Mission, vision and principles

The executive office is at the back of the showroom of Clareville Distinctive Kitchens and Baths, in Brampton, Ont. The door is wide open, revealing a framed set of blueprints for a classic three-storey home. In the bottom right hand corner is the signature, “Lucas Psarianos, architectural technologist.” Lucas “Luke” Psarianos, president and director operations […]

Old World meets new

The greeting couldn’t be warmer this sunny summer day. A bearded bear of a Russian welcomes me to the showroom of Barlow Cabinetworks in south Barrie, Ont., and the conversation flows. With a twinkle in his eye, Igor Slabkovski, co-owner of the business, relays a familiar tale of learning his cabinet making skills at trade […]

Sweet 16: Just In Time

Finding this particular wood shop and furniture store was challenging, even with an iPhone GPS. The journey also came with the lingering fear that my compact SUV was about to run out of gas after being on the road for two hours. That fear turned somewhat to embarrassment when a one-horse, single-man Mennonite buggy sauntered […]

Mastering mass customization

Every kitchen is the same — and different — so how does a cabinet maker profitably satisfy fickle, trend-loving consumers? Easy — through mastering mass customization where production can be accurately repeated while creating new dimensions almost every time. That is the challenge for Miralis, a mid- to high-end kitchen cabinet manufacturer from Quebec’s Lower […]

Time Lasting Craftsmanship

Like salmon fighting upstream in the rivers of British Columbia, one shop in Vancouver is bucking the flow of cheap, mass-market products into Lower Mainland homes. By creating hand-crafted furniture and cabinetry with highly skilled craftsmen, TLC Design Inc. is producing the polar opposite of big box store product. Owner Joe Edwards explains his philosophy, […]

Solid accomplishment

Profile: Brenlo Custom Mouldings, Mississauga, Ont. As noted in this issue’s “From the Editor” department, there is a feeling in the industry that the glory days of solid wood are over. The labour-assisted killing of Quebec’s Shermag group of solid-wood manufacturing sites is often held up as an example. But then, the old Shermag group […]

Colclo Custom Woodworking, Markham, Ont.

Seeing history through a window   Every once in a while Brent Colclough gets sentimental, and, when he looks down at the shop floor through the window of his upstairs office, he sees his child self standing over a belt sander — the same one that still stands, though now disused, pretty much where it […]

Enns Cabinetry, St. Catharines, Ont.

Craftsmanship and all that goes with it is in Art Enns’s blood. “My grandfather was a cabinetmaker but I never knew him,” he says almost matter-of-factly, as his father, George, 86, finishes turning a Christmas ornament on an old General International lathe in a room off the main shop of Enns Cabinetry in St. Catharines, […]

Irpinia Kitchens, Richmond Hill, Ont.

From Avellino with love: No substitute for passion By Kerry Knudsen The last time I profiled Ontario’s Irpinia Kitchens was in 1998 or 1999. While we rarely repeat profiles, I have wondered what happened with Irpinia during the U.S. crisis years of 2008/2009, since Irpinia’s market before 2000 was 90 percent exports to the U.S. The […]

Success comes cold-calling

There’s a line in a song by the legendary Maritimes singer/songwriter, Stan Rogers, about an Alberta rodeo-star-turned-rancher-being-cattle-rustled that goes, “Forty-four’s no age to start again.” But that’s exactly what Gary Litwin did when he started Union Square Vintage Wood Co. in Montreal. A dynamo who thrives on the unknown, Litwin laughs, “I had no idea […]