Little did Jim and Ralph Walters know back in 1972 that building a house would lead to an entirely new business. And for generations to come.
The Walters brothers, whose father Marshall was a skilled cabinet maker, built that house as a one-time venture. Sure enough, however, a neighbor liked the look of the cabinets, so Jim and Ralph built cabinets for the neighbor’s home. Then the brothers, who already were working as engineers at Crucible Magnetics, built cabinets for yet a few more people.
Jim realized opportunity was knocking and leading him to a career he loved. He soon started Walters Cabinets in a mobile home he gutted and converted into a workshop on Middle Creek Road in Hardin County. Jim discovered a lot of homeowners liked his cabinets and in 1994 moved his growing business from that converted trailer to its present, considerably more spacious location on State Road 210, between Hodgenville and Elizabethtown.
Another member of the Walters family also discovered a passion for cabinet making. Jim’s nephew Robbie, Ralph’s son, began building cabinet doors at age 15. Robbie soon was hooked. Even while a mechanical engineering student in the Speed School at the University of Louisville, he designed and sold cabinets in his college town.
Robbie completed his engineering degree, but was drawn back to Walters Cabinets, where he worked four years in the production shop before moving into sales and design. Realizing this is where he wanted to spend his life, Robbie bought the business from his uncle in 1999.
“I absolutely love designing kitchens,” he says. “I have a passion that drives me to take kitchens that are bad, or even fair, and make them great in function and beauty.”
Several family members now work at Walters Cabinets: Robbie, Tod, Gary, Cole, Jimmy and Valerie.
The Walters shop is a rare blend of Old World craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology, resulting in both beauty and precision.