Gateway Kitchen + Bath started building 40 years ago. Today we aim to build beautiful spaces, strong teams, and loyal customers. What started as a custom cabinetry shop has grown into one of the premier custom renovation companies in Winnipeg, with two locations and employing over 40 people. We offer complete home renovation services from conception to completion – including personalized interior design, precision craftsmanship, and professional project management.
At Gateway, our focus is on our customers. We were built on the foundations of family and home, and we know that each family and every home is unique. We aim to build spaces that function according to lifestyle and needs while reflecting the personality of the people living in them. Large renovations can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before, so our goal is to provide each customer with all the benefits of our experience with service that is honest, accurate, collaborative, and innovative.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a big believer in using your skills wherever the opportunity presents itself. I like to think Gateway and I found each other at exactly the same time. I was looking for something new – a place to learn, build, discover fresh experiences and use my skills, and Gateway was in need of someone to continue the great work they’d already started. I didn’t have much experience with home renovations before joining the Gateway team (a few years prior, they’d renovated my kitchen), but I knew that in spite of the challenges of learning the industry, I could offer a new perspective. I have a background in mechanical engineering, managing manufacturing, overseeing processes, and growing businesses. Making things better is what makes me tick. We both saw an opportunity in each other and took it.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I’ve grown so much in the past few years, both as a CEO and as a person, so I’m sure there are a few things I would want to tell myself. I’ve always believed that you should surround yourself with people who inspire you and push you to be better, and it’s always been a goal of mine to make sure the people around me have brilliant minds and are thoughtful, capable, and hard-working. I trust my team, but I’d remind myself that I can trust myself too. There are times when the call is mine alone, and I can have faith that by taking a leap – in success or failure – we’ll learn something and be better for it.
What problem does your business solve?
If you look at a home renovation from a purely logistical viewpoint, there are a hundred moving parts: design, engineering, demolition, construction, tradespeople, materials… the list goes on. Unless you’re experienced, the potential for misstep is high. As a homeowner, it’s a lot to juggle. That’s where we come in.
We have experience in every aspect of custom cabinetry and home renovation, connections with industry partners that have been formed over decades, talented craftspeople, innovative designers, and dedicated staff that pull the details together and keep the machine running.
What inspired your business? What problem are you trying to solve, and for whom?
The Gateway that exists today grew by being responsive to the needs of its customers. We went from building cabinets to managing, contracting, and coordinating the entire project. We saw the needs that surrounded our market and expanded to fill them.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Every one of our customers is unique, and that’s what inspires us! We aim to build to their vision and ideas and create custom spaces that suit each individual style and lifestyle.
What is your magic sauce?
Any decent renovation company can build a kitchen or coordinate a renovation. Where I think Gateway differentiates itself is in our desire to walk beside our customers. If the coordination of renovation alone is complex and overwhelming, imagine that it’s also tearing apart your home. There are human needs and emotions mixed into the whole process, and we’re in the thick of it through everything. We aim to anticipate needs, offer sanity-saving tips from our experience, and even be a shoulder to cry on if needed. The excitement, the frustration, the surprises, the joy. We want to support and share in it all.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Our focus for the next five years is slow, sustainable growth—building a team of long-term employees who are experts at what they do and work hard to get one per cent better at it every day. Our goal is to promote honesty, accuracy, collaboration, and innovation and do our part to put an end to the poorly-managed custom renovations that are too often seen in our industry.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
I joined Gateway mid-pandemic as the only shareholder who wasn’t a member of the founding family. While I had plenty of experience in manufacturing, engineering, and management, the renovation industry was new to me. I was simultaneously learning the business, navigating pandemic-related restrictions and supply chain problems, and adapting to the dynamics of a family business. All this during an incredibly strange time for the renovation industry. People had more time in their homes, and I think everyone was restless. They couldn’t vacation, so they did the next best thing… renovate.
While booming business is a good problem to have, we were faced with all the challenges of rising to meet rapidly growing demand while still maintaining a company lean enough to stay profitable when the restrictions opened up, and the hunger for renovation slowed. It’s an ongoing process, and we’ve made mistakes along the way, but I think it’s made us a stronger team.
How can people get involved?
Serving Winnipeg and surrounding areas, Gateway Kitchen + Bath is your source for custom cabinetry, interior design, and home renovation. Take advantage of our free, no-obligation design consultation, schedule an appointment with us on our website: www.gatewaycabinets.com/contact/schedule-appointment/