As a company built on family values, our story can’t begin anywhere but with the Nickel family themselves. In 1966, as a family of seven, the Nickel family immigrated to Canada from Paraguay with two suitcases and $250 in their collective pockets. Needless to say, this set the stage for the values that built Nickels Cabinets: hard work, honesty, and integrity.
A Leap of Faith
Driven to build a company from scratch, Dieter approached his parents with a big idea: Nickels Cabinets. After a little convincing, the idea caught fire and Dieter and his parents became partners. His father, Peter, left his framing work to begin building cabinets with Dieter. Dieter’s mother, Liese, supported the business in her own gentle way and with a keen business sense, bringing lunch to the shop, weighing in on key financial decisions and instilling the family structure that remains the core of Nickels Cabinets today.
During the 1980s, Nickels Cabinets grew from a few hands in a garage to an operation of more than 25 people. Still a growing business trying to establish itself in the market, the Nickels team focused on providing cabinets to home builders, utilizing connections made within the family and local church. It wasn’t until the late 80s that the team transitioned to a frameless European cabinet manufacturing style—a style we are known for and one that remains popular today.
Expanding Our Services
Growing to a staff of more than 40 people, the 1990s was a time of thoughtful yet rapid expansion for Nickels. Making a big move and purchasing our first property on Graybar road in 1990 and then finally beginning production in 1993, our team and business were expanding. With more colours, styles, and materials offered, our variety attracted a larger customer base, and we started branching out to the United States with a dealer in Bellingham, Washington.
Ups and Downs
After a successful entrance into the US market, we continued to expand our US operations with multiple dealers in California and Nevada. However, after the housing crash in 2008, we had to regroup and rethink the structure of Nickels. Transitioning to lean manufacturing techniques and changing direction to “manufacturer-only” in the local market, our team pivoted—a move that helped us weather the economic turmoil and remain in business.
Recovery and Resurgence
After the housing crash, we primarily focused on the Canadian market: reconnecting, building relationships, and growing the business. In 2015, we reengaged the US market, and began offering more diverse product lines and customizations, flexing our creative muscles and building a reputation for crafting the heart of people’s homes. Always striving to be better, our dedication to improvement and hard work led us to the Kaizen Institute to train our leadership staff in 2017. This training has become integral to how we operate, and we continue to train our leadership team with the support of the Kaizen Institute.
Welcoming the Future
2019 marked a huge milestone for Nickels Cabinets—we turned 40! To celebrate, we enlisted a branding agency to design a new logo and custom website, and we gave our showroom a complete overhaul to reflect our new branding. We couldn’t think of a better way to round out the decade, or this huge milestone. We celebrated the culmination of these efforts in great fashion when we hosted a 40th anniversary party with our dealer network. The event was held at our newly renovated facility and was a fantastic celebration for all of us as we reflected on the many years of hard work, loyalty to our company, commitment to integrity and our genuine desire to collaborate with our fantastic dealer network.
Now, we’re looking to the future with excitement and optimism. There will always be challenges, but with the values that guide us and our excellent and dedicated team, our firm foundation will always prepare us for what’s to come. We’re looking forward to serving our customers across North America for 40 more years, and many decades after that!