New Holland, PA – March 23, 2017 – Phares B. Rutt, the founder of Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry passed away on Friday, March 17, 2017, at the Bay Breeze Health and Rehabilitation Center near his home in Nokomis, Florida. He was 93 years old.
Raised in Goodville, Pennsylvania, Rutt founded Rutt Custom Kitchens, now Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry in 1951. Beginning in a small workshop near his home, he produced cabinetry designs that were at once regarded as innovative and timeless—displaying uncompromising hand craftsmanship unique to southeastern Pennsylvania’s Amish and Mennonite communities. His dedication to crafting architecturally inspired, furniture quality cabinetry was unparalleled, causing news of his work to spread throughout the East Coast. Considered a pioneer by many, he was one of the first in the industry to design and craft true beaded inset, face frame cabinetry – the industry standard for high-quality traditional cabinetry design, then and now.
Always one to share his knowledge with others, Rutt was a mentor to many in the custom kitchen cabinet business. In fact, the roots of many founders of other cabinetry brands can be traced back to Phares. He was instrumental in developing important and unique construction techniques still widely in use and his knowledge of wood tooling was unrivaled.
As he refined and improved custom woodworking and cabinetry capabilities, his business continued to grow. In the late 1950s, Rutt became one of the first cabinetry companies to begin distribution through a network of dedicated kitchen design showrooms.
“Phares instilled a tireless devotion to all of our employees, past and present, to create the finest custom American tailored cabinetry, always distinguished by detail,” said Jason Artus, Rutt vice president of sales and marketing. “His spirit lives on in our associates and craftsmen. We are honored to call him our founder. He will be greatly missed.”