Downtown Red Deer has become home to a high-end cabinet shop that could soon expand across Canada.
Arbor Valley Cabinet Gallery has been operating at 4806 Gaetz Ave. since July 22.
It emphasizes top-quality materials and construction, along with European accessories, said Stefan Forschle, a Red Deer resident who operates the business with his Blackfalds partner, Raimund Rudolf.
“It’s a luxurious product,” said Forschle, who turns to the auto industry for a comparison.
“Arbor Valley is the Bentley among kitchens.”
Drawers open and close with a light push, propelled by electric servo-drives.
“Technically, you wouldn’t even need handles,” said Forschle.
Soft-close hinges pull doors gently into place, and built-in LED lighting illuminates countertops and the interiors of drawers and cabinets.
Shelves are made from inch-thick wood, allowing for deeper cabinets and for shelf supports and electrical wiring to be hidden from view.
Drawer fronts are connected with a special engineered mechanism that increases drawer length within the same space.
“It’s only accessible to three companies worldwide, and we’re one of them,” said Forschle.
A collapsible Italian step stool allows users to reach upper cabinets, and then can be rolled out of sight.
And items like a knife block, spice holder and other kitchen equipment, as well as power outlets and a TV, are contained within hidden countertop pop-ups that rise with a gentle prod.
Also on display at the shop is a flat-screen TV that serves as a cabinet front.
A lift mechanism raises it to reveal storage space behind.
“It’s about the customer being able to use the product to its best and fullest,” said Forschle of Arbor Valley’s philosophy.
The cabinetry is manufactured in Blackfalds, he added, using only top-grade wood.
Cabinetry interiors are finished in colours exclusive to Arbor Valley, and clients can choose their own exterior colours at the company’s mixing lab.
A 10th generation woodworker, Rudolf has manufactured cabinets in Blackfalds for more than 25 years — primarily under the Contempo brand.
He was a customer of Forschle’s, who operates a European import business called Bucher Ltd.
It carries products like architectural hardware, kitchen accessories and LED lighting.
The two men agreed there was a need for high-end cabinetry, and decided to collaborate in the creation of Arbor Valley.
“What we’ve basically done is combine Canadian tradition in cabinet making with European technology,” said Forschle.
Customers can choose between a modern look, a traditional look or something in between.
“Everything is possible, because we do everything ourselves in our facility.”
The Arbor Valley shop also displays cabinetry and millwork products for other parts of the home, such as a walk-in closet with motion-sensor lighting and fans, illuminated hanger rails and a gliding steel ladder.
There is even a “live kitchen” where a chef will be able to prepare food for groups, such as interior designers or architects and their clients.
Forschle and Rudolf have also set up a design centre where professionals can sit down with clients to discuss options.
Nearby is a broad selection of tiles, laminate flooring, linoleum, carpets, blinds, paints, and granite and quartz products.
“We want to draw interior designers, specifically those that have home offices, to use this location,” said Forschle.
The Arbor Valley shop is already attracting customers from Edmonton and Calgary, and Forschle and Rudolf plan to open a half-dozen more outlets within the next five years.
Arbor Valley Cabinet Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.