When it comes to setting itself apart from other contractors, Mueller Nicholls has one large advantage: a 20,000-square-foot cabinet shop. “A lot of general contracting companies say they have a shop, but not many have 20,000 square feet of fully automated manufacturing,” Steve Nicholls says.

The company began with the shop, added installation services, and expanded to remodeling. Large projects over $500,000 usually include kitchens and built-in cabinets. Smaller kitchen and bath remodels range from $50,000 to $300,000. “We see more and more interior remodeling work with built-ins,” he says.

The company earns $4 million in cabinet sales to local builders and homeowners and $9 million in construction, all without advertising. Instead, it uses a collaborative process to create “raving fans.” Nicholls tells staff that they are all in sales. “Lead carpenters and those on site — they are generating future business with our existing clients.”

- Nina Patel