The Town Carpenter was established in January 1999 by its owner, Gary P. Luke, as a division of Buchanan-Lamont Enterprises, Inc. Prior to The Town Carpenter, Gary was the owner and President of Strictly Custom Interiors, Inc. (1989-1999) as well as a manager with John Wieland Homes, Inc. (1983-1989), both based in Atlanta, Georgia. Gary’s earliest hands-on experience utilizing the Journeyman Carpenter certification he earned in 1979 was with the construction firm of Boran, Craig & Schreck of Naples, Florida (1979-1982).
Commercial construction with Boran, Craig & Schreck gave Gary the opportunity to work in many different phases of the building process. To further his experience, Gary entered the world of residential construction with John Wieland Homes, an award-winning homebuilder in the southeastern U.S. with a customer base of over 20,000. This move proved to be a stepping-stone to Gary’s entrepreneurial business ventures.
While with Wieland, Gary established and managed a division of the company known as Servicecraft, which handled finish carpentry and specialty design items. Gary was also instrumental in the creation of an in-house cabinetry division that provided cabinetry and built-ins for more than 500 homes a year. Drawing on this experience, Gary established his first company, Strictly Company Interiors, in early 1989.
Gary’s dream was to create a firm that would provide “strictly custom” design products to the Atlanta marketplace. The vision took hold, and Strictly Custom Interiors soon began to grow. The original product line was expanded to include custom cabinetry and woodworking, and consumer demand for these items soon caused them to capture more and more of the firm’s business. In fact, the editors of Wood & Wood Products magazine chose Strictly Custom Interiors as one of the fastest growing woodworking firms in the country for 1994 and 1995. The company grew to 15 full and part-time employees and reached annual sales of $720,000, mainly through word-of-mouth referrals.
Having reached his goals with the business, Gary sold Strictly Custom Interiors on its 10th anniversary and established The Town Carpenter. Under a two-year non-compete with Strictly Custom Interiors, The Town Carpenter began as a one-man handyman and general contracting service. However, Gary’s reputation as a builder of high-quality custom cabinetry had been firmly established, and consumers were still clamoring for his products. Many previous customers and their friends waited patiently for expiration of the non-compete agreement, then contracted with Gary for custom items. Before he began expanding The Town Carpenter to the full-service cabinetry operation it is today, Gary achieved an annual revenue of over $320,000 as a one-man woodworking shop.