Hurcel Dobson worked for a local cabinet shop from 1974 until he was laid-off in 1978. Using the knowledge of the cabinet industry he had gained over the past four years, Hurcel decided to start his own cabinet shop. His business began in a 720 square foot building filled with second-hand equipment and minimal material. His meager beginnings, however, were enough to produce a profitable cabinet shop.
In 1981, after five years of operation, the high demands of running a cabinet shop became too great for one person to handle, so Hurcel’s younger brother, Sherman Dobson, joined the business. By 1986, Hurcel and Sherman realized that their growing business needed more space and better equipment. A panel saw, wide belt sander, and an edge sander were purchased to fill a new 4,000 square foot building. The size of the shop was doubled a mere two years later with the addition of another 4,000 square foot building. The following year, the brothers began building their own raised panel doors. The demands they received from outside shops resulted in the need for an additional 6,000 square foot door shop. With this increased production came the addition of yet another family member, Hurcel and Sherman’s sister, Bronda Oliver. Dobson Cabinet Shop’s sister company became known as Custom Door and Trim, Inc. and a partnership was established.
To keep up with increasing demands, Hurcel and Sherman decided to add a software program called Cabinet Vision to their planning process. This program aided them in laying-out cabinets, enabling them to present customers with a 3-D rendering of their cabinets.
With cabinet and door production at a steady rate, the need arose to hire more employees. One of these employees was Hurcel, Sherman, and Bronda’s father, Grady Lee Dobson. Grady worked on a part-time basis from early 1990 until his death at the age of seventy-nine in 2002. He played a major role in the production of drawers for the cabinets that were built.
Cabinet and door production was at its peak in 2004. Unfortunately, the Dobson family experienced a devastating loss when the shop burned to the ground in April 2004. The electrical fire left fifty-three tons of scrap-steel and very little else.
The decision to rebuild the shop was an agonizing four week ordeal. The staff dropped to four key employees who proved to be instrumental in bringing Dobson Cabinet Shop back into full production.
The rebuilding process began in July 2004 and saw its completion five months later. The shop was fully equipped for cabinet production by December 2004.
During construction, Hurcel and Sherman attended the International Woodworking fair to see the latest technological advancements in cabinet-building equipment. After three days of research, the brothers discussed possibilities for the shop with their bankers. It was imperative they have a new beginning with the best equipment available. The decision was made to purchase: