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Old River Cabinets files for bankruptcy

Michael Schwartz November 30, 2012 28

Old River Cabinets at Short Pump

The Short Pump storefront for Old River Cabinets. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

A local cabinetmaker with stores in Short Pump and Midlothian has filed for bankruptcy.

Old River Cabinets Inc., which operated out of a production facility in Amelia County and had four retail locations in Richmond and Northern Virginia, filed Monday for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.

The 10-year-old company had been searching for a buyer or investor in the days leading up to its filing, according to Kevin Funk, an attorney with DurretteCrump who is representing Old River.

Click the image to watch founder Victor Morrisette explain Old River Cabinets’ offerings.

The company ceased operations and its assets will be liquidated by a court appointed trustee. Its store at Short Pump was closed on Thursday. The phones in its two Northern Virginia stores are disconnected. Calls to the company headquarters go unanswered.

“We identified some potential buyers,” Funk said. “When they didn’t work out, there was no other option.”

The company lists more than 100 creditors that are owed between $1 million and $10 million.

The lenders among its creditors include Wells Fargo, Central Virginia Bank and Peoples Bank of Virginia, which was acquired by First Community Bank.

Old River also owes money to the Amelia County Treasurer, Henrico County, the City of Richmond, several local law firms, including Christian Barton and Creedle, Jones and Alga, and the company’s founder and former chief executive, Victor Morrisette.

Morrisette founded the company in 2002. He remains a shareholder in the company but hasn’t been involved in day-to-day operations for some time, Funk said.

Jon Beckner was brought on as a consultant in late 2011 and was interim chief executive. The company in February began to publicize that it was under new management with Beckner at the helm. Beckner did not return a call by press time.

Old River was profitable throughout the first part of 2012, Funk said.

“They had survived the worst of the housing bubble,” he said. “But they had a stronger-than-expected drop-off in sales in the second half of the year and just weren’t able to weather that,” Funk said.

Old River had operated out of a 167,000-square-foot production plant in Amelia Court House, Va., about 40 miles west of the city. The 15-acre property is not an asset of the bankruptcy and was previously owned by another company tied to Morrisette.

In addition to retail locations in Fairfax and Sterling, Old River had a store in Short Pump in the Trader Joe’s shopping center just west of West Broad Village and another on Alverser Drive, just off Midlothian Turnpike.

A Times-Dispatch report from 2007 stated that Morrisette spent $20 million to get the company up and running.

Its customers were high-end homebuilders and consumers.

The bankruptcy trustee will determine the best course of liquidation. Funk said a buyer could purchase the company’s assets as a whole out of bankruptcy.

“You could envision various scenarios where somebody would want to pick it up and run with it,” Funk said.

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28 Comments »

  1. Andrew November 30, 2012 at 8:09 am - Reply

    This is sad but also what can happen when you don’t slow your expansion. Old River grew too quickly for what it was making to have all these retail locations.

  2. Danny DeBoer November 30, 2012 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Too bad; they did a great job for us in two bathrooms–counters, cabinets

  3. Sally Jo November 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    You need to contact the employes who were left in the dark about everything and who have not gotten paychecks since October and have worked their schedule up until 2 weeks ago..This just did not happen on Thursday….

  4. Will Romm November 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    They took deposits right up to the end, including the one from my company, Romm Custom Homes.

    • Sally Jo November 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      I can say this—it was unfortunate that your deposit was taken but please know that the designer had no idea what was about to happen with the company-no designer did! this story needs to be put out on the side that the employees worked up until the last min and had not received a pay check during the month of november and where told they would get one “next week” or the story that there are still clients out there who do not have kitchens and they are paid for or your story—We have to get this out-there is so much false information in this one short story……

  5. Sally Jo November 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    This is not the story and this is making Old River look like “poor Old River” You also need to contact the clients who still have nothing but a stove sitting in their kitchen because the finished project was never installed or the ones who have paid and have nothing to show for it….Tell the other side of the story as well…

  6. victor morrissette December 1, 2012 at 11:39 am - Reply

    If anyone would like the real truth and the real story you can call me 804 385 4024 I will answer the phone .people deserve answers.my name is victor Morrissette.

    • Kim December 4, 2012 at 11:52 am - Reply

      My husband was a dedicated employee who worked everyday for Old River. He would ask Jon Beckner what was going on with the company and should he be seeking other employment to support his family and Jon would ignore him! He worked up until the very last day, which was three weeks ago doing several jobs not only his job but other employees jobs who were recently layed off. He is still waiting for his last paycheck that we will never receive. We have tried calling Old River and no answer, phone goes straight to voicemail. We are expecting our second child on Christmas Eve.This couldnt have happened at a worse time for our family. The managment of Old River handled this in a very unprofessional and selfish way! If there are any granite companies in the Richmond area currently hiring and in need of a honest, dedicated, hardworking employee my husband would like to speak with you! Please email kimberlyjane28@yahoo.com. Thanks!

  7. Grace December 1, 2012 at 11:45 am - Reply

    what will happen to the people who paid a deposit? Will they get their money back? Will they get the cabinets they ordered? Who will communicate with them? This is very disturbing.

  8. Granitemakeover December 2, 2012 at 11:26 am - Reply

    To Any and all Customers/ Company’s left holding the bag by Old River. Bring me your paperwork and we will discount our Granite Countertops to help you through this difficult time. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

    Lloyd Baldwin

    Owner/Operator
    Colonial Granite Works
    1908 Staples Mill Rd.
    Richmond Va. 23230
    804-358-0701
    http://www.colonialgranite.us

  9. Sandra December 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    I came close to buying cabinets from one of their Northern Virginia showrooms in July. I balked, though, when I found out that they wanted 90% of the purchase price before they delivered the cabinets. That is the way a company that cannot cover its expenses operates.

    What’s more, the sales staff went very high pressure toward the end of July. They had a sale that was supposed to expire at the end of July. At the beginning of August, they had the CEO call me and offer to work with me to make the sale, including extending the sale price.

    I smelled a failing company and opted NOT to become an unsecured creditor. Glad that I did.

  10. Harris December 5, 2012 at 11:19 am - Reply

    We purchased our kitchen in August, and it is just great. We did not have any pressure from employees in Sterling office. Dennis did his job with high integrity and unbeaten professionalism. Installers came a couple of times to fix minor issues. This is what we loved in addition to great kitchen we got. Thank you guys…

  11. kelley tabb December 5, 2012 at 11:53 am - Reply

    The problems with ORC go all the way back to the originial owner. I believe that the employees & public deserve the truth, but I feel it will not be told by Mr. Morrisette. He’s spinning the story to save his own hide.

  12. victor morrissette December 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Hay Kelly here is my phone number 804 385 4024 call me or post your phone number and I will call you the people that are getting hurt need to be given there money back. My name is all I have left..the statement you made is crazy. And I will answer the phone. I will not rest until this is made right no person should be taken advantage of. Its fair to say you are not ln touch with the facts.. yours truly Victor Morrissette

  13. T Pompey December 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    My mother had cabinets installed and Old River never installed the last cabinet door for a spice rack. I guess at this point she will never get the door.

    My main issue is the warranty? What happens with that?

    Some one please respond.

    • Ruben Foster December 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      Regarding the warranty, your mother is probably hosed at this point

  14. Antoinette Meunier December 17, 2012 at 11:34 am - Reply

    I bought cabinets from old river and the paint job was defected. Called several times to get the caabinet fixed. Old River came out to fix some of the cabinet doors and frames but since then others have been effected by poor workmenship. I can not get any answers and now thay I found out they are going bankrupt I feel my warranty is useless. Is there any recourse

  15. David Heilbronner December 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Old River built extensive cabinetry for our new kitchen, pantry and family room. They did a terrific job and we were trying to contact them, to do some additional cabinets for us, when I discovered this article. If anyone knows how to reach Ben who worked most closely with us at the factory, that would be great. I hope they are able to find a buyer and reopen with the same skill and quality.

    • Deb Grant March 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      I agree that Ben was amazing! We had our kitchen, powder room, and connecting laundry room done by ORC in 2011, and had a lot of trouble with their designer at the Sterling store. That designer subsequently left. Victor was wonderful in helping make things right, but this was at the time he was turning over to the company to others. Ben was our point man and made a number of trips up to us in Washington to make sure everything was right. Their installers where two guys who couldn’t have cared less about craftsmanship and it was their mistakes, and some by the designer, that Ben was having to clean up. It was clear to us we got in at the last gasps of the company which is a shame because they had remarkable products and we love our kitchen.

  16. Jeanne Macneal January 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    I had ORC put in my home in January 2012. I just love them! I am wondering what will happen to the display cabinets they have in the showroom at Short Pump store. I am interested if they decided to sell those.

  17. Sally Jo February 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    A lawyer needs to step up and help the employees out in this matter….They are still getting screwed!!!!!!

    • Mickie Sanchez March 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Many of the employees have still not received W2s and cannot file state taxes and April 15 is coming up close! If anyone knows how to get them, or what to do, please email me. State will not take just a last pay stub although Fed will. (or at least the ones we have tried filing through.

  18. Sally Jo April 7, 2013 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Mickie, You can file with your last pay-stub since its after Feb 15th.I believe the form is called a substitue W-2..Kepp in mind that ORC is famous for your last pay-stub and W-2 to show different income amounts so if they were up on paperwork with the IRS then you may have to re-file if you are flagged by the IRS..Just keep all paperwork.

  19. James Lewis April 9, 2013 at 11:29 am - Reply

    I am a business consultant specializing in productivity and process improvements through the Lean business philosophy. Please don’t put me in the same category as the consultant who was at the helm when Old River went under. I’m sorry that I wasn’t aware of the closing before it happened. There are a group of my colleagues who share my frustration and anxiety over plant closing such as this. We would like to be able to step in and help shore things up before a plant closes. We are not an investment group, but simply a group of concerned business people who hate seeing businesses close and people lose their jobs, especially furniture related businesses. I am currently working with 3 cabinet manufacturers and know from experience that even the worst situations can be turned around if all of the stakeholders are committed to making change happen. If there is any way to bring Old River back to life, let me know. I know the equipment is up for sale so we may be at the point of no return. Feel free to contact me at 616.295.8077 or usti@wmis.net if you know of a way to turn the tide.

  20. tom May 23, 2013 at 9:17 am - Reply

    That’s too bad. Old river did a very good job on my house. It’s a tough business. I hope they can find a buyer and save a ‘made in the USA’ company.

  21. jeff June 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    We had a kitchen installed in late 2011. We love the solid wood construction, and the way that they are put together. However, the finish on our cabinets is terrible, and we just discovered that our sink is loose and falling out. I was on her tonight to find a contact number to see if anything could be done, but now I see there were other issues and their chickens have already come home to roost. I’m just sorry for those who put down deposits and get nothing in return, at least we have something to work with. This company had so much promise if only it had been managed correctly.

  22. Kevin Byrnes February 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    We had a complete kitchen remodel done by ORC. We paid premium for solid Brazilian hardwood which was supposed to be super-hard and fully cured. Within a few months, several panels in the kitchen island and drawer covers started cracking. These were replaced by ORC with cabinet grade plywood without a refund of the premium paid for the original Brazilian hardwood. Moreover, since the bankruptcy, more cabinet door and side panels have cracked with no recourse available. My initial pleasure with their work has degraded to serious anger over the poor quality of their product and the significant investment made with a bad company.

  23. Shannon Bajer February 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    My husband and I used Old River while building our home in 2008. After having the company out to our home several times to fix the finish on the cabinets we finally gave up! We are disgusted we invested so much money with a company that can no longer do anything to resolve our reoccurring issues with our cabinets. More than likely we will have to replace or refinish cabinets that have only been in place for close to 6 years.

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