Family Business Approaching Fifty Years of Custom Construction and Cabinetry
Carver Cabinetry has been in business for 45 years and the family roots continue to grow today. Two of the company’s youngest members have taken on big responsibilities with 24-year-old Edwin taking care of scheduling/shop managing and 25-year-old James leading the sales team.
Carver began as Joe’s Carpentry which was created by Grandpa Joe who is now in his late 70’s. “About 17 years ago my dad, working for the family company, branched off and started the cabinet division which is Carver Cabinetry today,” says James. “The first cabinets grandpa ever installed was in our private school here in Norwich and about a month ago we replaced them with new ones. One of the teachers at the school used to work for grandpa for 25 years and helped install the original cabinets.”
Today the business remains tightly in the family. James’ father and his uncle are partners with “Dad taking care of the carpentry side and my uncle runs Joe’s Carpentry.” When asked about working so closely with his brother daily, James says its nothing new for them. “In all honesty it works very well. My brother and I are just over a year apart, so we grew up as buddies all our lives. We are totally different characters. He is really good at his section, I’m really good at mine, and it works.”
Unlike much of the competition, Carver offers custom products to make customers’ ideas come to life. “When you go to a lot of big box stores you have to order in set measurement increments. For us, we will go down to a sixteenth of an inch if we need to. Sometimes people will find a picture on Pinterest and say hey, build it like this. So, I say okay, let’s do it.” James feels the pandemic has resulted in customers having more money to spend. “People couldn’t go on a holiday down south so now they are spending that money on their homes.”
Just like everything else today, costs are up in the renovation and carpentry sectors but surprisingly says James, people don’t seem to mind. “Its crazy. I’ve had a lot of people where they give me a deposit and ask to be placed in the schedule and figure out the final cost later. Some people are concerned about rising prices but for the most part people aren’t even blinking at it.”
Businesses across Oxford County have had difficulty filling open positions, both skilled and unskilled. James says it has been tougher than usual for the business. “It’s been difficult. I can’t say it’s been impossible but right now we are set up pretty good. We have just hired two more installers as we were running a little short for a bit. Our shop setup right now is fantastic. We have a great crew here.”
He says one of the things they have really focused on is starting and completing a job on time. “When we started, we kind of struggled with it. For the last three years, and credit to my brother, we use an Outlook calendar, and we always tell people this is the week your kitchen is coming. I could count on one hand the amount of time we have missed that week. For the most part it’s been a product supply issue.”
Perhaps the biggest advantage of hiring Carver Cabinetry is the convenience of one-stop shopping. “We take care of our customers from start to finish. You tell us what you want, you go on your holidays and when you come back the project is done. It’s all done locally.”
While most of Carver’s clients are local, they have created a custom kitchen for a client overseas. “You might not believe me, but we did a kitchen in Holland. It was for a Dutch gentleman who used to come to the area in the summer who was building a house in Holland, and he said he needed a kitchen from Canada. We’ve also built one for a customer in Alberta.”
For more information on Carver Cabinetry have a look at their website at https://www.norwichcabinetry.ca/.