A company history book, legacy book and corporate anniversary book that conveys the story of successful immigrant entrepreneurship and the creation of a diversified and vertically integrated Group of Companies that is Frendel Kitchens
My goal in writing this book was to create a lasting legacy that will stay with our company for many years to come. It has been a deeply satisfying experience to reflect on the events, the people, the challenges and the achievements that have shaped half a century. It is my hope that through its stories, Frendel Kitchens Limited—A Company Built on Family Values, Vision and Commitment will help in keeping the company’s legacy alive for many years to come.Tony Deltin
Co-Founder and President, Frendel Kitchens
The Frendel Kitchens Story
In 1968, Tony Deltin and fellow-cabinet maker Frank Zagoda found themselves without a job when the Toronto-based company they were working for went out of business. Seeking new opportunities, they decided to start their own kitchen manufacturing company. They named the small business they started out of a rented two car garage Frendel, combining parts of their names. Coinciding with massive population growth in the Toronto area, the business thrived and many of the relationships Frendel established with new home builders in the early days continue to this day. In 1975, the Deltin family became the sole owner of the company. As the vision kept evolving, Frendel became a vertically integrated group of companies, consisting of Frendel Kitchens, Metric Woods, Doma and Venlam. Today, jointly led by the first and second generation of Deltin family entrepreneurs, the Frendel group serves the needs of its builder clients and customers out of a combined production space of over 300,000 square feet. With over 350 employees, Frendel has become a market leader with a unique company culture built on its founder’s commitment to family values, long-term relationships and helping others.
Frendel Kitchens was quickly approaching its 50th anniversary when the Deltin family invited us to capture the story of their company in the form of a company history and legacy book to be launched at their main anniversary event. After 50 years of continuous growth, company president Tony Deltin felt it was time to record the story of the family business, from his arrival in Canada as a refugee from Croatia to shaping Frendel into the industry leading kitchen manufacturer it is today. Equally important, Tony and the Deltin family were driven by the goal to recognize the lasting contributions their long-time employees, builder partners, suppliers, and customers had made to the company over the years. Capturing the ongoing Frendel legacy in the form of a company history book was the Deltins’ way of saying thank you for their employees’ and partners’ long-lasting loyalty to them and their business.
Reflecting the Deltin family’s objectives, we created a narrative that takes the reader back to Tony’s upbringing in Croatia and places his vision and drive as an entrepreneur in a common context with the unique conditions he experienced during his formative years. Written by Canadian corporate history writer Dr. Ulrich Frisse and designed by Lesley Warren and her team at Lesley Warren Design Group, Frendel Kitchens Limited—A Company Built on Family Values, Vision & Commitment approaches the story of the Frendel Group from a variety of perspectives. Extensive interviews with two generations of Deltin family entrepreneurs, long-time past and current employees and other stakeholders provide the source base for a book that tells the story of Frendel in the larger context of socio-economic forces and phenomena, such as migration, urbanization and growth of the Greater Toronto Area, economic growth and recessions, as well as changes to the North American manufacturing landscape. In paying close attention to Tony’s core values and on how they continue to shape the group’s unique culture, the book explores the conditions for successful multi-generational family entrepreneurship in an ever-changing manufacturing environment.