Building More Than Custom Cabinetry

Looper Cabinet Company CEO Chris Looper shares about prioritizing relationships, giving back to the community, and taking on complex projects

A few things shine through when talking with Chris Looper, CEO of Looper Cabinet Company: He loves God and his family, has a great work ethic, and believes in giving back to the community. In his late teens, Chris began learning and honing his cabinet making skills and remembers working many hours each week to get jobs done and get them done well. At twenty-five years old, Chris was chosen to be the shop foreman for the company he now runs with long-time employee and current shop foreman, Brandon Cannon, who makes sure the product is right before it goes out for installation.

Pair the strong work ethic present at the beginning of his career with his desire to deliver a superb customer experience and you get today’s Looper Cabinet Company. “Lots of people build good cabinets, so it's not so much that you build the right cabinets; it’s what you do after the cabinets go in,” says Chris. “Our service manager Stephen Burdette and service technician Allen Swingle take very good care of the homeowners and builders after the cabinets are installed. Because it's not about how much money you make…. it's about the relationships you build. I want customers to be happy with what we’ve done.”

Looper Cabinet Company, which first opened in 1948, is a local family-owned and operated business. Chris’s wife, Deanne, has been with the company for thirty-one years as a designer and plays a major role in getting all the information needed to prepare drawings for the shop. His daughter, Kaitlyn Mentrup, works in the business as well, along with cousins Mark and Derrick Looper and nephew Kyle Hammock. “It’s a good family-oriented company,” says Chris. “It’s not just our family here; we’ve got multiple families who work here. And if they’re not family (as in kin to us), we consider them family anyway, which is why we just don’t have much turnover in staff.”

The company works with thirty to forty local builders to outfit homes with custom cabinetry. So when Chris’s friend and mentor, home builder Mark Herbert, asked him to build a custom wine cellar in his new home, Chris enthusiastically took on the challenge. “Mark has been my mentor since we bought the company. If I need advice, he’s the first one who jumps on and gives it to me. So, we did it because of my respect level for Mark,” shares Chris. “It was really a big undertaking though. But, I'm one who runs toward something that's tough instead of running away from it because I love wisdom and I seek wisdom. Plus, if you don't try something that you've never done, you'll never know what it feels like when you get it done.”

The wine cellar holds over 6,000 bottles of wine and includes racks and shelves made from maple. With something this large, Chris says that they assemble it in the shop to make sure everything fits correctly before taking it to install in a home. “I’d done a bunch of smaller wine racks and things for houses before, but not to this scale,” explains Chris. “Mark wanted something custom built with certain details and it was so many parts and pieces. It was probably four weeks from the time we started until we put it in. It turned out amazing! It was a joy for us and a gave us a sense of self-accomplishment.”

Chris believes in actively giving back to the community in a variety of ways including sponsoring local sports teams, partnering with other local businesses to support the Thunder Over Evans fireworks event each May, working with Compass of Hope, and even showing up to feed the homeless. “Giving back to the community is huge to me,” shares Chris. “I think people see your success and they need to see you doing something with it. So, our name is all over football and baseball uniforms and you’ll see it all over the community because that’s important to us. I want to give away more than I make because that’s what I think God wants me to do. I think that’s why He has given me what He’s given me.”

Chris also wants to pass along the company’s strong work ethic to the next generation by hosting internships to allow young people the opportunity to learn about the business, including students who come through the Columbia County Chamber Foundation’s summer internship program.  

To see samples of the quality custom work produced by Looper Cabinet Company, visit www.loopercabinet.com. You can also follow Looper Cabinet Co. Inc. on Facebook for special announcements and photos of completed projects. To schedule an appointment for a consultation, call 706-863-1505 or email deanne@loopercabinet.com.

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