Apple Valley Woodworks of Southington, CT, is a manufacturer of several cabinetry lines, including: solids, woods, decorative laminates, veneers and melamines. With a plant encompassing more than 210,000 square feet and more than 110 employees, Apple Valley is hardly a niche marketer.

There was a recent exception, however, when company president Lou Lestorti was approached by the Town of Southington Police Department with a special request. The police department had received a grant from the United States Department of Homeland Security for specialty communications equipment to be used for large disasters, emergency response or its S.W.A.T. unit. They had a Ford Expedition SUV to put the equipment in, but had no way to safely and conveniently house it.

With no grant money available for the cabinetry needed for the Emergency Command Vehicle and Communications Center, Lestorti and Apple Valley came to the rescue. Donating the time, labor and materials, Apple Valley met with the Police Department and went over the requirements on this project. Size, durability, access and organization were important elements of this custom-designed cabinet, which must hold specialized and sensitive emergency equipment.

Apple Valley’s Director of Design and Product Development, Stephanie Martin, explains, “As the finished product is a Mobile Based Command Center, it had to be able to withstand continual vehicle movement, as well as be durable enough to accommodate fast-paced usage. The fit of the unit was designed to work with the curvature of the body of the vehicle. As space was at a premium, each segment of the design had to be calculated to accurately house its respective equipment, as well as allow storage for other related equipment.”

The end result is cabinetry that, while beautiful, is also functional. “It is truly a unique piece of furniture,” says Lestorti.

Although not profitable in a strict financial sense, Apple Valley’s ability to fill this special niche is one that is rewarding in the knowledge that the company has contributed to the public safety of its community.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.