Burkes Homevalue Kanturk – the plumbing and heating specialist strikes gold

8 Apr , 2024  

Burkes Homevalue Kanturk’s excellence in retailing and outstanding levels of customer service were acknowledged at United Hardware’s 2023 United in Excellence Awards in October, where they collected the prestigious Best Heating & Plumbing Store in Munster accolade. Building Ireland had a chat with store manager John O’Riordan to gauge his reaction.

Recognising and celebrating the excellence of Ireland’s hardware and builders merchant stores, the 2023 edition of the annual United in Excellence Awards, organised by United Hardware – the most successful buying group in Ireland for independent builders, plumbers, hardware and timber merchants – were staged in Carlow’s Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa & Golf Resort on Thursday, October 12th.

On a night when the best of the best in the United Hardware co-operative were acknowledged, Burkes Homevalue Kanturk – who have been delivering unrivalled products and services to the plumbing and heating trade (amongst others) for more than 17 years – took home the Best Heating & Plumbing Store in Munster award, much to the obvious delight of store manager John O’Riordan, who was on hand in Carlow to collect the trophy alongside business founder and proprietor Tim Burke.

“It was a nice notch on the belt and we were humbled to be recognised because we have worked hard for this,” says John. “It’s a big boost for everybody in the store and welcome recognition of the great work carried out by our entire team, so we are delighted with it.”

The first thing Tim and John did when they reported for work the following day was to share the award with the full team at Burkes Homevalue Kanturk, all of whom have been instrumental in this wonderful success. “We have a brilliant team here and they are all excellent. We all celebrated the award. These things don’t come around too often so you have to embrace them when you get the opportunity and enjoy them. We made the most of it. The place was buzzing and everybody in the store deserved the lift it gave us.”

Burkes Homevalue Kanturk began life in May, 2006 as Tim Burkes Kanturk. Tim and his team focused predominantly on heating and plumbing in the early days and this has remained very much their core speciality, although other products and services have also been added, including bathroom & tiles, floors and doors, paints and hardware.

“Tim had worked in the trade as a plumber for 40 years, whereas I had experience in plumbing and bathrooms working in buying and selling at Chadwicks,” John continues. “With our combined experience of both aspects of the business, we complemented each other quite well and built the business up from there. We hit the ground running and things went even better than expected in the beginning but then the recession kicked in…”

As the Celtic Tiger gasped its last breath and destabilised the economy, Burkes Homevalue Kanturk weathered the storm by putting customer service first in decidedly challenging times. “We only wobbled, we didn’t fall, and we came through it, still building our customer base,” the store manager reflects. “In 2014, we joined the Homevalue group and, with their backing, we grew steadily over the next two years.

“Then in 2016, we moved to larger premises and incorporated hardware, light hardware and paints into the business. Tim’s son Cathal and daughter Emma joined the business at that stage, looking after paints / light hardware and tiles & bathrooms respectively, with myself and Tim still over the plumbing and heating side.”

Between part-time and full-time team members, Burkes Homevalue Kanturk generate employment for a crew of ten. A strong ethos of backing up quality products with exceptional customer care – all at a value-added price – has seen the store’s influence spread near and far…

“We deliver out as far as Limerick and Kerry now and into west Cork, which is quite a bit away,” John confirms. “We are getting our name out there and customers are coming in from near and far. Word is getting out about the quality of the products and service we are providing.

“It’s important that the service and pricing are right, because customers need that. Thankfully, we are growing our customer base all the time and our catchment area is expanding too.

“One of our main aims in the store is that everybody is singing off the same hymn sheet and that the store is seen as a welcoming place, where knowledge and quality are a given and the customer is made to feel welcome. We want our customers to feel comfortable. They know they can come to us if they have a problem or a query. We pride ourselves on looking after all customers no matter what. Even if we don’t have what they are looking for, we will point them in the right direction.

“Also, when a customer comes into the store, our attitude is that there is no such thing as a stupid question. They know we will help them in any way we possibly can and in turn they will spread the word to others that this is the place to come.”

While dealing directly with the heating and plumbing trade is Burkes Homevalue Kanturk’s bread and butter, they are also slowly building up their presence in the hardware, light hardware and paints side of things, providing the same exceptional standard of service for which they are renowned by the plumbing fraternity to builders, decorators, DIY-ers and home owners alike.

“Plumbing and heating is what we are known for. When a customer comes in, they know they are going to get a quality product at the right price and with service to match. That’s the customer service we strive to deliver every time. We make plumbers – and all other customers – feel special when they come into the store and we give each of them our full, undivided attention and let them know how much we appreciate them coming in to us.”

Burkes Homevalue Kanturk has come a long way in a relatively short period of time and, with a 2023 United in Excellence Awards wintering in this brisk and busy industry-leading store, John O’Riordan agrees that the sky is the limit going forward:

“Since we threw open our doors in the summer of 2006, we haven’t stopped moving forward and thinking of new ideas,” he concludes. “The world is a rapidly-changing place and nowhere is this more evident than in heating and plumbing.

“Our team are experienced, knowledgeable, fully trained and kept up to date with advancements in renewable energy because we appreciate that we have to keep looking to the future, moving with the times and making sure we can continue to provide our customers with the latest products and the best service they get anywhere.”

Burkes Homevalue Kanturk sets the standard in customer service and it’s safe to assume that there is much more to come from this exceptional, award-winning business!

Burkes Homevalue Kanturk,

Percival Street,


County Cork.

Tel: 029 51713

Email: [email protected]

Web: burkeshomevalue.ie

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, April 2024, Vol 10 No 4