Based in Chilliwack, Starline Cabinets provides quality cabinetry manufacturing and service to Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Vancouver, and the Sunshine Coast. Doug Maljaars, President and Founder, launched the company in 1990, and the company grew organically in the Lower Mainland market targeting the mid-level markets for custom cabinetry.
“We do not chase the low end volume markets, and we are not targeting the high end markets. Our market is the Chilliwack area, the area of Fraser Valley, and partially into Vancouver,” says Maljaars.
For over 20 years, Starline Cabinets has led the way in innovative custom cabinetry solutions, providing its customers with the quality and service they deserve. Starline’s kitchen design experts, accredited builders and professional cabinet installers work as a team to provide exceptional service and to transform customers’ vision into a kitchen that provides joy and pride. From concept drawings to installation, Starline provides full service custom kitchen and bathroom cabinet solutions.
“Our values are based on respect. Respect for our employees, our customers, and our suppliers. We really strive to build a company culture that everyone is part of the team. We want everybody to do their best, but we receive the good reviews and the bad news together. We work together and respect each other. This is the value I want to instil in the company, and it echoes through to our suppliers, and to our customers,” says Maljaars.
With the ample offering of quality and service, Starline has been listed in the local “A-list” published by the Chilliwack Progress, and the company has been voted as the favourite local cabinet shop for the past two years.
Starline Cabinets outgrew its original 1,500 square foot facility and today produces quality cabinets in its 7,500 square foot production shop. While the company continues to grow, “automation” remains the name of the game. The company has had up to 30 employees in the past, but with the continuous technology updates and automation, Starline today requires only 12 full time employees to supply its customers with quality cabinetry.
“We are a professional shop that provides over 20 years of experience and a team of experienced cabinet makers. That means we can take good care of our customers, giving them the quality and the service they seek,” says Maljaars, and brings forth an interesting statistic: Chilliwack and area has a population of 85,000, and wields an offering of some 40 cabinet suppliers. On the backdrop of the fact that most homeowners upgrade their kitchens once or twice in their lifetime, this statistic points towards a very saturated market. This may seem as if cabinet-making is somewhat of a local trade that supplies broader market. While this does happen, many are reselling cabinets supplied from a variety of different suppliers from all over the world.
“It seems that the idea of those with a bit of a woodworking experience and basic shop tools is that simply anyone can start making cabinets,” says Maljaars, and continues. “One can buy most of the components and assemble them using basic tools working in their garage, and all of a sudden, the person that should be called a ‘hobbyist’ becomes a cabinet maker. It’s a bit of a head-scratcher.
“In this landscape, Starline, as a professional cabinet maker, works hard to educate customers that not all cabinets are created equal. It’s the history and the track record of the cabinet maker that also makes the difference,” says Maljaars.
Starline is committed to optimizing its manufacturing process with the latest technology that allows for higher efficiencies. To minimize the off cut waste, Starline uses the latest in computer optimization and CNC technology. The automatic spray mixing equipment minimizes the waste by mixing the right amounts of lacquer, minimizing the amount of lacquer that needs to be disposed of. All Starline finishes are free of H.A.P.S (Hazardous Air Pollutants), and the company also uses a solvent recycler, converting expired lacquers and stains into a solvent cleaner that is used to clean countertops, spray equipment, and tools.
Starline can also provide a GREENGUARD certification on any kitchen if requested by the customer. GREENGUARD certification helps manufacturers create interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions, improving the quality of the air in which the products are used.
“Going green pays back dividends to us. For example, recycling our lacquer saves us money as we don’t spend extra on cleaning supplies; cutting optimization creates less waste, so we spend less on building the cabinets, and we pay less to dispose of the garbage. It’s a simple arithmetic.”
Maljaars sees Starline’s future in product improvement rather than a market growth. “Bigger isn’t always better. We want to provide better a product with better service. Being the biggest in town is not my end goal,” concluded Maljaars.