All in the Family: A modest carpenter’s pet project has become a New Brunswick-based cabinet door powerhouse

Located at the intersection of Route 115 and Route 535 on the Cocagne River in New Brunswick, is the town of Notre Dame. It’s known for many things such as its proximity to the Acadian Forest, the Bouctouche Dunes and its historic covered bridge built in 1931.

But one of the great contributors to the local economy and fabric of the area is the Future Doors Cabinet Door Manufacturer. The company was started in 1990 when Lionel Boucher, a local carpenter, took up cabinet making as a hobby and built it into the thriving business that it is 33 years later. “He saw a need for cabinet doors in the industry,” says Roger Boucher, son of Lionel and CEO of the company. “He was behind his product and saw that there was potential for growth in that area.”

Back in 1990, Boucher senior built a small 2,000 square foot shop with about five or six employees. “It was a slow growth but over the years things started to take shape,” adds Boucher. They started small, he recalls, only making doors and used oak, maple, birch and cherry woods in their initial product lines.

“We started to get more known, we had a one week turnaround for delivery back then, and we tried to keep that in our model,” he adds. Most of the clients were large cabinet manufacturers, rather than direct to the public. They then moved to using any hardwood or softwood its customers would request

In 1994, the company had grown to about 20 employees and in 1996; Roger joined the company, after having been a machinist and millwright. “Machinery was coming in, and we were looking for higher productivity, and so I helped with that.” After Boucher joined the company, Future Doors expanded beyond New Brunswick and into the Atlantic provinces. By 2008, the company had expanded its product line to make butcher block, dovetails, and polyester 5-piece doors, and employed 62 employees.

In 2013, the company moved into a 25,000 square foot facility that “enabled us to reach out to other customers and have more modern machinery.” Over time the market shifted staff numbers had settled to about 30 to 35 employees. Still, there was a further expansion of products into MDF and painted doors in about 2016.

Despite the younger Boucher taking over the business, his father, Lionel, still comes into the office to consult and advise his son from time to time. “My father believed in family values, and I kept that role and we grew that into our business structure. We’re a tight community that I worked alongside of these people and grew up with. We’ve managed to retain a lot of employees.”

Future Doors has grown extensively since 1990. They manufacture over 4,000 cabinet doors a week and continue to expand. Products are distributed throughout North America and they choose only the best woods available from the forests of Eastern Canada and New England.

 

 

Joel Kranc is an experienced and award-winning editor, writer and communications professional. With more than 26 years of experience, Joel has covered a variety of topics in the finance and B2B space.

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