Laurysen Kitchens Ltd.
The kitchen is said to be the heart of the home. It is the place friends and family gather, where family recipes are passed down to the next generation and new traditions are born. Every homeowner has their own vision of what that space should look like and Laurysen Kitchens Ltd. works to take those dreams and turn them into reality.
“A lot of our design influences come from our customers who bring us pictures from magazines or a scrapbook of ideas,” Vice President of Operations Bill Laurysen says.
Laurysen’s parents, John and Adri, founded the Ontario-based company in 1970 out of their 1,200-square-foot garage. The company started by making kitchen cabinets and today has expanded to include countertops and closets. The company supplies its products to condominium homebuilders across Ontario from its 55,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
Laurysen Kitchens offers standard, semi-custom and full custom cabinetry in contemporary, classic and country styles. Its vast array of colors, door styles, countertops and accessories allows homeowners to create and realize their dream space. “Our integrity is measured in the quality of our work, our loyalty to our customers, our warranties and the many ways we support the community in which we live,” the company states.
Laurysen Kitchens has transformed its manufacturing facility over the past two years into a just-in-time operation. That means the company relies heavily on its suppliers and maintains long-term relationships with them, but can also stay flexible for its customers. “When you have an abundance of inventory, you are always trying to push that particular inventory,” Laurysen explains. “Customers come to us with their preferences and we get them what they want. We aren’t trying to push stock.”
The company uses proprietary scheduling software that enables it to know exactly when its products need to be delivered to a home. If production is altered, Laurysen Kitchens is made aware through the system so the cabinets or countertops are not sitting on a delivery truck. “We are flexible that way,” Laurysen notes. “We really adhere to our scheduling and a lot of our builder clients love it.”
Continuing to Improve
Before introducing additional water-based finishing lines to its manufacturing facility in 2009, Laurysen Kitchens operated twin lines – one solvent-based and the other water-based. Today, 80 percent of the company’s lines are water-based. “Look at where your people want to work, they all wanted to work on the water side,” Laurysen explains. “If you watch your employees they will tell you what they like and don’t like.”
Using a water-based finishing system on its products makes for a nicer work environment because there is no chemical flash-off and has allowed the company to become a more environmentally responsible manufacturer.
A new manufacturing facility is also in the works at Laurysen Kitchens. Its current plant will be sold because an adjacent landfill needs to expand. “Whether that’s five or six years down the road, we will build a new plant,” Laurysen says. “We are running 55,000 square feet here and I feel the new plant will be in the 75,000-square-foot range.”
In the future, Laurysen Kitchens will be passed down to the third generation as Laurysen’s sons, Corey and Michael, prepare to take over and provide the same high-quality cabinets, countertops and closets.
“For more than 40 years, the Laurysen family and our team have built an outstanding reputation for providing affordable quality,” Laurysen says. “If it’s not good enough for my own home, it’s not good enough for our customer.”