Dan Wade still remembers the first house he framed. Nearly 40 years later, he still appreciates the craftsmanship that goes into every project he has worked on.
Wade and his wife, Daina, are the owners of Albuquerque-based Aesop’s Gables. When the company started in 1990, it consisted of Wade, a helper and a pick-up truck. Daina, kept the books while also working as a scientist. Now, she manages the office full time, and together, the Wades have become a dependable name in quality work for all of New Mexico.
“Early on, I installed the doors and trim work in a subdivision for a soon-to-be major builder,” says Wade. “Working hard and doing a good job, I was offered the opportunity to install the cabinets and countertops.” He said yes, and over the next couple of years he hired skilled young helpers and trained them in his craft.
Aesop’s Gables offers one of the largest selections of custom cabinet designs and precision cabinet installation in the state to fit your style, specifications and budget. And if you’re thinking of remodeling your kitchen, bathroom or closet, they can help with those renovation projects, too. “What I like most about this work is that you can see what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day,” says Wade.
Aesop’s Gables core group of employees have been with the company for 18 to 20 years. “Each one of them was hired on with little experience,” explains Wade. “They stayed with me and learned and studied and perfected their skills through lots of repetition. They’ve worked on about 10,000 houses, which has helped them perfect their craft. In fact, many of them have exceeded my skill level.”
Wade asks a lot from his craftsmen, but they all know that when they are on a job there is no deadline to finish. “I have told them many times that a job takes as long as it takes to do it right,” he says. “And they know our priorities — safety, quality and quantity. That never changes. We must do our work in a safe manner. It must be done well, and we do it well often.”
Aesop’s Gables carries cabinets from brands like Aristocrat, Quality and Merillat. Most of the cabinetry is CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant, and the company offers green LEED-certified products. Schrock, another cabinet supplier, is becoming popular with customers, notes Wade. “With Schrock, there is an 8 percent price decrease and the manufacturer offers a rolling promotion, too,” he says. “When you combine those discounts, you get a very customizable line and a great kitchen at an excellent price point.”
Visitors to the Aesop’s Gables showroom are treated with respect — from those who need help with a broken drawer to those who have questions about a custom kitchen. “We appreciate every customer that comes through our door,” explains Wade. “We start by asking them a multitude of questions to get a better idea of what they want done: How long do you plan to live here? Why do you want a change now? How many people use your kitchen?”
From there, the staff can show items that fit the clients’ vision, from the more budget-
conscious to something higher end. Afterward, they go to the site to measure and look at other logistics. Information is then entered into a computer program so the customer can see a 3D rendering of the design.
Custom-built jobs are not a problem for the team at Aesop’s Gables. They can enhance your cabinets with specific hardware placement, height dimensions and roll-out shelving. They carry a vast selection of custom and exotic wood, a variety of colors and unique finishes, as well.
Contractors and builders choose Aesop’s Gables for their projects because they trust their integrity and exceptional service, notes Wade, and working with one company from start to finish can have its advantages. The company also has an on-site countertop shop, warehouse and cabinet staging.
“We usually end up being the contractor of solutions,” says Wade. “On any job there are always things that aren’t in any particular scope of work, but we expand our wheelhouse to help. When builders have change orders or design solutions, we often step in.”
Growing older himself, Wade says he’s very aware of aging-in-place issues. Making a kitchen easier to work in is part of their design process. While many people have perfectly workable kitchens, some have trouble bending down to get things from their bottom shelves. Roll-out shelving makes that task easier, and based on the many differences between cabinets, the best approach is to measure and custom build the roll-out shelves for each kitchen. Wade was glad to have begun offering this service, and Aesop’s Gables has relied on the expertise of long-time custom roll-out contractor Tom Dellaira in developing this product and service.
Additionally, Aesop’s Gables can widen doorways and hallway ramps. They can also customize homes for better wheelchair accessibility. “I’ve always had a passion for helping people live independently,” says Wade, adding that he has helped his own parents make their home more livable and accommodating.
Wade has built great relationships with his customers since the day Aesop’s Gables opened its doors. “Since we started, I’ve never worried about running into a former client in the grocery store, because we really do pride ourselves on pleasing the customer,” he says. “Sometimes I’m asked by a potential customer why they should do business with us. I tell them we have some of the best cabinets, doors, countertops (both laminate and solid surface) and hardware, you can find. This is very important because even the best craftsmen cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. And most importantly, we have the best craftsmen and professionals in the business. Those are the reasons I give. I don’t say we’re the cheapest, because we might not be. I don’t say we can do your work tomorrow, because we can’t. If you need work done cheap and quick, we might not be your shop. But if you want it done right and at a fair price, come see us.”
Clearly, customers agree with Wade, as evidenced by the numerous glowing reviews for past work. One customer writes, “Great experience. We had gone to other kitchen designers, and when we finally went to Aesop’s Gables the designer really listened to what we wanted and had the best design and the installers were meticulous.”
If you want to start making your house a home with the experts at Aesop’s Gables, call 275-1804 to make an appointment. You can also check out their website www.aesopsgables.com. If you want to check out the multitude of options, stop by the showroom, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.