After 45 years, Phill’s Custom Cabinets is closing to make way for the future.
Phillip Crabtree, the company’s second-generation owner, created Cabinotch, an online cabinet business, in 2007.
And it has become so successful that Crabtree has decided to close Phill’s Custom Cabinets and devote more time to the online side.
He said he also wants to devote more time to his family.
Crabtree said the decision was hard.
“I love the retail side,” he said. “I’ve been with it since I was 3 years old. Business is still strong. I think we have about 40 jobs lined up right now. But it’s time to focus on the future.”
Crabtree stopped taking new jobs on Thursday and plans to finish the ones already under contract by the end of the year.
No employees will lose their jobs, he said.
“We have 65 employees now between the two companies,” Crabtree said. “In five years, I expect that to grow to 150. Our business will triple with robotics and automation.”
He said, “Our goal is to create the most highly sought after jobs in Daviess County.”
Cabinotch currently ships to most of the continental United States, Canada and Costa Rica. But shipping to areas west of the Rocky Mountains is expensive, Crabtree said. He expects to open a West Coast plant in a few years.
The company has 75,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Daviess County today.
That will soon double, Crabtree said.
Even with the pandemic, he said, Cabinotch’s business is up 7% this year.
The company’s origins date back to 1975, when Phill Crabtree and his wife, the former Paula Mattingly, bought a rental house in Owensboro.
“It needed a kitchen,” Phill Crabtree said in 2007. “I said I could do it myself. And then, a friend asked me to do his.”
Phill’s Custom Cabinets was born that year in their garage.
Thirteen years ago, Phil Crabtree said the company has “probably done 4,000 to 5,000 kitchens and four times that many vanities, closets and entertainment centers.”
And the numbers have grown since then.
“For over 20 years,” Phillip Crabtree said Thursday, “we’ve installed 120 to 140 cabinets a year.”
In 2007, Phillip Crabtree said, “We have a U.S. patent on a do-it-yourself cabinet that’s so simple a 3-year-old could put it together quickly.”
That product, Cabinotch, already had annual sales of $1.5 million, and it hadn’t even had a formal launch.
Phillip Crabtree joined the family business in 2000 and bought it from his parents 10 years later.
“From the bottom of my heart and my family’s hearts, we want to thank the thousands of amazing customers who have believed in us enough to trust us with their dream kitchens,” he said in a news release. “Our company’s mission statement for the past 45 years has been, ‘work hard with your hands and lead a quiet life.’ God has blessed our company and employees immensely for our commitment to this mission statement.”
Crabtree said customers and friends can post a story, memory or comment on the company’s blog at Phillscabinets.com.