Former printer Richard able to make his mark after launching oven valeting enterprise Ovenu Fareham

At the age of 55, Richard Lawrence is delighted to have finally achieved the long-cherished ambition of becoming his own boss.

He said, “It’s daunting to start a business from scratch, much less in the middle of a lockdown, but I’m very enthusiastic and determined to make it a real success.”

The avid do-it-yourselfer started Ovenu Fareham and completed Ovenu’s extensive training program.

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He said he already had encouraging levels of customer bookings in the coming weeks. Once founded, he plans to expand the business by using a subcontractor to operate a second van.

Richard worked in the commercial printing business for more than 20 years, moving from printing press to managing a reprography department. One of his jobs was printing programs for various Premiership clubs.

However, with the general decline of the printing industry, he was fired in 2017 and retrained as a financial services advisor for a large insurer.

“/> Richard Lawrence founded Ovenu Fareham. Image by Stewart Turkington

He added, “For the past few years I’ve been working from home advising clients over the phone about health and life insurance policies, but the pandemic made me realize it was time to take control of my career.

“I am a person and I really look forward to getting in touch with my customers and delivering a tangible product – restoring the oven cavity condition.”

Originally from Aldershot, Richard is married to teacher Helen and they moved to Fareham in the mid-1990s. The couple have a son who is in sixth grade college.

Ovenu Fareham, which also includes Hill Head, Stubbington, Titchfield, Whiteley, Portchester and Wickham, accepts bookings at its own discretion. Both parties strictly adhere to the two-meter rule of social distancing and guidelines on hygiene and cleanliness.

“/> Richard Lawrence founded Ovenu Fareham. Image by Stewart Turkington

Rik Hellewell, Founder and General Manager of the Ovenu franchise, said, “Not only does Richard have the skills to run a successful business, he is a very practical person who takes great pride in what he does.”

In the Ovenu-Valeting process, key components of an oven such as the door, interior trim, fans and shelves are disassembled and incorporated into design-registered tank equipment that uses safe, non-caustic and biodegradable products to clean the oven parts.

Rob Cunningham from Waterlooville joined Richard and started an Ovenu franchise. Rob, a former baker, recently started Ovenu Petersfield, which covers Petersfield, Meon Valley, Liss, Waterlooville, Denmead and Clanfield.

For a free quote, call Richard on 01329 273073, email or visit

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron

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