Keystone Wood Specialties has come a long way from the S.D. Stoltzfus Cabinet Shop founded in 1972.
That one-man cabinetmaking operation founded by Samuel D. Stoltzfus featured him in the shop making everything except the doors, which he outsourced. His father, brothers and a friend would install the finished kitchens. Today, the company that became Keystone Wood Specialties in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, makes a comprehensive line of cabinetry components for customers across the country with production out of a 60,000-square-foot plant operated by 75 employees.
The path from a one-man shop to a major manufacturer wasn’t a straight line. In 1975, Sam began making his own cabinet doors and the name changed to Keystone Custom Kitchens. Two years later, he saw an opportunity to grow into manufacturing cabinet components and stopped making cabinets altogether.
Sam Stoltzfus died in 2020, but he previously described the transition from kitchens to components. “That was a big switch,” he said, “because it was like starting all over again. It was tough going for a couple years, to bring everything to the quality level we wanted.”
Along the way, Keystone was recognized for its business practices and leadership.
• From 1996 to 1998, Sam served as president of the Wood Products Manufacturers Association.
• In 2003, the company became SHARP certified, and was awarded as one of the Safest Companies in America in 2005.
• In 2006, Sam Stoltzfus was honored for his hard work and dedication when he received the woodworking industry’s prestigious Jerry Metz award that recognizes four areas of excellence in manufacturing that its namesake was known for: safety, training, quality, and productivity.
• In 2020, Nick Stoltzfus was named to the Wood Industry 40 Under 40 List.
As 2020 drew to a close, Keystone experienced a major shift with the death of founder and president Sam. Sam’s son Nick Stoltzfus took on the role of president in 2021.
“As Keystone, along with everyone in our industry, was dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, we were also grieving the loss of our founder and president and finding our path forward through transition in leadership,” said Nick. “My dad built the foundation of this company on his strong work ethics, values and beliefs, and I credit our employees’ dedication to those founding principles with our ability to navigate the past two years. Thanks to the perseverance and hard work of our team and the loyal support of our customers, 2021 turned into one of our most successful years to date.”
Looking ahead, Nick points to a number of initiatives to drive Keystone into a successful future.
• Keystone launched the Essentials Laminate Collection featuring laminate cabinet doors, drawer fronts and flexible laminate veneer in 2021, which it plans to grow in the coming years.
• The company is implementing continuous process improvement strategies across all areas of production, with a new a manufacturing engineer on staff to lead that effort.
• Keystone is investing in new equipment and technology to increase product quality and customer satisfaction.
However, in Nick’s opinion, one of the most important things Keystone has done to prepare the company for the future is to develop a company Purpose Statement: To help people find enjoyment in their work.
“In the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon comes to this conclusion, ‘There is nothing better for a person than he should eat, and drink and find enjoyment in his toil,’” quoted Nick. “I believe Keystone can offer this opportunity to our employees and help our customers and vendors also find enjoyment in their work through their relationships with us. All of our actions and decisions will be guided by this Purpose of helping people find enjoyment in their work.”
“The reality is that my father started Keystone 50 years ago with that same thinking,” said Nick. “And it will continue to lead us through the next 50 years.”
Keystone Wood Specialties Inc. continues to be a family-owned wholesale manufacturer of wood components serving the custom cabinet, furniture, and remodeling industries. For more about the company, visit keystonewood.com.
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