Cosmo Cabinets, which recently opened a production facility in Eatonton, received a wide show of community support at its grand opening April 11, when owners opened their doors for a tour of the plant.
Locating their company on industrial property formerly occupied by Horton Homes, the manufacturers are bringing life to a site that lay desolate for several years.
Currently employing 13 staff members, Cosmo executives plan to expand the production facility and, by 2022, maintain a staff of about 300 people.
“Our idea is to grow and get every inch of the property operational,” said Umaesh Khaitan, CEO of Door Kraft Products, parent company of Cosmo Cabinets, also noting one of his staff members, a resident of Putnam County, previously had to drive up to 90 miles to work.
“I’m happy to see him work 15 minutes from home,” said Khaitan.
“Seven minutes,” the worker shouted from the audience.
Khaitan said Cosmo Cabinets managers look for people to employ “who hustle every day,” and to inspire that drive, the company offers a bonus program to stay loyal to building cabinets.
“My belief to grow our company is to grow our people,” said Khaitan, noting they also provide 100 hours of training per year.
The ceremony drew a large crowd of guests, including representatives of Putnam County Board of Commissioners and Eatonton City Council.
Putnam Development Authority Chairman Bill Sharp – who was joined by board members Gene Smith, Josh Daniel, Ed Waggoner, Patty Burns and PDA Director Terry Schwindler – told Cosmo executives, “Terry [Schwindler] has worked relentlessly for your investment.”
While introducing several local leaders, Sharp noted that seeing Mayor Walt Rocker in attendance after he recently underwent heart surgery “shows his dedication to the community.”
Representing Putnam County’s District 2, where the South Industrial Park is located, Commissioner Daniel Brown noted he had watched the county change for nearly 40 years and was thankful the Khaitans chose Putnam to help grow the community and allow the community to help their company grow.
“You have a good county behind you,” Brown said. “The government and people are around and will help you however we can. I hope God blesses your business beyond your expectations, and through you, Putnam County as well.”
Welcoming guests to the inauguration, Khaitan noted, “This is an example of how government here gets things done. We pledge to put a part of Eatonton in every home in America,” he said.
The company has already invested around $2 million to get the facility operational, development authority officials recently announced, including costs for state of the art equipment.
Besides a massive cleanup of the property, the company also installed dust collectors throughout the facility, which helps keep the air quality safe and makes for a cleaner building.
“There has not been any action here since 2015,” he said. “And we want to change that.”
Khaitan moved to Atlanta from India and became a U.S. citizen in 2016, he told the nearly 50 guests in attendance. He said his father, who also was a manufacturer, always told him there is joy in building something that people need.
Turning out cabinets that serve as a high-quality product at an economic price, the CEO said it’s the first facility of its kind in the U. S. producing on a mass scale.
“We see endless possibilities when you produce high quality products,” Khaitan said.
Devesh Kedia, a mechanical engineer for Door Kraft Inc., designed the machine technology so the operators can easily run the units by digitally adjusting measurements.
“All cabinets produced at Cosmo are shipped preassembled,” he advised as he served as a guide to one of several groups touring the facility.
Describing the functions of some of the machines used during production, Kedia said one of the automations is designed to drill holes in select spots, while another is capable of drilling holes anywhere on the product.
The equipment used at the facility is designed for mass production, producing about 700 units a day that are designed for small homes, million-dollar mansions, businesses and hospitals.
“It typically takes about 15 minutes for most manufacturers to produce a single cabinet,” said COO Tom Boyda. “But we can produce one with the same quality in 2.5 minutes.”
Boyda noted that only the doors for the cabinets are made at a Door Kraft facility in Vietnam, which makes the product 88 percent American-made.
“We use more American parts than Ford (Motor Company),” Boyda said.
Showing the tour group examples of the finished product, Boyda pointed to a piece of plastic at the bottom of the cabinet that can be removed in order to clean under them.
Boyda noted that designers developed a special leg for the cabinets that folds up to protect the product during shipping and is capable of supporting up to 800 pounds. They are also adjustable to compensate for unlevel floors.
Built with soft-close drawers and doors, the cabinets are also waterproof, so that they can withstand rooms where there is a lot of moisture without breaking apart.
Cosmo Cabinets has a wholesale cost of about $75, Boyda noted, compared to hundreds of dollars for the same product at other companies.
Coming in 250 standard colors, the product is made from a type of PVC material that is extremely durable and scratch resistant.
“The finish is smooth and doesn’t bleed like wood,” said Boyda. “You can hit it with a hammer and not leave a scratch.”