Sarnia Cabinets, a locally family-owned business that specializes in designing and manufacturing kitchens and bathrooms is celebrating a huge milestone this year - their 50th anniversary in business.
Gord Bouma, owner of Sarnia Cabinets credits the success and longevity of the business to staying current. “You have to balance the old way and the new way. We’ve embraced new technology while still recognizing and appreciating the ability of the sales team and tradesmen to deliver the dream kitchen our customers have envisioned.”
Gord didn’t always have his sights set on kitchens. He graduated from the Architecture program at Ryerson way back in 1966. After graduating, he convinced his father and father-in-law, both furniture makers to start a business. It wasn’t long before he took over the business and was asked to build a kitchen for a builder.
“It was my first kitchen and I was given free rein to design and install it. I got so excited about it that I just never stopped after that,” says Gord with a huge smile.
They’ve had a lot of competition over the years. Gord feels part of Sarnia Cabinets’ success can be attributed to their ability to cater to all styles and budgets. “We don’t really have a niche market. We can do kitchens on a tight budget, custom-made kitchens, and anything in between.”
“I love the challenge of helping people realize their vision. I always encourage people to come in with their ideas. If you see it in a magazine, bring it in, I guarantee we can duplicate it for you,” says Gord.
Gord regularly attends trade shows and conferences to stay current with the latest trends in design and technology. He credits the ‘younger generation’ with coaxing him to ‘just try’ the latest machinery and technology available. “They convinced me to buy the first spraying machine. It only took one time for me to see what that machine could do, now I’m hooked on providing them with the latest technology to make their job better.”
Sarnia Cabinets started out on Exmouth Street and in 1972 moved to their current location on Plank Road. Over the years, they have expanded several times, adding addition space onto the original building. They are planning yet another expansion in 2019/20 to house their second spraying machine and a new curing system.
The business truly is a family-business. Over the years, Gord’s father, father-in-law, wife Mary, brothers Hank and Johnny Bouma, as well as both his daughters and sons-in-law Natalie and Rick Smink and Sonja and Gordie Van Barneveld have all worked there. With a staff of 50 people, even those who aren’t related are treated like family. “When you appreciate the work people do for you, they get excited about the customers and the products and it shows in their work. And the next thing you know, it’s been 50 years.”
Asked if he was ready to retire, Gord replied, “Maybe after just one more project.” His daughter, Sonia laughs, “he’ll never retire, there will always be just one more project...”
Sarnia Cabinets is located at 1321 Plank Road. They are open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturday 10-2. You can call them at 519 336 6502 or visit their website.