Busy Bee Cabinets
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Victor Martins
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
From humble beginnings, Matt Uebelacker and his wife, Diana Uebelacker, have built their startup business, Busy Bee Cabinets into a premier custom cabinet builder working with some of southwest Florida’s most distinguished builders and residents. Headquartered in North Port, Florida, Busy Bee serves a geographical footprint from Tampa Bay to Naples, Florida.
In 1982, Matt and Diana began with $6,000 and a vision to create a company based on the cornerstones of quality and customer service. Busy Bee works both directly with consumers as well as general contractors. While the company specializes in high-end homes in the $1 million price range, Busy Bee works covers the full residential spectrum, including repairs and remodels. The company rounds out its revenue by completing small commercial work as well.
A different kind of company
Busy Bee has thrived as a company for 35 years by consistently putting the customer first and treating its employees like family. The staff at Busy Bee is what gives Matt the biggest sense of pride about his company. “We have many employees that have been with us for more than 20 years,” says Matt. “The most important thing to me is to be able to provide a paycheck for them. Everybody here works extremely hard and cares about consistently getting better at what they do.”
Busy Bee’s full range of services begins with a comprehensive needs assessment and design consultation. Once full agreement has been established on all details, production begins. “In many cases, products are manufactured right in our own plant,” says Matt. “In other cases, products are ordered in from outside vendors. All vendors are thoroughly researched and products are tested to maintain our high standards of quality so that we can guarantee the satisfaction of each customer.”
While all products can be made for customer installation, most are inclusive of installation services. As a crucial part of the process, Busy Bee only uses company employees to install its products. This ensures that each job is performed meticulously and skillfully, without wasted time and effort that may cause delays. “Our installers have decades of experience and only work with our products,” says Matt. “Complications in the field require skilled, experienced hands to solve problems quickly and effectively when they arise.”
A relationship-based market
In gauging its performance on a job-to-job basis, Busy Bee looks to grow alongside its contractors and nurture its relationships, which has led to a majority of its work stemming from repeat clients.
“Our business relies on the relationships we have with contractors,” shares Matt. “We work very closely with them to help their business. We’re constantly introducing new products and we like to be involved in the entire process and focus on the practicality and beauty of the design.” Busy Bee attends industry trade shows on a regular basis to remain current with the latest trends and styles on the market.
Just as thousands of other companies felt the repercussions of the recession, Busy Bee had its share of difficult times when the market crashed. The company was forced to downsize in order to stay in business, which included cutting its workforce and reducing its operating space from 65,000 to 10,000 square feet. “It was very hard and emotional to have to let people go,” says Matt. “We kept most of our managers on and they were gracious enough to do whatever it took to keep the company going. It was really a team effort.”
Even through the toughest of economic times, Busy Bee was able to maintain its relationships with contractors and its employees. This proved to be a major factor as the company managed to survive the recession and continues to grow in its wake. Once the business started to rebound, many associates who were let go were offered their jobs back. “We even helped a few people find work when we let them go,” recalls Matt. “A lot of folks had to leave the area to find work, but the ones that stuck around have come back to work for us.”
Matt maintains a positive outlook on the economy and the future of the industry. “Homebuilding really came to a standstill in Florida in 2008, but eventually the demand went back up,” he says. “More people are moving to the state now. Even if it’s not new homes people are buying, they will always need cabinets.”
With the ability to handle the most demanding projects, Busy Bee will be able to leverage its reputation and relationships within the industry to continue producing a winning combination of quality, features and price to fit every budget and need.
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