Cascade Cabinets opened in 2003 as an outgrowth of a kitchen remodeling and cabinet installation business started by David and Melanie Smith. David Smith, the “technician” of the business, took custom cabinet remodeling in high school and began working for others in the construction and cabinet installation business right out of high school. On nights and weekends he took on side jobs, and at the end of three years he opened his own kitchen remodeling and cabinet installation business under the premise “I can do it better.” The contracting business was successful but as he and his wife, Melanie, tried to help the business grow they got stuck. The business had been built around David and his outstanding remodeling and cabinetry skills.
With the goal of exponentially growing their business, they had to rethink what they were doing. No longer could David be the business. They had to be able to transition into systems. To reach the next level their business had to be able to succeed without David being the main technician on all the jobs. As they were considering how to do this, they discovered the niche market in which they now serve - cabinet and counter sales and installations. In 2003, they opened this new division with an ultimate goal in mind – to build something they could eventually sell - not something that relied on them, their personalities and their expertise for its success. This allowed them to think very differently about building their business; they built it on systems. They built it with the idea that the business needed to work and be successful whether or not they themselves were there. They walked into their new business with a business plan that laid out goals such as a five year growth plan of having 3 to 4 stores open by 2008.
With such vision and determination, with previous business experience and a high level of skill in their trade, one may wonder why David and Melanie went to the MHCC Small Business Development Center. They were recommended into the SBDC’s elite Small Business Management program, from which they graduated, by their bookkeeper, Mountain Quail. Only small business owners who have been recommended to the program and pass the screening process can participate in this intensive 20 month program that teaches small businesses what they need to do to grow to the next level. David and Melanie had this to say about the program. “The Small Business Management Program reaffirmed many things we had heard and learned about…things such as developing systems and tracking our sales.”
When asked what they liked least about owning their own business, Melanie said having to deal with cash flow issues and juggling funds. David said the biggest issue was he felt like he worked all the time. However, the Smiths do not want to give up their entrepreneurial dream because the things that excites them most are starting up a business, coming up with new ideas and creating the systems-the foundational blocks of entrepreneurship.
Cascade Cabinet is located at 38888 Pioneer Blvd. in Sandy and can be reached by phone at (503) 668-0644. Their second store opened in October 2005 in Tigard at 11975 SW Pacific Hwy and can be reached by phone at (503) 698-7428.