The Human Connection Deck: CNC Cabinet Inc.

Sandra Wood

Our industry is spread across our vast beautiful country. This month we headed north to Kapuskasing, Ontario to talk to members Sierra & Sebastien Levesque. who operate out of the neighboring community of Moonbeam, ON.

We spoke with Sierra Levesque, who is not only the majority shareholder of the company, but also a proud member of the Métis Nation of Ontario, making CNC Cabinets Inc. woman and indigenous owned. The company has been in business for 2 years and produces a minimum of 4 kitchen sets a month in addition to other commercial and smaller scale projects. Sebastien has been in the cabinet industry for 10 years and had an education in general construction, design and electricity. Sierra has 10 years of experience in office administration and holds diplomas in Paralegal Studies and Event Planning. Their customer base consists of builders, residential and commercial clients. While other cabinet businesses in their area offer a full service approach completing entire renovations, CNC Cabinets Inc. focusses solely on cabinets, but serves a variety of clientele.

 

CKCA: You joined CKCA and have offered to get a local MeetUp going – Why?

Sierra: We joined the CKCA because we wanted to be part of something bigger that kept us up-to-date in training opportunities, networking and added a sense of legitimacy to our business. We are open to hosting a local MeetUp in our area to draw attention to our beautiful community and to showcase what it has to offer. We are also looking to build a local support community. Northern Ontario is known for being resourceful and working collaboratively.

CKCA: As you entered the industry two years ago, what would you say to those interested in careers in this sector?

Sierra: If you like general construction, but also like a balanced schedule, warm working climates (cabinets don’t require outdoor work) and year long work (minimal layoffs as the work can be done in any season), the cabinet industry is for you. There is also the variety of work; you can build, design, install or do it all!

CKCA: Why do clients shop with you?

Sierra: Our clients choose us because of our product knowledge, interest is unique designs and customer service as well as our active involvement in our community. People see the money they spend with us is reinvested into the community. We also offer online solutions for sample catalogues and enquiries as well as 3D renderings.

CKCA: What are some of the challenges of running a business in northern Ontario and how have you overcome those challenges?

Sierra: Competing with big box stores that offer prefab, travelling a large geographical area to provide our services and shipping costs of our materials. We push our customer service and the quality of the build as a reason why people should choose us. The project isn’t done when the cabinets are installed, clients must think ahead to warranty claims and responsiveness of the supplier. Travel and shipping costs are part of the job and we can’t work around it.

CKCA: What do you love most about your business?

Sierra: The creativity and flexibility. As business owners, it is long days, but we can liberate ourselves generally speaking to be with our children and their activities. We also love to see client ideas and making them come to life. Each project is different and we love the challenge.

CKCA: You have a young family, how do you strike the balance?

Sierra: It isn’t easy and requires a lot of time management, late nights and early mornings. I am highly organized and manage everyone’s schedules. Sebastien and I often trade responsibilities to get everything done in addition to receiving help from our amazing staff and families. We consider ourselves lucky as not many husband and wife teams can tolerate raising a family and running a business together, but for us it works as we both bring different skills to the table and complement each other well. We ensure to make time for ourselves as a couple even if it’s a weekly coffee date at a local coffee shop, no business talk allowed!

 

Sandra Wood is the Secretary and Executive Director for the CKCA. She enjoys “connecting the dots” and facilitating strong networking opportunities to engage members. She believes associations are about fostering strong business relationships fueled by an empathic and sound business approach.

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