Through The Eyes Of Innovation
Santa Cruz Kitchen & Bath is dedicated to both their craft and their customers, priorities championed by company founder Thomas Goode. Providing a wide range of high quality products and services in a professional and timely manner, our goal is to satisfy each of our clients’ specific design and remodeling needs for their new-construction or remodeling project. We provide each customer with wonderful attention to detail based on over 27 years of experience in the Santa Cruz community. Tom’s vision and guidance has caused our company to develop the unique ability to provide a complete 360 degree project scope. And under his leadership, we provide professionalism and workmanship that are second to none from initial design consultation to the final finishing detail.
Originally from Vermont in New England Tom, as his friends call him, found himself traveling cross country at an early age. When he landed in northern California he knew that he found a place he could call home and like many, claimed Santa Cruz as his spot in the sun. Between chasing waves and skate boarding on the local streets Tom brought handy-man skills from back-east, and applied himself in the home building trade. Then when working in a custom cabinet and manufacturing operation he discovered a love for hand-craftsmanship and the natural materials that he worked with on a daily basis. This passion led Tom to buy his first business, a custom cabinet shop which he grew into a successful company and later sold. “I found myself installing most of our custom cabinets inside clients’ homes and really enjoyed working with the homeowners. It was then that I realized that I wanted to be on the client-side of business, working with people.”
“That was the second step that we took, branching out into the community and working with complete remodels. It was mostly kitchens and baths back then as it remains today, only in the early 80s nobody was really servicing Santa Cruz locally. At that time you had to go over the hill into Silicon Valley to find any quality resource materials to work with. It just seemed natural to expand into the local market and provide the quality that no other company was offering back then,” says Tom. “So we opened the SCKB showroom offering custom cabinet lines which nobody else had at the time, and we built a great reputation with the best manufacturers in the country — many of whom we still work with today!” SCKB’s offerings have grown into a complete set of multiple brands in every category imaginable, including cabinets, counter tops, fixtures, hardware and accessories.
From his wild-at-heart 20s to a more mature man in his 30s, Tom met and married Heather, his best California friend, and started a family that includes three great kids and a number of pets. “Everyone is certainly busy and our lives never slow down it seems, but we would not miss any of it for a moment. This year we are sending our oldest off to college which begins the next progression of life!” As he reminisces Tom cannot believe the journey their business and lives have been on. “It sometimes feels like I just landed here in Santa Cruz a few years ago, but it has been a whole career and lifetime of great memories and friendships.”
SCKB opened its doors in 1987 and moved to its current location almost 15 years ago. Then, built upon the success of their first store, Tom and Heather opened Salinas Valley Kitchen & Bath 8 years later on Main Street in Salinas to better service the unique needs of the Salinas and Monterey County communities. “People like local,” says Tom. “Even in the age of giant retailers people really appreciate talking to an expert and not just a random worker on aisle 7 at a big-box retailer. Plus we offer custom brands and much higher quality than the big chains carry. Quality and choice has always been the key differentiator for SCKB and makes our business excel.”
In an industry that is driven by ever-new designs and changing tastes, there is a constant need for adaptation and growth. Traveling, observing and listening to manufacturers and customers has honed a sharp insight to what is a passing fad versus real innovation and styles that will last for years to come. “We visit all the major trade shows as well as consult with all of the reps in our 100-strong vendor product line.” You have to, says Tom, otherwise you lose your edge. “My instinct is to evolve with the leaders and innovate with our internal processes. Whether it’s investments in new technology and software, or improving our customer experience in some little way the credo is ‘be customer-first and innovate.’”
In regard to the company’s commitment to customer service and high quality, Tom says, “This company has been a member of the Better Business Bureau since 1998, and I am really proud of our entire staff with what we have accomplished. We started with humble beginnings and have grown every year through word-of-mouth and our client friends who have been so generous to recommend SCKB to their friends as well.” Tom is grateful for success in the communities SCKB and SVKB serve: “A lot of businesses come and go, but Santa Cruz Kitchen & Bath has been blessed and we have remained through both the good and tough times. It has honestly made us stronger, and we are much better today at what we do than we ever have been. We have that lean mindset that helps us save money for our clients while never cutting corners to achieve a beautiful end-product.”
Santa Cruz has grown tremendously in the last 30 years, and there is more choice than ever for resident homeowners, which is healthy for the community. It’s positive for us, too, says Tom; “In a competitive marketplace you always have to stay on your game, which is a good thing! You are only as good as your last remodel project, and quality is always Number #1 with our team.”
“We are very happy to be part of the greater Santa Cruz community. It’s been a great ride, and we’re looking forward to the next 27 years!”