If you ask an employee of Ideal Cabinets what it is like to work here, they will undoubtedly tell you that it is “the best place they have ever worked.” There is an atmosphere at Ideal that makes working here a joy and not a labor. (I’m not kidding – it’s true). A big part of that comes from the leadership of Ideal Cabinets, and the tone that is set by the leaders, especially Pat Rakes.
Someone once said that “Leadership is about being of service to others, not being served by others. To be a leader is to be a mentor, not a boss.” That quote describes Pat perfectly. He checks on his employees regularly and makes sure we have what we need. He cares about what is going on in our lives. If something needs to be done, no matter how big or small, he is glad to help and do it, whether it is changing a light bulb or delivering cabinets. We know we can count on him when we need him.
So how did Pat become the person he is today, a beloved owner of a Cabinet store ? Well, it all started at a little cabinet shop many years ago. Pat says, “I was born into and grew up working at Ideal Cabinets in Christiansburg, Virginia. Little did I know the lifelong gift this business, started by my parents, would be to my own family.” He continues, “My earliest memory is sweeping the floors at around age ten, progressing in my early teens to loading and unloading trucks and many other odd jobs around the shop.” Pat grew up working alongside many of Ideal’s long-time employees, Jeff, Keith, and Dean.
After High school, Pat attended New River Community College and Ferrum College. Then, he began selling cabinets at Ideal’s Christiansburg store, armed with the knowledge he learned on the job from his dad, Ken Rakes, and the other Ideal employees.
In 1994 at age 22, newly married to Jana, Pat began working in the Roanoke store and managing that location. Ideal Roanoke was originally located on Peter’s Creek Road, eventually moving to Williamson Road. Ideal Roanoke’s move to the current location on Franklin Rd. occurred in 2011. Pat earned a CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer) certificate to keep up to date with this industry, and still attends the national KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Business) show that provides insight into the new products and trends. This also provides networking opportunity with kitchen dealers across the country.
We asked Pat, what were some exciting projects that he worked on while he was store manager. He said, “The Southern Living Magazine showhouse at The Homestead Preserve and the additional projects at the Greenbrier. Both areas are so beautiful and have great golf courses. I relied on the expertise of all our stores, especially Charlottesville, to achieve success in a specialized resort community.”
When asked what he likes best about working with his employees and others at Ideal, Pat said, “I enjoy spending time with my employees! They are an amazing group who are fun and interesting. Each has a special talent, and when working as a team, they are unstoppable! A great example is the 50th Anniversary celebration they did for my parent’s – it was an amazing collaboration of all their talents. Most of all, I especially appreciate the friendships I have built with my employees, and my vendors, contractors, and customers in the community.”
Pat loves the feeling of home that comes from the mountains surrounding Roanoke, Smith Mountain Lake, and the southern hospitality of Southwestern Virginia and its residents. Pat says, “This entire region from Montgomery County to Botetourt, my current home, is a place from which I am proud to be a product.”
Pat and his wife, Jana just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They have four teenagers; Sydney, Sophie, Patrick and Davis. Their oldest daughter is currently a Virginia Tech Hokie and majoring in business…there might be a future for her at Ideal Cabinets😊
We asked Pat what his favorite pastime was, and he said. “Sports. While I enjoy watching all sports, my favorites include golf, baseball, and basketball.” (His wife’s note: When he says he enjoys watching “All” sports he means it (tennis, poker, bowling, football, Little League World Series, college anything…sports, sports, sports!).
Pat continues, “I have been a Dallas Cowboys fan since age 10. My top 5 favorite golf courses that I have played include; Kiawah Island Ocean Course, Old Mille on the Blue Ridge Parkway, The Dunes at Myrtle Beach, TPC Sawgrass in Jacksonville, and Eagle Point in Wilmington. I also love to watch my children play sports and enjoyed coaching their various teams when they were young. I also enjoy going on vacation with my family. Some of my favorite vacations include: Taking my sons to watch spring training in Florida; relaxing with my family at the beach and hanging out at Smith Mtn. Lake.”
When asked what has made him the man he is today. He said, “The lessons I have learned from my Dad are invaluable. He has given me a great example of what leadership is as a husband, a father, and a business owner. I have been given a strong base from my family. “Pat also mentioned “I had a transforming opportunity that resulted in a different life perspective for me. It was my first mission’s trip with my church to Brazil in 2008. Not knowing what to expect, but thinking I was going to be an encouragement to them, I was surprised when I returned invigorated and realizing the life altering joy of helping others. After returning to Brazil two more times, I hold dear in my heart the friends I made on another continent.” Pat continued. “I understand that more is gained by helping others than can ever be measured by traditional standards. I am intentional about using the platform of Ideal Cabinets to help others.”
Finally, we asked Pat what he wanted people to know about Ideal Cabinets. He said. “Something important that customers should know about Ideal is that each employee is dedicated to making every job perfect according to the client’s wishes. Our customer service includes going above and beyond to make the job right and satisfy the client.” Pat invites you to try the “Ideal” difference. You’ll be greeted in any of our stores by a warm welcome, capable staff, and valuable suggestions and solutions. As stated by Zig Ziglar, “ If people like you, they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” Pat and Ideal Cabinets are ready to earn your trust.