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Working with wood a family tradition

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The building is up, the equipment is in, and by now the cabinets and counters are coming off the line.

Gingrich Woodcraft, formerly located in Mine Centre, has now opened its doors on Highway 11/71 just east of Devlin. Beginning this week there, customers can buy prefabricated kitchen cabinets and counters as they have been doing elsewhere for years.

Although new to this area, the Gingrich family has been in the construction and custom furniture business for many years.

Aden Gingrich began the business in Elmira, Ont. in 1968 as a general contractor, building houses in that small agricultural community. But from the beginning, he had a special feeling for custom kitchen cabinets.

“It all started with my father,” Gingrich recalled. “He had a cabinet shop and I was fascinated by the work.”

But reality dictated Gingrich build houses because that’s where the money was, so his dream of doing custom work was limited to finishing the kitchens in those houses.

“Whenever I did houses, I built the cabinets as well,” he noted.

In 1973, Gingrich—along with his sons, Leon and Les—left Waterloo County and moved to Parry Sound, where they remained for five years before making the final move to Mine Centre in 1978.

Once again, it was the same story.

“I always wanted to get involved in custom cabinets, but when you move to a new area, you have to take what you can get,” reasoned Gingrich.

In this case, what he got was the chance to build four new houses and the kitchens that came with them. Gradually, word got around and the orders started coming in for his custom work.

At first, it wasn’t easy. “When Menard’s opened in the [International] Falls, we hit rock bottom,” Gingrich recalled.

But perseverance and quality paid off to the point where Gingrich’s Kitchen Cabinets (AMG Woodworking) became a thriving business.

Finally, there were enough orders to enable him to do it full-time with his son, Les, while Leon branched off into Gingrich Woodcraft, which does high-volume commercial work.

Gingrich said he and Les will be expanding into the facilities vacated by Leon in Mine Centre now that Gingrich Woodcraft has moved to Devlin.

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