St. Thomas, ON: "They're the best kitchen builders I know..." This quote
from Chef Michael Smith displayed on a Highbury Avenue billboard is a testament
to the quality and precision that
GCW Custom Kitchens and Cabinetry prides itself on. Now they are growing
substantially in St. Thomas.
On January 31, 2013, GCW announced that they have acquired the former Therm-O-Disc
building at 95 South Edgeware Road in St. Thomas, Ontario. With the company currently
located in a 21,000 square foot facility, this 82,000 square foot relocation represents
an expansion of nearly 4 times their current size and offers 10 acres on which to
expand, should the need arise.
Company President and General Manager Ron DeWeger reflected on the GCW Mission Statement
and remarked "I could have written this mission statement yesterday - Our policies
are ever evolving, but our philosophy never changes. Our mission statement emphasizes
excellence: Excellence in craftsmanship, quality production, and customer satisfaction,
excellence in the development of our team members - both professionally and personally,
and excellence in giving back to our communities. With the purchase of the former
Therm-O-Disc building, we will be able to continue effectively building GCW in St.
Thomas based on our Mission of excellence."
GCW is a truly remarkable Canadian success story. Beginning in 1999 in a small shop
in St. Thomas, the company had four owners and just one employee. The next 13 years
has seen the company move three times to larger facilities, increasing sales and
adding more employees.
"We now sell more in two weeks than what we sold in our first full year. GCW has
averaged 24% growth year over year since 2007, even with the global recession felt
towards the end of the last decade," said Controller, Mark DeBoer.
In 2013, GCW aims to remain one of the top cabinet manufacturers in Canada and one
of the best employers for their team of over 60 highly skilled people.
St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation President Dennis Broome commented "It
is wonderful to see local businesses experiencing the kind of growth we see with
GCW. The EDC is committed to assisting in any way we are able to and I congratulate
the entire team on this new chapter in their business."
The new location will allow the company to respond to their growing customer base,
add a new cabinet line and focus on automation in order to become more efficient
and to maintain their high standards of quality.
One of the Owners, Terry Kuipers, noted "We attribute our rapid growth to our commitment
to excellence in quality and service, as well as our stringent commitment to meeting
our installation deadlines."
The company's decision to establish a 6,000 square foot showroom in London, Ontario
also greatly increased their market visibility, as well as providing an opportunity
to show a number of new and different kitchen and bath designs.
"These steps we are taking as a company will launch us ahead of most manufacturers
in Ontario," said Owner/Vice President and Plant Manager Dave Dryfhout, "After a
two to three year phase-in plan, we will be well equipped to be one of the province's
most efficient cabinet manufacturers, giving us a competitive edge in capacity,
value and organization."
This expansion will also allow the company to improve their manufacturing capabilities.
Some new innovations expected include moving closer to a fully automated production
facility, the use of cutting-edge software to seamlessly link the entire company
and new production equipment. Soon to be launched is a catalog business through
a network of dealers in the province, which is expected to further increase sales.
"As a sector leader and one of the City's top manufacturers, I am proud to be able
to say that we have GCW here in St. Thomas," said St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson
"GCW is known as a dedicated employer in the City, with a strong emphasis on giving
back to the community and I look forward to seeing what they are able to accomplish
in their new location."