Eubanks has new owners
For more than 40 years, making cabinets has been Mike Eubanks’ stock in trade.
Now, Eubanks says he wants to “refocus and kick back a little bit,” and Jeff and Yvonne Terry are giving him the opportunity to do just that.
The Terrys took over as the new owners of Eubanks Custom Woodworks at the end of January, but Eubanks plans to be on hand to help them during the transition period, however long that may be.
“I want to be available, whenever, from now on,” Eubanks said. “I want it to be in a diminishing role. But if Jeff has any questions or needs some help with something, I definitely want to be here and help him through that.”
Jeff Terry said there are no plans to make any major changes to the business.
“We’re not going to change the name anytime soon,” he said. “This is a pretty well-established business here, and it will always be Eubanks Custom Woodworks, no matter what happens.”
With a “diminishing role” in the business in mind, Eubanks said he is looking forward to starting the next chapter of his life, one that involves a passion he’s had for longer than the business has been open — making furniture.
“That’s what we’ve been talking about,” he said, noting that he and his wife Brenda have been tossing around the idea of a business with the word “Legacy” somewhere in the name.
Eubanks got started in woodworking full-time in the fall of 1978 after college. Woodworking, he said, was something that ran in his family, and it certainly interested him.
“My mom’s dad was a cabinetmaker and carpenter,” he said. “We did a lot of 4-H stuff, and that kind of got my interest up in high school… When other kids in shop class were making cutting boards and things like that, I was building a grandfather clock.”
He and Brenda were looking forward to a life of farming and building cabinets, but after a year, he gave up trying to do both.
“We got to a point and I said, ‘We’ve got to go one way or the other,’” he said. “There were some drought years in there, and that’s when interest rates had gone up to about 20 percent. If we’d bought land and tried to farm, it wouldn’t work.”
Eubanks had also expressed an interest in creating wood furniture, but that didn’t pan out, either. Making cabinets, he said, “just seemed like the way to go,” so on Jan. 1, 1980, Eubanks Custom Woodworks opened for business.
“The cabinet shop provided us an opportunity to make a better living,” he said. “We’ve been trying to make it better and better and better every day without cutting corners.”
For more than four decades, Eubanks Custom Woodworks has become the name to trust for high-quality kitchen and bathroom cabinets and countertops, and much of that, Eubanks said, can be attributed to his employees, some of whom have been with the company for a quarter-century or more.
“The guys know what they’re doing,” he said of his crew. “I could sketch out a cabinet on a piece of notebook paper and say, ‘I’ve got to have this by the end of the week,’ and it will happen.”
A couple of years ago, Eubanks said, he was approached by a person about buying the business. The negotiations “failed miserably,” he said, but it “kind of got the wheels turning” about either retiring or refocusing.
Enter Jeff Terry, who had previously worked in construction.
“I’ve done stuff at home — doors, entertainment centers and small stuff like that, but nothing of this scale,” Terry said of making cabinets.
He and Yvonne took over the business on Jan. 31, giving Eubanks the opportunity to “refocus” on making chairs, tables, hutches and grandfather clocks, as well as spending more time with his family.
“We’re just going to keep trucking along,” Mike Eubanks said. “This area has been very supportive, and it’s allowed us to go out quite a ways.”