Bonners Ferry Rotary met offsite on Tuesday, October 6, at Panhandle Door Inc located at 168 Pothole Road off Highway 95 at the top of Peterson Hill. On a side note, I can’t count the number of times (in the thousands at least) that I have driven past there on the highway and only saw a sawdust pile and a building if I looked for it. It’s less than 4 miles from my house and I had never been there before.
Owner Nelson Mast brought us up-to-date on the business. It was started in 1999 by Joel Martin. According to Lorna Martin who still works there, it was something Joel did during spring breakup when he was a truck driver. The cabinet shop was first in a building near the Fairgrounds in Bonners Ferry (later Huseby’s Boots). Then he moved to the current location.
An employee of the original business, Charles Schrock took over the cabinet making and moved it to the North Bench naming the business Cabinets Northwest. Joel kept the door and drawer part of the business.
Cabinet doors, drawer fronts and drawers are trucked as far away as the Seattle area, eastern Montana and Wyoming as well as
Nelson Mast and Vern Helmuth purchased the business in 2018. Nelson said the business has been good. A number of employees have been there for years so there’s a good depth of knowledge and experience.
When a customer purchases cabinets from Cabinets Northwest or any custom cabinet shop, chances are the doors and drawer fronts were built at Panhandle Door.
The company has recently slowed production some to build better quality, high-end pieces rather than focusing on quantity.
Most customers order online and are notified via email of each phase of the order from order verification to job in progress to complete. There’s usually one week lead time for orders.
When questioned about the size of orders, it was said that the smallest order was for one door and the largest to date was $90,000+.
Rotary members toured the facility while most of the 58 employees were at lunch mainly because of the noise level when all machines are running.
An additional building is being constructed. Also, a finish room was added in 2018 and Nelson stated that the biggest thing in the future will be finishing (staining, painting, etc.).
Thank you Nelson and crew for the informative tour.