Local Business Profile

Aesop’s Gables Works Hard to Gain Customers’ Trust

Aesop’s Gables offers custom-built roll-out shelving systems that can fit inside your existing cabinets.
Nora Hickey, September 2017

For more than 25 years, Dan Wade has prided himself on providing solid customer service at Aesop’s Gables. When the company was incorporated in 1990, it consisted of Wade, a helper and a pick-up truck. Wade’s wife, 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 several good, young helpers and trained them in his craft.

When the countertop supplier started having problems, they asked Wade if he could do the job. Again, he said yes, then rented a small shop, built a homemade countertop saw, and soon was building countertops at night and on weekends.

When the door supplier started to falter, Wade told them he could do a better job. So he bought a bigger shop to build countertops and doors, and hired more help. When the builder he was working with asked if he could do custom closet shelving, once again, Wade said yes. “Many of those good men that were there with us in the early days are still with our company,” he explains, before proudly adding, “They are some of the best craftsman and people I have ever had the privilege to work with.”

In 2000, Aesop’s Gables was asked to start supplying cabinets. You guessed it, Wade said yes again. He found a bigger shop, located at 4810 Pan American Freeway NE, just north of Montgomery, with the iconic bust of a cowboy right by the road. With this new location, it seemed an obvious next step to put in a showroom and hire a team of designers, estimators, salespeople, warehouse personnel and more craftsmen.

It was a quick 10 years, going from himself and a helper in 1990, to himself, Daina and 20 knowledgeable employees by 2001. The next seven years have been described as boom years in housing construction around the country, including in Albuquerque, and Aesop’s Gables helped build more than 900 houses a year during that period. “The key to developing any skill is practice, practice and more practice,” says Wade. “Trim carpentry is a skilled craft and by 2008, the Aesop’s crew had done trim carpentry, cabinet, countertop, shelving, door and bath hardware installation, in over seven thousand homes. In one year we constructed and installed over nine miles of countertops. I watched young men go from hiring on as shy helpers to becoming confident, capable journeyman carpenters,” he adds with a twinkle of pride.

Aesop’s Gables’ approach to problems is to find solutions. “It may be our fault, the customer’s fault, or nobody’s fault, it doesn’t matter,” says Wade. “We find a solution.”

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.”

Visitors to the 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,” says 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.

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 shelves make that 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. “Already, we’ve installed roll-outs in about a hundred kitchens,” explains Wade.

Another product Aesop’s Gables proudly offers is the Jamb Brace: a door reinforcement that prevents criminals from kicking a door in. Over the years, the company has repaired or replaced way too many doors that criminals had destroyed, notes Wade. “Of course, they’d also gone into the home and stolen items worth far more than the door,” he says. “But when I got the chance to bring in a product that could prevent break-ins, I was glad to do it.”

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.


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