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Royal Woodworking keeps it all in the family

There is no in-house bickering among members of this family.

And that is by no means an easy feat considering that many of the 56 employees at the recently expanded Royal Woodworking on Wellington Street East are related.

“What’s really nice is we work side by side all year long and still spend Christmas together… and look forward to spending Christmas together,” said Donna Gough, whose brother Frank Gerrits and his partner John Rowe started the company 22 years ago.

The recent expansion, which necessitated the purchase of the property from Jim Haslam, owner of Aurora Bear Alignment, gives Royal Woodworking and its retail component, The Royal Wood Shop, the entire north-east corner of Wellington and Industrial parkway. Gough says it is also an indication of the economic fortunes of community.

“People are spending money again,” she said. “And renovations seem to have become the big thing.”

Manufactures of wooden molding, trim, doors and “pretty much any type of wood product that’s out there”, Royal Woodworking sells strictly to lumber yards and large retailers, such as Home Depot, one of the company’s biggest customers.

“On the retail end at the Woodshop, we sell to crafts people, do-it-yourself and smaller clients. We sell everything from doors to plywood to gingerbread.”

Since Rowe and Gerrits opened in King City in 1976- they moved to Aurora in 19790 one thing has remained constant at Royal Woodworking. There is cherry, maple, oak, pine, walnut and more. But there is only wood.

“Quality and many different species of lumber, that’s certainly been our strength,” Gough says. “But there’s also very little out there in terms of competition.”

For Royal Woodworking, the proof is in the molding.

By: Mark Sufrin
January 14th, 1999