the fall of 1950, Russell D. Carter
purchased $300.00 worth of [ a saw and a drill press] equipment, and
the materials to produce the very first kitchen. This was done in the
basement of the Carter home, on Mercer Avenue, in Northwest Roanoke.
In 1953, $8,000.00 in earnest cash
was borrowed from a
personal friend. These funds were used to finance the erection of the
first building at the present business location of 2132 Shenandoah
Valley Avenue, in Northeast Roanoke. The Carter family lived upstairs
and the shop was located in the basement of this home. In 1953, the
company was incorporated.
In 1955, a finishing room, unattached
to the main
structure, was constructed on the back of the real estate.
In 1957, a two-story drying room was
the finishing room and main structure.
In 1965, fire destroyed 70% of the
finishing room, the
finished cabinetry inventory therein, and the shop; while the entire
office space and residence was damaged by smoke. The fire was
determined to have been caused by faulty electrical motor wiring.
Damage amounted to $12,000.00 and was only partially covered by
In 1972, the business expanded again,
square feet in shop space. The house next door was also purchased, used
for storage, then subsequently torn down.
In 1977, the business became charter
members of the
American Institute of Kitchen Dealers. Carter Family members were
involved a great deal at the state level. The American Institute of
Kitchen Dealers has gone on to become the National Kitchen and Bath
In 1987, the company once again
expanded the shop,
adding another 3000 square feet of shop space and storage area.
In 1998, the company built and
furnished the state of
the art annex, another 5000 square feet of shop space equipped with
some of the most powerful cabinet making machinery in the entire
Mr. and Mrs. Carter suffered a tragic
accident in December of 1969. During the summer of 1974 Lee Ann Carter
became involved in the business on a part time basis, and then expanded
that role in to a full time job. Mr. and Mrs. Carter retired in 1983,
the only two Certified Kitchen Designers in Roanoke; leaving the sole
ownership in the hands of their daughter Lee Ann.
Mrs. Carter passed away in February
2005. Shortly thereafter Mr. Carter had to be placed in a retirement
home due to failing health.
Carter's Cabinet Shop employs 31
people with an
average tenure of 24 years. It produces cabinetry of all shapes and
sizes for any room in the home.
Lee Ann Carter was named the 1997
Person of the Year by the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.
2007, the company completed a renovation
of the private residence of the Carter's, adding 4000 square
of showroom and office space with 11 new displays.
Russell Carter passed away on May 10, 2009.