Three generations of cabinetry excellence in Sidney

Small business of the year Cabinet Works has been in the Scott family for decades.

The crew at Sidney's Cabinet Works. The company has been in the same family for years.

Three Scotts are keeping Cabinet Works in the family.

Neil, Jeff and Kyle Scott represent three generations of the same family working with wood on the Saanich Peninsula — and winning awards for it. Most recently, Cabinet Works (officially Neil Scott Cabinet Works) won a Crystal Award for small business of the year. This commitment to excellence means the business is kept hopping throughout the year.

It has taken a lot of dedication — and at one time a complete change of focus — to maintain a reputation in the industry and to keep the business a point of pride for the family.

Neil Scott started his business, then called Neil Scott Construction, back in the early 1980s. He did a lot of renovation work and says he became dissatisfied with the supply of cabinetry for his business. So he branched out and added cabinets to his repertoire. Neil’s son Jeff was taking his apprenticeship in cabinetry at the time, so it was a natural addition to the business, which was based in Neil’s small workshop.

“Jeff had an affinity for it,” Neil said. “So he got his carpenter’s ticket and we went to work on that in the garage.”

The resulting success forced them to move into larger quarters, taking a proper shot in the Keating industrial area in Central Saanich. There they would stay for 14 years, Neil spearheading renovations and Jeff building cabinets. Their combined experience and expertise means they can work with clients to deliver amazing kitchens and more.

By 2003, Neil retired the renovations side of the company and Cabinet Works continued as a more exclusive and specific business. By 2006, Neil was semi-retired, with Jeff and his wife Vivienne running the shop. Neil has, however, remained available to share his knowledge and experience with the crew and with clients.

In 2008, with Jeff’s son Kyle (who was 15 the time) coming in to help out, Cabinet Works moved from Keating to the Sidney industrial park. It represented the move into the third generation of Scotts working in and running the company.

“We saw that (Kyle) has a knack for finishing work,” Jeff said. “It comes very naturally to him.”

“I’ve always told Kyle that if he can become a finisher, he’ll never be unemployed,” added Neil.

A decline in the construction industry five years ago hit everyone pretty hard, added Vivienne. Government helped out with temporary renovation credits and tax incentives over two years but when those ran out, many shops closed, she said.

“We have had to find new ways to bring value to clients, to go above the norm,” said Vivienne, who markets the company and often is a customer’s first contact.

Due to the experience of the company (they also have staff who have been with them for years), they have adapted and continued to bring quality custom work to their clients. Today, Cabinet Works is a busy place — they are only booking three months in advance. They work on jobs, big and small, and maintain connections with some of the best designers and contractors to make customers’ visions take shape. Clients, added Jeff, often come back to them for their second or third renovation.

That reputation for quality work and customer service at Cabinet Works has grown right alongside the Scott family.