North America’s Largest Woodworking Event | Tuesday–Friday | August 6–9, 2024


Industry & Trends

Rent in Arrears, William Penn Cabinetry Evicted


December 29, 2021 | Bill Esler

Freeburg, PA—William Penn Cabinetry, a start-up kitchen cabinet business that hired recently laid-off Wood-Mode employees during its 2020 launch, has been evicted from its plant in Freeburg, PA.

William Penn Cabinetry is an Homag shop with most equipment from Stiles Homag machinery.

The Daily Item newspaper in Middleburg, PA says the cabinet shop’s landlord received a $12,000 court judgment against William Penn owner Maurice Brubaker after he fell $78,000 behind in his rent. Brubaker, who also owns two other area businesses—custom millwork firm Stanley Woodworking in Middleburg, PA and commercial cabinet maker Wood-Metal Industries in Sellingsgrove, PA—laid off 80 employees and stopped operations in October. The Daily Item reports the manufacturing equipment is intact and on the dormant plant floor.

Maurice Brubaker, CEO of William Penn Cabinetry, also heads two other nearby woodworking businesses: Stanley Woodworking and Wood-Metal Industries.

Last year IWF Network News reported that William Penn Cabinetry was a beneficiary of a $500,000 loan from SEDA-Council of Governments intended to let it open a second shift and hire 150 people. SEDA-Council of Governments is a confederation of development programs at 11 Pennsylvania counties.

With receipt of the loan funding, Brubaker said, “This loan allows us to get the company the resources it needs to further ramp up our production much more quickly than our original estimate of a year.” Brubaker formed William Penn Cabinetry in July 2019 after he saw the abrupt closure of Wood-Mode, a prominent national cabinet manufacturer that has since relaunched under new ownership. William Penn Cabinetry began production in March 2020 with half of the first 30 employees drawn from Wood-Mode.

This nested-based CNC with automated load and off-load is among the equipment at William Penn Cabinetry.

The loan was used to fund inventory, equipment, rent, payroll, utilities, benefits, payroll taxes, and purchases.

“It was hardworking people who lost everything in the blink of an eye,” Brubaker said. “I felt it was our duty to help the community and help these people to get back to work. I think it’s good to have manufacturing in the area and those are normally good-paying jobs with benefits. I understood the trickle-down effect of 900-plus people being out of work and possibly losing homes, not putting food on the table.”

Only days after opening, however, the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard, and the company had to close from March 19 to May 8, 2020 due to the statewide mandated business shutdown in Pennsylvania.

“Rather than retreat, we marched forward,” Brubaker says. “We hired a vice president of sales and a sales director. We took this as an opportunity to grow.” As a professional accountant based in Lewisburg, Brubaker had no prior experience in the cabinetry business, according to the SEDA-Council of Governments, and so he has relied on experienced employees to direct the business.

President of the business is Doug Lauver, with 22 years in the cabinet industry, including 22 years at Wood-Mode, Inc. Lauver oversees William Penn Cabinetry’s team, equipment, materials, and manufacturing process. Operations at William Penn Cabinetry are situated in a 150,000-sq.ft. plant in Freeburg, PA, outfitted with Stiles Homag CNCs, saws, and edgebanders.


More Industry & Trend News

  • Whatever Happened to the Interest Rate Cut?

    June 19, 2024

  • Home Builders Institute Opens Training Academy in NC

    June 19, 2024

  • Baltimore Harbor’s Shipping Channel Has Reopened: Now What?

    June 19, 2024

Register to Attend

Be part of North America’s largest woodworking show and conference.

Register Now

Apply to Exhibit

Grow your business at the premier global woodworking trade show.

Exhibit at IWF 2024

Show Hours & Location

International Woodworking Fair
August 6–9, 2024

8:30 AM–5:00 PM*
8:30 AM–2:00 PM*

*Building A opens 7:30 AM Tue-Fri

Georgia World Congress Center
285 Andrew Young International Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30313

Get Industry News & IWF Updates

Subscribe to IWF Network News.

Subscribe Now

Terms & Privacy Policy

© 2020 International Woodworking Fair, LLC Terms of Use & Privacy Policy

3520 Piedmont Rd NE #350, Atlanta GA 30305 | (404) 693-8333


Have questions about IWF? Check out our new AI chatbot and get info fast!

To get started, set your chat preference. Then click on the chat bar that appears in the lower right corner. Are you an Attendee or an Exhibitor?

Attendee Exhibitor

No Thanks

IWF 2024 Add to Calendar

Sync IWF 2024 with your favorite calendar program.

Notification Message

loading … please wait

Have Questions?

First let’s set your chat preference. Then, just click on the chat bar that appears. Are you an Attendee or an Exhibitor?

Attendee Exhibitor