Case Studies

Direct Cabinet Sales

Trusted Supplier from the Kitchen to the Closet
  • Written by: Direct Cabinet Sales
  • Produced by: Direct Cabinet Sales
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

When Joe DeMussi, co-founder and president of Direct Cabinet Sales (DCS), entered the cabinet business nearly three decades ago he never imagined it would blossom into a lifelong career. “I was working for a wine importer originally selling to restaurants and writing wine lists,” he recalls. “I eventually bought my own place and was spending so many hours away from home my wife asked me to rethink my career choice. I happened to see an ad in the paper for Triangle Pacific. I called and ended up getting the job even though I knew nothing about cabinets.”

In 1989 DeMussi decided to branch out and start his own business. “With the onset of the housing crisis, the company I was working for was about to go out of business,” he explains. “My partner, Irv Englander – who’s since retired – and I started DCS out of our homes until things began to pick up and we could afford a warehouse.” The company’s first location was a mere 14,000 square feet, fast-forward to 2013, where DCS operates out of a 160,000-square-foot site in Dayton, N.J.

After 24 years in business DCS now covers a wide range of territory from Delaware to Long Island with four showrooms in New Jersey and one in Boca Raton, Fla. Despite the high volumes DCS puts out on an annual basis, the company performs a majority of its own fabrication and manufacturing in Dayton. “We complete order processing, assembly, manufacturing and centralized distribution from the Dayton warehouse,” shares DeMussi. “We deal with about 20 nationwide manufacturers, as well as import product from China and Spain.”

DCS has 90 employees consisting of designers, sales people, field personnel, office, factory, various support staff and installers. “Everyone who works here is very hands-on and customer-driven,” stresses DeMussi. “I think we’ve got a very unique service platform from design concepts to installation, everyone is dedicated.”

More Than One Niche

Over the years, DCS has diversified its product line and service to encompass a wide array of markets. “There’s a lot of competition in this region,” admits DeMussi. “But, because we are so diversified in many areas we can easily adapt when times get tough.”

Times certainly began to get tough in 2007. “We were growing every year up until 2007,” reveals DeMussi. “To react we decided to get into manufacturing closets and installing shelving to build more business. By January 2011, the economy still hadn’t completely recovered so we ventured into appliances.”

DeMussi wanted to diversify, but he wanted to do it right. “If we were going to do it, it was going to be 100 percent,” he continues. “So, I hired an industry veteran with 40 years of experience to run our appliance division.

DCS has survived by sticking to a business plan that focuses on acquiring great customers and keeping them. “Of course we still have to vie for some of our work, but our builders are loyal,” shares DeMussi. “They know we do a good job, we are very competitive, and offer great value to them, so at the end of the day, if necessary they’re willing to spend a little more to get the job done properly and well.”

The Multifamily Market

According to DeMussi, DCS is the premier multifamily supplier of kitchen cabinetry, countertops, closets and appliances in the Northeast. “Our core business is with corporate homebuilders, primarily in the new construction residential high-rise market,” he details. “We dominate the market in this region when it comes to that.”

DCS runs the gamut amongst residential installations, from $200,000 custom kitchens to basic designs for inner city housing in Camden, N.J. “We’re pretty unique in the fact that we cover every segment of the market,” adds DeMussi. “Presently we’re working on about 10,000 units if you count all of the various projects in the midst.”

The company has left a mark on many high-profile neighborhoods throughout the greater New York, New Jersey area. DCS is currently working on three sections of The Port Imperial development, a 5,000 unit mixed-use residential build, in Weehawken, N.J., has been in the works for DCS over the past decade. The company has also worked on the famous Trump Towers and the Ritz Carlton from White Plains, N.Y., to New Rochelle and Jersey City, N.J.

About five years ago, DCS wrapped up a high-profile project at the exclusive Port Liberte mid-rise, town house and apartment establishment. “It is next to the Liberty National Golf Course, which you can join for just $500, 000,” jokes DeMussi. “We installed all of the cabinet and tops in several thousand units.”

DeMussi reveals the company is currently working at 800 Park, a two-tower 450-unit development in Fort Lee, not far from the George Washington Bridge. “We bring in big-ticket jobs because our strength is product and price diversity,” he says.

Despite a bleak economic situation, DeMussi is confident DCS is prepared for growth. “We’ve planned for a long time to anticipate a downturn,” he reveals. “We streamlined costs, began training younger salespeople and support staff and invested in technology. We’ve positioned ourselves for growth while others prepare to close their doors.”

DeMussi sees the company’s future venture into increased product diversity, including more bathroom accessories. “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing and keep our good customers,” he stresses. “We’ll go where there’s a need. Our e-commerce division has recently shipped cabinetry as far as Jamaica and overseas to Iraq.”

DeMussi foresees a period of prosperity for the company he never anticipated. What started as an idea in a newspaper is now one of the strongest multitalented suppliers in the Northeast region. Direct Cabinet Sales continues to build valued clientele and compete in a challenging market.

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Published on: July 2, 2013

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