Case Studies

Cardinal Commercial Products

A New Division with Service Remaining the Cardinal Rule

Greg Abrams, president of Hoskin and Muir dba Cardinal Shower Enclosures, is pretty fired up about a new addition. Launched in April 2013, Cardinal Commercial Products (Cardinal Commercial) is Cardinal Shower Enclosures’ new division.

“We’re rolling on and ramping up month by month,” Abrams exclaims. “The commercial products market certainly has its differences from the shower enclosure market, but it’s really moving along well. The one thing they do share is the need for customer service and we believe that will be our defining niche.”

Cardinal Commercial was born out of Cardinal Shower Enclosures, a full-service designer and manufacturer of shower enclosure products for all tiers of the market. However, the Cardinal family of companies’ dates as far back as 1946 with Ed Hoskin. As a young entrepreneur, Hoskin pulled a trailer load of decorative aluminum extrusions from Ohio to San Francisco where he rented a garage and started wholesaling metal.

Opening the Door to a New Opportunity

In 1948 Denis Muir joined Hoskin as a partner and Hoskin & Muir was born; Don Ross, current owner, came on as a potential partner and salesman in the early ’70s. Over the following decades Hoskin & Muir sold aluminum trim throughout the western U.S. and Pacific, from Aspen to Colorado and even Guam. The early operation supported hardware stores, lumber yards, floor covering shops, mirror and glass houses and other manufacturers. By the 1980s, the company expanded, adding aluminum extrusions to the shower door industry and Cardinal Shower Enclosures was established as a result in 1995. “Through Cardinal Shower Enclosures, we had already established 8,000 nationwide customers,” notes Abrams. “We were already serving 43 states and running our own trucks, but things really started to move forward when we asked our customers what they needed most and how they’re commercial suppliers treated them.”

Abrams continues on to explain that he and the team discovered two things. “The first thing customers noted was lead time and how long it took for products to ship and arrive,” he continues. “Shipping itself was the second issue, because most suppliers use common carriers and products were arriving destroyed or not completely intact. We found customers were ordering 10 to 20 percent more product than needed to make up for damaged materials.”

With shipping infrastructure, customer relations, better production methods and quick turnaround, Ross and Abrams began formulating a plan to meet the demand. “We began planning Cardinal Commercial in late 2011, but taking an idea from paper to the real thing is a challenge,” he explains. “We brought in J.D. Williams, an expert consultant, and he helped design a ground-up system that competes with anyone in the country. We were finally ready to sell our first product by April 1, 2013.”

National Ground and Custom-fit Solutions

In just shy of seven months, Cardinal Commercial has taken off, covering national ground and delivering new-and-improved architectural aluminum products designed for commercial aluminum and glass storefront and curtain walls.

“We operate in 43 states with seven locations, including Boston, Dallas, Reno, San Francisco, Los Angeles and even Honolulu,” shares Abrams. “All of the heavy duty manufacturing remains based at our headquarters in Louisville, Ky., where we have added an extra 100,000 square feet devoted solely for commercial. We have also added anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 square feet to five of our locations to prepare for the new product line.”

Cardinal Commercial offers a custom-fit solution, because each location has its own set of sales people, designers, order preparing staff and trucks. “We assemble in a work-in-progress fashion,” explains Abrams. “Everything we produce is ready to be assembled at the client’s location, which allows for customization.”

From storefronts and entrance doors to curtain wall systems, Cardinal Commercial’s products offer limitless choices and unmatched quality for every project. “Narrow to medium and wide style, we have it all complete with hardware,” details Abrams. “Our products are ideal for restaurants and strip malls to office buildings, from the exterior to the interior. We offer ¼-inch glass for glazing doors and because of our turnaround speed, we’re becoming very popular for being able to quickly answer the call for replacement parts and glass.”

Cardinal Commercial’s storefront design is the architect’s ideal system for maximum flexibility, a critical part of any project. The company’s series CF450, CF 451 or CF451T framing systems deliver unique high performance sub sill pan receptors with perimeter framing sectors featuring full depth glazing pockets. Series CF450, CF451 and series CF451T, a thermally broken framing system, are perfect for exterior storefront sections of schools, office buildings, apartments and hotels. All systems are double-weather sealed, contributing to energy efficiency and reducing air infiltration.

Through the latest technology and production equipment, Cardinal Commercial backs all products with competitive lead times and prices. “All standard framing systems, including curtain walls, feature screw-spline assembly for simple fabrication and labor saving installation. Series 200, 300 and 500 entrance doors feature interlocking corner block construction with five mechanical fasteners and corner construction that eliminates the need for welded corners and provides structural integrity.” -Cardinal Commercial’s website reads.

A Commitment to Superior Service

Although many things have changed over the years, from new locations to products, Abrams says one thing remains the same: customer commitment. “Exceptionally high customer service has always been our focus,” asserts Abrams. “We have great competitors and lots of them, which really keeps us on our toes and pushes us to make sure we set the standard for customer service in our industry.”

While Cardinal Commercial has recently stolen the spotlight, Abrams says Cardinal Shower Enclosures continues to grow with the same dedication to customer service. “We’re excited to introduce the Uptown product line, consisting of a semi-frameless unit with less metal giving a more custom look, yet at an economical price point,” he reveals. “This product will launch in early January 2014.”

With new product lines and the so-far-successful new division, Abrams is pretty confident in economic recovery and future growth. “We have seen an upturn nationwide,” he says. “Especially in Ohio, Michigan and California; the states that were really hurting. People are starting to spend money again, but we’re still in recovery. We’ve had some hardships combating gas prices and government regulations, but there’s no silver bullet, it’s a compilation of all normal market changes.”

Abrams is proud of how quickly his team was able to turn Cardinal Commercial from an idea to the real deal. “First, we focused on getting the product and material right, then it was about assembling a quality team,” he explains. “We now have the good people on the ground to get things done and so far it’s been a great startup.”

It seems as though the team is capable of most anything. “We’ve set sales records with our shower business throughout the recession,” continues Abrams. “We’ve been aggressive in marking and moving sales up. Now we just have to keep working on getting our name out on the commercial side. Luckily, our customers are longstanding and eager to give us a try. We just have to monitor growth closely enough so we can consistently supply the same level of customer service in both arenas.” For Cardinal Commercial Products, exceptional service continues to be the cardinal rule and path to success.

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Spring 2018



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