kitchens being imported into the UK. Forty years on, the brand he looked after is still as strong as ever and hugely successful from his vision and leadership during his time.
Graham was known in the industry for his loyalty – one man, one job, one company and one career. That says a lot about a man’s integrity, highly uncommon these days. Graham was true to his word, straight talking and always down the line. His drive, passion for what he loved fast became his legacy many years later.
Graham was highly intelligent, an intellectual and strategist within the kbb industry. He was three years from retirement, but we’re not convinced he would have slowed down, his ethos was to push forward, build, stabilise, and then grow.
He believed that if things were tough, and you were hit hard, you must not quit. Graham helped mentor hundreds of UK dealers over the years, including his children, and he picked them up when they fell. This was his way of trying to give something back to the industry he took so much from. He really enjoyed watching dealers grow, opening new showrooms, expanding Leicht from Scotland to Exeter and enjoying the spoils of what this amazing industry shares with us.
Around 2006, Graham told us he wanted one day to have a kitchen showroom, maybe at retirement which was still 16 years off then. He wanted to leave something that perhaps carried his name, maybe also to take with him after his long career with Leicht. Graham managed to live this dream a few years later through his children. He was involved in five showrooms – four retail and one contract – across London and Kent supplying thousands of kitchens into the UK retail and construction sector.
What was written was a path, we all share his surname and are all in kitchens with Leicht in some capacity. What Graham built and accomplished is something few have done before him – a national supply of a product with distribution all around the UK, his children continuing what he started, and the Hopper name living for another generation in kitchens.
While writing this we now have a clear, focus, path and vision.
Together we are stronger, faster, and better. A bond that was formed from him. We now enter an exciting new path and era where we are not alone.
The first ‘German Kitchen Design Centre – by Graham Hopper’ is planned to open in 2020 forming retail showroom number five within the group – a new vision which is fast becoming one of the largest independents in the UK!
Thank you for everything Dad.