BY BILL PHILLIPS
Onyx Stone and Custom Cabinets is a young company in more ways than one.
It has only been serving Prince George for a two years and most of its employees are young.
Onyx Stone and Custom Cabinets builds cabinets on a volume basis as well as manufacturing countertops.
“We’re pretty much the only company in northern B.C. that these two trades under the same roof,” says Bikram Sahi, company president. “This is how we got so busy in just two years.”
The first year they did counters and cabinets for 138 houses, which kept their crews very busy. The company has been growing steadily since then.
And while the company is young and its staff are young, doesn’t mean they don’t have experience. Company president Bikram Sahi worked at 3D Wood Design here in Prince George before venturing out on his own. He and his younger brother started with a company four years ago that offered quartz countertops to suppliers like Rona, Lowe’s and small companies that just install cabinets.
“Then I thought I should have full control of the kitchen,” says Sahi. “I like to build stuff. I was noticing that the guys who just design cabinets, they were not keeping in mind the size of counters.”
Designing the entire kitchen means Onyx can control all aspects of the kitchen, which makes for better fitting cabinets and counters which, of course, means happier customers.
Onyx builds all of it cabinets at its location on Third Avenue.
“We have a fully automatic line … we don’t drill a single hole by hand, it’s all done by a cabinet and counter machine,” he says. “We have a very intuitive and advanced program.”
Onyx will design the product with a 3D view for the customer. The program will then cut everything from screw holes to dados precisely. It will even account for where the studs are in the wall.
“That gives you a 100 per cent square box,” he says.
He says everyone at the business works to keep the customers happy.
“In the longer run, if someone’s happy with you, they will refer you,” he says.
In addition, the company has been supportive of the community. Onyx has donated cabinets and counters to local temples, churches, and community organizations. Most recently they built cabinets and counters for the Hart Pioneer Centre.
“When I saw that big huge cabinet with a lot of cabinets under it and they were serving the food on it, I was super happy,” he said. “This is what I’m working for.”
Onyx deals with both contractors and walk-in traffic at their Third Avenue showroom. Sahi says everyone, contractors and the public, gets the same service and the same deal.
That business model has paid off as the company is definitely has already outgrown its premises. Onyx has just purchased an 8,500-square-foot building on Fourth Avenue what will house a new showroom.
“I’m trying to build the best showroom possible, where you can put up a lot of product and have that nice home feeling,” he says. “Hopefully we will have that ready in the next year.”
The company has also bought a new machine for just doing counters and it is very high tech. Onyx can use a laser scan of the all where your cabinets and counters are going to be installed, and the machine will fabricate everything to fit precisely. They don’t high quality material for their cabinets, as well.
Onyx employs 14 people full-time and three part-time, which comprise two teams to install cabinets and two to install counters. Most of their business comes from word-of-mouth and customers get a good quality product at a reasonable price.
“Every house you do is your showroom,” he says.