Westbury, CT — Louis Lestorti, Sr., 90, the founder of the now-defunct LesCare Kitchens, and a member of both the KCMA and NKBA Hall of Fame, died recently.
Born here in 1916, Lestorti founded LesCare Kitchens in 1945, and soon became a pioneer in both custom cabinet manufacturing and contemporary kitchen design, utilizing innovative production systems and high-efficiency techniques in the production of frameless laminated cabinetry. Eventually, he introduced simulated wood interiors, using vinyl clad products, resulting in the industry’s first “wipe-clean” cabinet interiors. The company was the first to produce all-white cabinet interiors, now an industry standard.
Five years after its founding, LesCare moved to a 15,000-sq.-ft. facility. With his sons Lou, Jr. and James sharing management duties, LesCare grew. By 1982, the cabinet manufacturer had more than 350 dealers in its nationwide network, and was operating out of a 130,000-sq.-ft. factory in Waterbury. By the time Lestorti retired in 1990, the company employed about 200 people with $25 million in revenues.
“From a manufacturing perspective Mr. Lestorti was viewed as a great innovator,” said Dick Titus, executive director of the KCMA. “He holds many ‘firsts’ in our industry. He was the first to bring in the technology of laminated cabinetry and market it with success. His work has spurred the growth potential that the kitchen cabinetry industry enjoys today.”