We are 50! The years have passed unbelievably fast, as we’ve been hard at work since 1970, crafting cabinets and more.
A hearty “Thank You” to all of Laurysen’s employees, partners and customers, who’ve helped make us what we are today. It’s been an interesting journey so far…
Our story starts when John and Adri Laurysen opened for business in a 1200-square-foot Ottawa garage! That small shop held big dreams, with the slogan “Custom Designed with You in Mind.”
Over the years, Bill and Caroline Laurysen joined in and the premises expanded, but we continued to emphasize personalized service and quality products.
John passed on in 1994 and the company was then directed by his son Bill Laurysen, daughter Caroline Laurysen Castrucci and his son-in-law Giuseppe Castrucci. Today we are joined by the 3rd generation Corey and Michael Laursysen, keeping Laurysen a family enterprise.
The Business Evolves
Long-term employee Caroline Laurysen Castrucci (now Vice President, Administration) recalls our early days:
- Everything was done by hand, no computers. Looking back, it’s amazing how we ever got things done. Designs were drawn by hand on graph paper and all cut-lists and door requirements were calculated manually.
- We called in orders verbally to our suppliers and handwrote all the cheques and payroll. To express an idea to clients, you had to do quick design sketches. There was no CAD software or 3D full-colour renderings back then.
Fortunately, as times have changed, the Laurysen’s have kept up with evolutions in the home design industry.
In addition to our well-known cabinetry to create “Kitchens that Sizzle!” we now offer storage solutions, countertops, and hardware.
Another new direction the Laurysen family is heading in is green innovation, including a water-based UV finishing system and a line of formaldehyde-free melamine cabinets.
We’re also growing physically. In 2018, our new production facility opened in Carleton Place. Today, we’re busy working with clients and professionals, in locations from our beloved hometown as far afield as Bermuda.
And we offer clients multiple ways to connect. We’re now having conversations across social media, video calls, our website, or in-person at showrooms across Canada.
Along the way, we’ve faced – and overcome — challenges in typical Laurysen spirit.
Caroline Laurysen Castrucci, Vice President of Administration at Laurysen recalls a devastating fire:
- Back in 1987, our plant was destroyed by a fire. By the next day, we had a plan for our new plant, started calling all our suppliers, and cobbled together enough equipment to re-start production out of a temporary facility until the new building was complete.
- Sheer grit and determination carried the day. Not once did we say we could not do this!
In recent times we, together with the rest of the globe, were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Corey Laurysen elaborates:
- Not only has this changed the world, but it has also changed the way we manufacture and sell kitchens. We were deemed an essential business as we supply the home-building industry.
- We had to be proactive in our response to the crisis to keep our business running and our employees safe — masks, daily cleanings, social distancing measures, Plexiglas partitions in our offices, etc. were all added to make Laurysen a safer place.
- While many other businesses shut down, we moved forward as a team; that is testament to the type of employees we have here at Laurysen. Our hats go off to our employees who came to work every day and put on a brave face to do what they do best! We could not have gotten through this without them.
As an established Ottawa business, we recognize the importance of giving back. Laurysen has proudly contributed to a multitude of community initiatives and charities. Our favourite causes include:
- 4-years of donating to the CHEO Dream Home
- Donated 2 kitchens to the Maycourt Hospice
- Sports coaching and fundraising
- Heart & Stroke Foundation
- Community sports such as hockey, baseball and swimming teams.
- FCA Ottawa Ferrari Festival, in support of the Villa Marconi Long Term Health Centre
- Ottawa Food Bank
- Fundraising dinner for stem cell research
Looking Forward to Our Next 50 Years
As we envision even more new innovations and growth over the next 50 years, we’re grateful for our amazing team who’ve helped us achieve our present success. We’d also like to give a shout-out to our many loyal customers and vendors.
Thank you all and looking forward to officially celebrating in person in the not-too-distant future!