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The Cabinet Door Shop – Interior Interests

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The Cabinet Door Shop Interior Interests Text by Jennifer Olson 104 Bratton Dr. in Hot Springs www.CabinetDoorShop.com 501-262-5100 Noel Uzick Neil Fisher Robin Uzick Cyndi Fisher Cathy Puckett Jason Puckett Gerald Wheeler Bobbie Wheeler

The Cabinet Door Shop, in all her glory. Located at 104 Bratton Drive off of East Grand Avenue, the vast facility houses a showroom, factory, and sister company, Interior Interests.

It was 1967. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court.
Respect, Light My Fire, and All You Need Is Love could be heard drifting over the airwaves. The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner could be seen on drive-in movie screens.
He was 18, liked to drag race, and hung out at the local burger joint. She was 16, beautiful, and had dated his best friend. While it sounds like the plot of a cool teen movie, it is actually the real life love story of Gerald and Bobbie Wheeler.

For two years he watched a pretty young girl come into Burger Chef on Central Avenue where he worked. She always ordered a 10 cent cup of ice. He didn’t know her name, but he noticed 14 year old Bobbie Sue Davis.

“On our first date, we went to Burger Chef. She cost me 10 cents. All she wanted was a cup of ice, and she just munched on it,” Gerald remembers.

Gerald realized Bobbie was his mysterious ice girl on that date, suggested by a friend who had previously dated her.

“I thought she was beautiful,” says Gerald.

The couple dated and Bobbie enjoyed Gerald’s love of hot rods and drag racing. He well remembers the moment he knew she was The One.

“I came home late one day from work. I needed to put synchronizers in my four-speed transmission, rebuild, and install it because we were going drag racing that night. I walked in the door, she had my green shirt on, and she had some grease on her face. She had taken that four-speed apart, had cleaned it all up, and was waiting on me to put it all back together. I took one look and thought, ‘I’m going to marry that girl.’”

The Cabinet Door Shop Interior Interests Text by Jennifer Olson 104 Bratton Dr. in Hot Springs www.CabinetDoorShop.com 501-262-5100 Noel Uzick Neil Fisher Robin Uzick Cyndi Fisher Cathy Puckett Jason Puckett Gerald Wheeler Bobbie WheelerThe pair married, and 44 years later, are parents to three daughters and sons-in-law, and several grandchildren. Robin and Noel Uzick, Cyndi and Neil Fisher, and Cathy and Jason Puckett have embraced and expanded the family business.  A tightly knit group, the Wheelers and their daughters’ families have created an Arkansas business known worldwide. The Cabinet Door Shop, specializing in creating cabinet doors and drawer fronts, came into existence almost by happenstance.

Originally planning to build houses, Gerald and Bobbie went to see a loan officer at Hot Springs Savings and Loan when he turned 21. Business went well until interest rates soared in the late 1970’s, so the resourceful Wheelers took another route.

After installing exterior trim for Cooper Homes in Hot Springs Village, the Wheelers began building homes again in 1983. It was during this period that Gerald began building cabinets for the homes. With no formal training or apprenticeships, Gerald had a talent for woodworking.

“It just came easy,” he says. “I’m basically self-taught.”

However, business was soon so busy, that Wheeler decided to begin buying the cabinet doors from a manufacturer and have them installed onto the cabinet boxes. A trip to QuardArk and a random question changed the course of Wheeler’s business plans.

“We went down to QuadArk. The owner asked me, ‘Do you want to buy a cabinet shop?’”

The Wheelers didn’t buy that particular shop, but did decide to open a cabinet door shop, a niche that, in his opinion, was a gold mine. Starting out in a 2,800 square foot building, rumored to have once been a gas station, The Cabinet Door Shop opened for business.

Bobbie and Robin, the Wheeler’s eldest daughter, began book-keeping duties. Future Son-in-law Noel Uzick worked with Wheeler and learned the craft through hands-on training.

The Cabinet Door Shop Interior Interests Text by Jennifer Olson 104 Bratton Dr. in Hot Springs www.CabinetDoorShop.com 501-262-5100 Noel Uzick Neil Fisher Robin Uzick Cyndi Fisher Cathy Puckett Jason Puckett Gerald Wheeler Bobbie Wheeler“I wasn’t afraid of hard work, or long hours, but the day we walked into our first building, Gerald looked at me and said, ‘Noel, this place has lights.’ Without hesitation, Robin popped off, ‘Don’t even think about it, Dad,’” Noel recounts. “He was indicating we could work all hours of the night, which we did for a while.”

The family business was growing and doing well when Gerald was involved in a car accident. While Gerald recovered, the family ran the shop. Not one to be idle, Gerald’s wheels were turning.  He kept asking how it was going. He was thrilled to learn business had been steadily increasing and they were busier than ever. Inspired, Gerald told his family he was not coming back yet, but rather going to construct a larger building for The Cabinet Door Shop.

Construction began in 1992 at the current location, 104 Bratton Drive, totaling over 15,000 square feet. Bobbie expressed her concern about such a large building to her husband.

“Are you crazy?” she asked Gerald at the time. “Have you lost your mind?”

Fifteen months later, the first addition added 7,500 square feet. In 2000, another 12,000 square feet expanded the work space into a well-oiled machine. 2002 saw 15,000 square foot was added to the custom cabinet door factory. The expansive space afforded plenty of room for state-of-the-art equipment.

The Cabinet Door Shop takes pride in its commitment to both employees and product. The company is very committed to the safety of its employees. The facility houses unique table saws that can detect human flesh and automatically stop.

“Safety is our top priority,” assures Gerald.

As for the product the company makes, Gerald insists that only the highest quality wood will be offered to clients, so there will always be consistency.  Coloring of the wood is key.

When suppliers ask what type of wood he is looking for, Wheeler says he tells them, “My first choice is color, and my second choice is color. However, I’m willing to compromise as long as the third choice is color.”

Clients of The Cabinet Door Shop take the doors and drawer fronts and stain them to match their home décor. With consistent color in the wood, the stains match more uniformly. The company is so insistent on this feature, Wheeler once passed on a very unique load of birch. If the same color of birch could never be found again, he didn’t want to offer it to customers.

A multitude of options for cabinet door and drawer front designs are available for customers to choose from. High end dovetail drawer boxes are another specialty. There are over 2 million different combinations available for the products offered. Jason Puckett is the production supervisor, and is always looking at creating new designs for customers.

The Cabinet Door Shop offers a showcase room displaying cabinet doors, drawer boxes, drawer fronts, wainscot, and panel ends. Stains and styles for differing tastes from simple to designer may help customers who have difficulty visualizing what the finished product will look like after installation.

New construction clientele is not the only market for the business. Remodels and renovations, soaring in popularity in recent years, are also frequent. Stemming from a sister venture, led by Noel Uzick and Neil Fisher, Interior Interests offers something for those in pre-existing homes.

“Back in 2012, we were able to create our sister company, Interior Interests. The idea behind it is to manage all the products for home remodels and renovations. We are your one stop shop for cabinet installs, painting, electrical, laying tile, heat and air, plumbing, and countertops,” Uzick explains.

“This company has become a success around the community. Let us take the stress out of your future home renovation, today. Contact us, and we will get the job done right for you the first time,” adds Fisher.

For 28 years, The Cabinet Door Shop has been supplying high quality products to not only local clients, but also to customers around the world. Transportation within the state, across the nation, and exportation to foreign countries is an everyday concern. For the Wheelers, Uzicks, Fishers, and Pucketts, the wheels of quality never stop turning.

Visit our showroom at 104 Bratton Dr. in Hot Springs

or call us at 501-262-5100.  www.CabinetDoorShop.com