Industry veteran Ables opens GrandForest flooring company
Ken Ables, most recently vp of sales and marketing for NobleHouse Flooring Products, has opened his own company: GrandForest Wood Flooring Products. The Bardstown, Ky.-based hardwood flooring company's lines are currently distributed in Florida, Arkansas, and the southern regions of Alabama and Georgia. Ables plans to gradually expand into other states including the company's home state.
"When I was with NobleHouse, we came out with both guns blazing," he says. "With GrandForest, I want to go a little slower. I want to offer improved grading and consistency of the product. I'm trying to be very regional at this time - just do one section of the country at a time."
He noted that GrandForest products are independently inspected for quality before being shipped to distributors. He maintains that the attention to detail will differentiate his company from others. "One of the biggest selling points to distributors is our independent inspections," Ables notes. "It's the biggest difference between what we've done and what everybody else has done."
The company headquarters, about 40 miles south of Louisville, includes a 350,000 square foot warehouse and produces a 3/4-inch thick solid hardwood line in three widths and random lengths, a 3 1/2-inch-wide engineered line in random lengths, and a 5-inch-wide engineered line featuring a glueless lock system. An exotics hardwood line is also available, which features one of Able's favorite species, Asian Walnut. A hand-scraped, hand-distressed line is in the works, Ables adds.
Aside from shipping and receiving personnel, GrandForest is staffed by three people: Ables, president; and Candace White, the company's office manager, work out of Bardstown. Beth Green, the company's Eastern regional manager, works out of the Carolinas. For more information, call (502) 213-0969 or visit www.grandforestflooring.com.