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Keener Kitchen closes


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A Red Lion custom cabinetmaker that had been in business for 40 years has closed its doors, citing the impact from the economic downturn and increased competition from national chains.

Keener Kitchen Manufacturing Co., which made cabinets for residential use and did casework for commercial use, closed April 30, according to a letter from CEO Steve Keener that was posted on the front door of the business’s Boundary Avenue showroom.

It is not clear how many employees are affected or what will happen to the company’s inventory or showroom in Timonium, Md. The letter referred questions to attorney Lawrence Young with CGA Law Firm in York.

Young did not return a call for comment this morning.

In his letter, Keener states the recession hurt home building during the past six years, in turn hurting his business. And while that has led some people to remodel their kitchens, they have not used his services.

"They make the choice to use inexpensive home center cabinets instead of quality custom cabinets," Keener wrote. "For 40 years, we’ve assembled a team of artisans, people who craft not only with their hands, but with their hearts."

He said that, because the custom cabinet industry was shrinking in York County, many of his employees would be forced to find jobs outside their vocation.

"Quality design, installation and cabinetry will become a rare commodity to find in York County," Keener wrote.

While not able to speak directly to Keener’s situation, David Rothermel, president and owner of StyleCraft Cabinets in Terre Hill, Lancaster County, said the recession and increased competition have made things tough.

“There’s been some shrinkage in the industry. No question,” said Rothermel, who is also past president of the Kitchen Cabinet Makers Association. “From 2008 through now, it’s been a tough go. There’s no question the market shrank and shrank dramatically.”

As for the future, though, Rothermel said there are still people out there willing to pay for custom cabinetry, and that market is growing. A lot depends on the housing market; people would be willing to invest $50,000 in a kitchen if they knew they would be getting their money back on a sale down the road.

“The challenge going forward is that we’re going to grow up and get better,” he said. “And we just have to hope that the people who used to work in the industry are still around so we can bring them back to work.”

Joseph Deinlein

Joseph Deinlein

Joseph Deinlein covers York County, energy and environment, agribusiness and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JDeinleinCPBJ. Circle Joseph Deinlein on .



Kenny tome said:
really enjoyed the privilege of working there. Knowing everyday the quality we put out a second to none.really like working with the clients to show them step by step to give them the product that they wanted. Every company should offer that.i never work for a company where I felt like I was part of the family. wish all my friends they're the best of luck in finding new employment.

May 9, 2014 3:42 pm

Michael Wheeler said:
As a proud owner of home with Keener cabinets throughout I must say that this is a very sad day for Red Lion and York County. I wish all the best to the wonderful team Steve Keener and his father before him put together.

May 6, 2014 11:59 am

Bob Reed said:
A former Keener employee from 1995 - 1999, I was hired recently to turn around Del-Wood Kitchens in Hanover. We have made considerable progress towards recovery and were saddened by the news regarding Keener. We wish all the employees there good luck in their future endeavors.
Bob Reed
For any other information regarding Del-Wood go to:

May 3, 2014 3:04 pm

Dan said:
What a shame. York Countians simply want cheap junk, discount retailers and dollar store fodder. I doubt people under 40 know what a true craftsman really is or can do. The Home Depot junk is overpriced and won't last.

May 2, 2014 4:24 pm

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