In The News
20130625-kmc-revAs a business that began small in stature in 1971, Kent Moore Cabinets’ foundation was based on perseverance – something that is now a mark of pride for a company that never expected the need to expand their 1,000-square-foot shop in College Station.
Unlike many college students, Kent Moore ’72 knew exactly what he wanted to do with his degree in Education. He was going to teach biology and be a football coach. While in school, he began subcontracting cabinets part-time. Carpentry was a family trait for Moore, as he grew up watching his father create things by hand.

“I was able to learn from him,” Moore said. “I guess I had some aptitude and regard for how things work – taking them apart and putting them together – particularly in how to improve a system. A manufacturing company is a series of systems so we try to improve on those systems.”

Once he got started, carpentry seemed like a natural profession for Moore.

“After graduating,” he recalls, “I asked my wife, Debbie, if it would be alright to be married to a carpenter instead of a school teacher. It didn’t seem to bother her.”

Kent Moore Cabinets began with one man’s determination and a 9-inch table saw that he purchased on 30-days credit from Central Texas Hardware in downtown Bryan. From that 9-inch table saw, the company has grown remarkably and has undergone many changes.

Previously, the smallest carpentry tasks such as producing the floor of a cabinet or an end panel took three or four machines to complete. Now, parts are cut on a CNC router, helping to develop the company’s precision.

“We used to make 100 cabinet parts and none of them would be the same,” Moore said. “Now we can make 100 of them and they are all the same. We used to deal with 16th of an inch, but now it’s decimals. Things have changed significantly, and made us much more productive.”

Over the years, the company has grown to more than four hundred employees across the state of Texas with showrooms and sales offices located in Austin, Clear Lake, Conroe/The Woodlands, Dallas, Houston, College Station and San Antonio. The headquarters and manufacturing facilities remain centrally located in Bryan.

While business is predominantly involved in custom cabinetry for mid to high end residential construction in central Texas, the Moore’s have had their share of unique clients. From churches, jails, and clinics, to Frank Sinatra’s neighbor on Malibu beach, to a Prince in Saudi Arabia, Kent Moore Cabinets are a hot commodity.

Another significant development for the company was the switch to a water-based finish, making Kent Moore Cabinets the only business in the country to use this challenging, but earth-friendly method. Formerly having to spray each cabinet component by hand, Kent Moore’s flatline finishing system now makes putting on the stain and sealants a speedy process. The company received the Environmental Excellence Award this year from the State of Texas, which Moore says, “is kind of like the Oscars of manufacturing.”

“It was good to be recognized for doing that because it wasn’t an easy thing to do,” Moore admits. “We struggled for the first year to figure out how to do it, to get the mixture and the product just right.”

Struggling with the water-based finish is a testament to the company’s motto of perseverance.

“You need to have a good product, but if you don’t have perseverance, then you’ve just got to figure out the solutions,” Moore said. “There are many challenges along the way but perseverance is the answer.”

Moore had no intentions of attending Texas A&M until he followed a close high school friend to an Aggie football game.

“People said ‘howdy’ to me,” he recalls. “It was just a different atmosphere. I got the impression people were serious about what they were doing here.”

He began attending A&M soon thereafter and graduated in 1972. Now, Moore says, “we are about as deep in Aggies as we can get.”

In fact, he believes that Aggie values, such as trustworthiness, have helped develop his business. Knowing that a lot of Aggies have probably opened a kitchen drawer and seen the Kent Moore signature stamp gives the company something to continuously live up to.

“A&M is a special place, there’s no doubt about it,” Moore said. “I know other places think they are special too, but I think that by the time you graduate there’s a special sort of camaraderie. I don’t think you can find too many other institutions like it.”

On top of the foundation of perseverance and Aggie values, Moore’s family is what really makes the business what it is today. His son, Casey, is now the president of the company.

"he neat thing is,” says Moore, “I asked Casey, ‘is this something you might want to do?’ He thought it was, so we had to try to put a plan together.”

Though Moore is still a big part of the company, he is proud of the job that Casey has done over the last year and a half.

“I compare myself to what I was able to see him do and the way he ran things” Casey reflects. “He is an influence, with the honesty and reputation that you know you want to maintain. You can see what is expected and you want to run the business in that kind of fashion.”

Following in his father’s footsteps, Casey’s career began as a young boy much in the same way that Moore’s did. Typically, a 10 year-old Casey could be found sweeping or cleaning toilets for his dad’s business.

“As soon as I could, I took him and put him to work, and he’s been doing different jobs around here and it’s grown,” Moore said. “I knew Casey had a background for it.”

Moore admits though that working as a family in a family business can sometimes be easy as well as challenging. As a family, they get a long and enjoy each other.

“It really has worked out well and hopefully we can keep it going,” he said. “I have three grandsons and one granddaughter, so we’re working on another generation.”

With Casey running Kent Moore Cabinets, Moore spends most of his time at his ranch. But don’t assume that means he is retiring. In fact, he’s starting a new company called ClearTrac – a custom land-clearing service. Moore has enjoyed ranching and mulching for over ten years and feels he can offer his services to others, and ClearTrac is a step above the rest.

“Traditionally, you used a track hoe and bulldozer to knock the trees over and pile them up and let them dry up and try and burn them,” Moore explains. “If the stumps won’t burn, you have to dig a hole. It’s quite an ordeal.

However, with Clear Trac, no burning is required. Stumps are cut flush to the ground and there are no debris piles.

Even though Moore is excited at the prospect of his new company, cabinet-making comes first.

“It’ll be fun to see if we can make something out of that,” he admits. “But if the cabinets aren’t happening, then nothing’s happening.”

Kent Moore Cabinets has a lot of good things going for it – a good reputation, good values, good product, good family – just to name a few. For a family business that prides themselves on being “about as deep in Aggies as they can get,” sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t always bad. It’s safe to say that with Kent Moore Cabinets, business is good.

*Kent and Debbie Moore and son Casey are not the only Aggies in the family. The Moore’s daughters, Lindsey Bolline and Dana Locke, are also A&M graduates and work for Kent Moore Cabinets. The family that builds cabinets together, stays together, and the Moores do it in classic Aggie tradition, with honesty, integrity and hard work.
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