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Leaders: Ron Lyrek, President of Interscapes

Jun 11, 2020
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Leaders: Ron Lyrek, President of Interscapes

Interscapes produces wood and plastic laminate cabinets, reception desks, wall panels, and solid-surface Corian tops. The company also finishes and installs all of its own work using its own employees. Interscapes is known throughout the Twin Cities as being able to produce and install very high quality cabinets within very tight time frames.

In this video, Ron provides the background to his journey as founder and President of Interscapes, including detailing what he is doing now to give back to both the community and his employees.

In 1987, Ron Lyrek started Interscapes to produce custom cabinets for commercial and residential accounts. The company began by making residential kitchen cabinets and commercial cabinets for Metropolitan Medical Center. Ron and a part-time employee worked out of a 400 square foot shop located at 616 10th Ave in Minneapolis.

In December 1990, the shop was moved to the lower level of the old Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis. By 1992 additional machines were purchased and shop space increased to approximately 1,200 square feet, then quickly increased to 1,800 square feet by 1993.

Interscapes connected with St. Paul College to start the Toyota Production System changeover in 2001 following continued strong growth throughout the 1990's. Sales approached $2 million and once again the company outgrew its shop space. After implementing a Lean production system and making other significant operational changes, Interscapes grew to $5 million in sales and was able to stay in the same 9,500 square foot shop.

In 2008 Interscapes was ranked as one of the 50 fastest growing cabinet shops in America. But when the stock market crash later that year ushered in the Great Recession, construction in the Twin Cities virtually halted and Interscapes’ sales dropped from $5 million to $3.2 million. The company was forced to layoff employees for the first time.

Beginning in 2009, the company’s machinery loans were paid and Interscapes was debt-free. But to remain competitive and bring in as much work as possible, prices were reduced to 1994 levels, yet sales were unsteady. Ron’s goal for the company was to simply survive.

In April 2015 Interscapes relocated the shop to 6660 Shingle Creek Pkwy in Brooklyn Center. After purchasing the building, a comprehensive build-out was completed to meet production needs.

In 2017 – 10 years after the start of the Great Recession – sales grew an astounding 25 percent. Thanks to a highly active construction industry in the Twin Cities, business was excellent, wages were improving, and the company’s 401K was reestablished.

In March 2018, Interscapes added 6,400 square feet to the shop, bringing the total footprint to 24,600 square feet and a new shop layout was implemented to make room for new, high-tech equipment. And 2019 brings about more changes with the redesign of the office space.

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