Career profile: Alan Smart

BUILT ON TRUST   Canada’s secondary wood industry prior to the 1960s was strongly regionalized, with local distributors filling orders for regional manufacturers of newly industrial woodworking machinery. Akhurst Machinery was founded on the West Coast in 1938, but most of the currently recognized names in the industry were yet to be founded. A young […]

Accuwrap: Adapt for long-term success

A burnt steak is what Enzo D’Alessandro uses as an analogy to explain his guiding philosophy of life and business. According to D’Alessandro, “When I was young and working in the hospitality industry, a mentor of mine, a maitre d’, told me if a customer says a burnt steak isn’t done well enough, you don’t […]

Viacraft Interiors

Sink? No Way. Honesty, perseverance and hard work allow family to swim — in good times and bad. Victor Aprea is as tough as they come, but even he can’t hold back the tears when looking back on his life: “I grew up in horrible poverty in post-World War II Italy. You can’t imagine. We […]

Swaine Street Woodworking

Fresh face in a traditional trade Rats motivated Jana Bookholt to take up cabinet making. As she describes it, “It’s not a pleasant story to tell, but these pests got into my kitchen. After calling the exterminator, I was determined to not have it happen again. My solution was to replace the old, decaying cabinets […]

Marshall’s Custom Cabinetry

Respect people and they’ll respect you — and your business “I just want to treat others the way I would want to be treated, too.” This basic restatement of the golden rule is a sentiment that has sustained Brian Marshall of Marshall’s Custom Cabinetry in Ancaster, Ont., through the growing pains — and now the […]

King Furniture

Let quality 
speak for itself King Furniture is located about an hour north of the Greater Toronto Area; just outside Orangeville, or it might be Laurel. We’re still not sure. The company doesn’t have a website, so its location can’t be found there. A Google search turns up a couple of yellow pages-style directory listings, […]

Blue Heron Woodworks

The wood industry: It’s a life The rule of thumb says 90 percent of Canadians live within 90 miles of the U.S. border. However, the U.S. does not define Canada. You have to go north. Virtually everybody living in or visiting the Toronto area knows the exit off the 401 for Winston Churchill Blvd., but […]

Hawthorne Kitchens, Winnipeg, Man.

An old, 1990s-vintage computer monitor sits on a desk in the corner of the administrative work area at Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Hawthorne Kitchens. Looking fat, elephantine and grey, it hearkens back to another time, sitting amid the otherwise modern array of flat-screen, high-definition monitors at other work stations. Old as it may be, it still works, […]

Kitchens by Paul Holden, Stirling, Ont.

Prosperity, according to plan While recessions are hard on companies, they are really hard on people. Therefore, when Quaker Oats in Trenton, Ont., closed its doors in 1994, people found themselves cut loose with a severance and no plan. According to Stirling, Ont.-based Paul Holden, owner of Kitchens by Paul Holden, some of those ran […]

Pilon Kitchens, Campbell’s Bay, Que.

Plan for success We should all have such problems …. According to Gerard Pilon, partner and production manager in Campbell’s Bay, Que.,-based Pilon Kitchens, “We have plenty of work – too much work, and it looks like we will never run out of work.” This situation has driven Pilon to bring on his nephew, Tim […]