from the 1940s formerly owned by a local furniture-making family, the Gilby’s, who had really made a name for them- selves there. As for the name Quest Kitchens, I have my close friend John to thank for that – he’s really the author on that one. John was a renowned restaurant owner in the 1980s. He later moved on to flipping properties and had a celebrat- ed career as a successful landlord to well-kept buildings in the Halifax area. He hired me for a kitchen reconstruction job in the early 2000s, and that’s how our friendship began. When our first born, Mccabe, came along, John became an important role model. We really had a special kinship and he really became a part of our family. John lost his battle with cancer only days ago, actually. It’s a deep loss we’re feeling in our hearts right now. John and I had many conver- sations about life’s circles. He was always sharing progressive advice on every topic with me. As a family, we’ve decided to dedicate our new homestead in honour of John as a reminder of the person he was to us. That’s really touching, Karl. It sounds like John guided you through a lot in your lives. Including the hills and mountains, it all sounds like a journey you’d happily do again without a detour, Karl. There’s no question, David. I’m proud to say that I was born and raised in Marystown, Newfoundland. I am where I am today because, ultimately, my early years consisted of hobbies and daydreams making those homemade hockey nets and backwoods cabins. I’ve always been a passionate builder because I think it runs deep. My parents always rep- resented a solid work ethic in my life growing up. They both committed many years to the local fish plant – and I even worked there when I was in high school. When I graduated high school, I earned a carpentry diploma and then went a step further by getting a second diploma in furniture-making. When the job prospects for furniture making and carpentry weren’t looking good in Newfound- land, I actually went out to Alberta with less than $300 in my pocket. Well, as a testament to hard work, I moved up

I’m very thorough in my approach. Where it’s needed, I source new information, but generally speaking,

I’m always educating myself to improve my craft – Char- maine can attest to that! She’s stood by me past midnight many a time supporting my efforts to fix a piece of machin- ery or to solve an issue with some mixing agent. And now she has come aboard with our business full-fledged. Our partnership has really motivated us and it’s built-up an even stronger spirit to stay on top of things and be even more proactive. It’s clear that communication has gotten even stronger – and every project feels like it’s our own. Our approach really reflects our core values as a family. “My drive means you’re only going to see me the one time; you won’t be calling Quest back to a job.” When did you get your business up and running, Karl, and what were the early days like compared to now? Looking back to how and why Quest began, I really know I made all the right decisions. I was working in your typical workplace with disgruntled coworkers and I came to the conclusion that there has to be more to the work I enjoy doing. You could say that when I quit that job, there was a bit of ‘flight or fight’ instinct going on; I was driven, you could also say. Charmaine had saved $1200 through tutoring, which allowed us to scour The Bargain Hunter and newspaper ads for second-hand tools. That’s really how the business was born. At first, I installed kitchens for other companies. I remember hauling tools in bins up three flights of stairs to our apartment on Windmill Road in Dart- mouth on many a late night. Once we saved enough funds, the venture that is Quest Kitchens officially began when I rented my own commercial spot – my own cabinet shop. To say that I was generous with my time and effort in the early days would be an understatement, but to say that I minded a minute of it would be wrong. We eventually found ourselves in a position to buy a homestead in Elmsdale



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