Easton Manufacturing Company Rises From the Ashes
After collapsing in 2011 under the weight of snow, Eastman Street Woodworks was rebuilt.
When Shillock Sun's phone rang on Dec. 2, 2011, she wasn't fully prepared for what she was about to witness.
"Thirty minutes after the building collapsed, they called and said turn on your computer," she said.
A Youtube video had already been posted of the 154,000 square foot SunCo building on Eastman Street in Easton becoming completely destroyed under the weight of snow.
The building was owned by Sun and her husband, David Sun and the business had been in Easton manufacturing and selling cabinets since 1991. It was one of three buildings in Easton that collapsed or suffered structural damage due to the over 60 inches of snow that winter. No injuries occurred.
David Sun, who had seen an economic boom and an economic recession in the years he had run the company decided his best option was to rebuild and come out stronger on the other side. With no Easton building, he was forced to lay off over 40 employees.
"The collapse of this building was another setback," David said. "It's another challenge that we needed to overcome."
The rebuilding process didn't take long to initiate.
Just as the dust settled on the collapsed building, a rebuilding process began in the very same spot. The company elected to stay in the Easton, even though it could have saved money if it moved elsewhere.
"Every single person in town was very supportive," Shillock said. "We don't want to walk away from a town just because it's cheaper. We opened here in 1983. We've been here a long time. Our accountants; our attorney; it's all here."
The Suns didn't walk away from their employees either. Most were back at work 18 months later for the newly founded Eastman Street Woodworks.
"We had lost all manufacturing and laid off people," David Sun said. "When we called back our people, most of them came back fortunately."
While SunCo still exists in various satellite locations and factories in China, the Suns' new business on Eastman Street specializes in developing aspects of stock cabinetry and semi-custom cabinetry called quarter custom cabinetry. All of the manufacturing occurs in Easton and is American made. Eastman Street Woodworks' customer base tends to be developers, although customers can also buy direct
David said the focus of the new company provides a niche that is missing in New England.
"My goal is to fill a need for a local cabinet company here that can compare with national manufacturing," he said.
The 150,000 square foot factory features state-of-the art technology and dust removal systems.
"We said, 'if we're going to do it, we're going to do it right," Shillock said.
"The reception has been good," she added. "It just looks good."
For a look at the rebuilding process, check out the photo gallery.