Cabinet shop rebounding
Donald Dyster knows how difficult it can be for a business to recover from fire.
Two months ago, Dyster, with his wife, Karen, became owners of the Cabinet Shop of Basehor, which was destroyed by fire on May 25. Before taking over ownership, Dyster was general manager of the business and he held a partial ownership stake.
He said he feels sorry for the owners of businesses in the shopping center at 155th Street and State Avenue that were hit by fire on Dec. 15.
"Those 10 businesses up there are suffering," said Dyster, a Tonganoxie resident.
According to Chuck Magaha, assistant chief of the Fairmount Township Fire Department, the investigation into the shopping center fire is continuing. State and federal officials are investigating the fire as arson.
Magaha said that representatives of the state fire marshal's office and the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will meet today in Basehor to review information.
After the cabinet shop burned, the operation was moved to Highview Industrial Park, near 147th Street and Parallel Road, on the east side of Basehor.
"Business has been steadily picking up," Dyster said.
Ken Lindsley, who co-owned the company with his wife, said he is optimistic Dyster will be able to rebuild the business.
"He has a lot of experience with cabinets," Lindsley said.
Before the fire at the shop, which was in the heart of Basehor on 155th Street, adjacent to the city library, the Lindsleys planned to construct a new building on two lots in Urban Hess Business Center in Tonganoxie.
The fire put those plans on hold.
"That is a long-term plan," Dyster said. "Right now, we're building our client base back up and our assets back up. We have a lot to recover from."
He said he believe it will be at least five years before the company moves to Tonganoxie.
"When we originally bought that, it was based on 24 employees," he said. "The plans that we had were based on a lot higher production, so we have to build back up."
Now, the Cabinet Shop of Basehor employs eight full- and part-time workers. Dyster said he would like to double that number before moving.
The shop builds primarily residential custom cabinets. Dyster said about 80 percent of his business comes from contractors, with the remaining coming directly from homeowners.
It's possible the company will see some revenue after its former building is demolished by Miles Excavating. Miles plans to tear down the building soon. The works carries a $45,000 price tag.
"I would say before the end of January it will be torn down," Dyster said.
The cabinet shop has entered into an agreement with the city of Basehor to help cover the costs. The cabinet shop will pay $20,000, with the city picking up the remaining $25,000, Dyster said. Once the cabinet shop lot is sold, the city will be reimbursed.