By Jenna Mohammed
It’s a special time for Braam’s Custom Cabinets. The family-owned business is celebrating 40 years of bringing beautifully designed custom cabinets to homeowners throughout Canada and the U.S.
The Braam family had an interesting start in South-Western Ontario in 1980. What began as a woodworking hobby for Peter and Rob Braam in their father’s livestock barn behind their childhood home, flourished into the custom cabinet company known today. In the 80s, when many woodworking factories were going out of business, the Braam brothers invested in discounted woodcutting machinery as a way to experiment with a new pastime. Under the direction of their late father, Adrian, who repurposed the barn to serve his son’s woodworking needs, the Braam family perfected their craft. Initially, they made furniture to sell to clients. Over time, their clients would request custom cabinetry, and that’s when they realized their hobby could be a full-time gig.
For nearly a year and a half of woodworking cabinets, Peter was the only full-time employee for the newfound business, and his brother Rob joined later on after leaving his job at Ford Motor Company. “The plan was always to have Rob leave his day job,” says Peter. “We needed to make sure we were confident enough in the business before everyone joined full-time.” Shortly afterwards, the Braam brothers expanded into a fully functioning brick and mortar shop in St. Thomas, Ontario. Today, their workshop is 47,000 square-feet and there are three showrooms located in Oakville, London and Birmingham, Michigan.
“We have a slightly different approach in the industry,” says Peter Braam. “There are many cabinet companies on the market, but there are very few that do complete custom work.” Braam’s Custom Cabinets build their products to order, which allows a unique fit for every client’s home. All the design work is completed by a professional designer who will see a custom project through to the end in the showroom. “When our designers finish a project, it goes into an engineering process where every part of the room’s appliances and details will fit, along with testing the door’s functionality how the designer intended,” says Peter.
Since its inception, Braam’s Custom Cabinets have always maintained a high level of quality craftsmanship for their clients. Unfortunately, in April 2020, Adrian Braam passed away at the age of 94. His hard work ethic and dedication were paramount to making the business a success – a sentiment that continues to live on in the company.
Peter says throughout the years, the family business continues to grow. Peter’s son Connor and Rob’s son-in-law Derek will be joining the team soon. “We’ve been in business 40 years and we know how to stay in business, we have a track record of being dependable,” says Peter. “It’s a milestone for sure, no question about it.”