When you are in business for three decades, you tend to experience the crests and troughs of the economy. These days, the folks at Mylen Custom Kitchens in Chatham are riding the waves.
The Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce named Mylen as feature industry of the month for September. The Park Street operation is very busy these days, employing 56 people over two shifts to try to keep up with demand.
In fact, Eric Hart, general manager, said they’ve had to turn business away for several contractors that need the kitchen, bath, laundry or mudroom cabinetry in too tight a delivery window.
“We’ve had to turn away builders this year because we just don’t have the capacity,” he said.
“The economy is just so good, especially new home construction,” he said. “Eighty per cent of our business is for new homes. We supply about 10-12 homes each week.”
That doesn’t mean Mylen personnel are too busy to help you create your dream kitchen. Visit the showroom at 33 Park St., or contact them at 519-351-9119 to learn more.
Mylen custom designs cabinetry to fit each kitchen perfectly. Charles Dulong, engineering and development manager, said outside sales personnel feed detailed sizes and cabinet configurations back to the company, where two engineers input the information into Mylen’s computer numerated control (CNC) unit which will cut the pieces out of a sheet of material in the most efficient manner possible, minimizing waste. It even changes its own cutting bits to match the job.
As cabinets are assembled on site, a pressure machine helps speed up the adhesive process, gluing the cabinet pieces together. But it also has no tolerance for any pieces that are out of square. If they are, Dulong said the machine will crush the imperfection.
“It’s like a jigsaw puzzle,” Hart said of the cabinets. “It fits or it doesn’t fit. There is no in between.”
The company began on Centre Street in Chatham more than 30 years ago. It moved around the corner to Park Street in 2010, Hart said.
Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope said it is a local success story.
“We’re seeing a small business that was established here and it’s growing and expanding. This is a family business that’s persevered and is thriving. Their reach goes beyond the borders of Chatham-Kent,” Hope said.
Dulong said most of Mylen’s business is in southwestern Ontario, but they have shipped material as far away as Alberta.
Mylen is in the midst of an expansion. They operate out of about 18,000 square feet, but are putting an additional 2,600 sq.-ft. warehouse on at the back of the building.
Hart said when they first moved in eight years ago, they weren’t sure what they’d do with all the space. Now, they’ve even outgrown their lunchroom.
He added the company hopes to expand to an adjacent building in the future, moving its showroom and other facilities in order to expand the manufacturing floor.
Hart said on top of the staff who work at Mylen, they employ five subcontractors who in turn have between one and four staff each.