Developing creative solutions and
an innovative marketing niche.
Editor's note: This is the first of a series of profiles on people
at the cutting edge of the woodworking industry.
Tzvi (Harold) Morantz had more than a quarter century of
At a glance
cabinetmaking under his belt when he moved his business from
Canada to south Florida about five years ago. He also brought
a special niche market and
penchant for practical and
creative business solutions.
Who: Tzvi (Harold)
in custom kosher
kitchen design and
Where: Oakland Park,
Shop size: 2,400 sq. ft.
and one part-time
An Orthodox Jew, Morantz
had long marketed kosher
kitchens to the large Jewish community in Montreal,
and he continues that special
service in Florida. Observant
Jews wanting to keep kosher
in their kitchens need separate
areas for meat and dairy
products, Morantz explains,
so he has developed designs
and strategies for effectively
meeting that need. He did up
to 40 kosher kitchens a year in
Canada. “I was the only Jewish
Orthodox cabinetmaker in
Canada,” he says.
Casolin 10-ft. sliding
table saw with
TigerStop rip fence
Detel pocket hole and
Omal hinge boring
Grizzly edge sander
He’s building fewer kosher
kitchens in Florida, but he’s
also setting up to offer his kosher kitchen design services
to a wider audience. Kosher
kitchens typically mean
doubling up on sinks and
cooktops to separate meat
and dairy areas, but it can
by William Sampson
Morantz’s specialty is
kosher kitchens like this
one that feature separate
areas for meat and dairy
Tzvi (Harold) Morantz
specializes in kosher kitchens.
entail separate and special storage facilities as well.
Beyond kosher kitchens, Morantz also is doing a lot of green,
which he says has started to pick up. Still, Florida has been hard
hit by the economic downturn, and Morantz is no exception.
“There were 12 shops in this industrial park last year,” he
says. “Now there are two left standing.”
One of his creative solutions was to share his well-equipped
2,400-square-foot shop. He posted a notice at a local distributor
and found another woodworker to share the space.
The other woodworker pays half the rent, electricity, garbage,
and a small fee to get full use of the space and machines. They
also split maintenance costs. Morantz says the system has
worked out well for him, cutting his overhead dramatically.
In addition, he promotes outsourcing services to other shops
in the area. “There are two or three small shops I regularly do
cutting and banding for,” he says. Networking comes naturally to
Morantz, and he is an active member of the Cabinet Makers Association. He’s also part of Sawdust Soup ( www.sawdustsoup.
com), the new professional woodworking social network.
Morantz does everything using frameless construction
techniques and is a firm believer in good equipment. When he
sold his shop in Canada to move to Florida, he was able to pay
cash for new equipment to outfit his new shop. Most of it was
purchased from Adwood, including a Casolin sliding table saw
and Cehisa edgebander.
For joinery construction, Morantz uses a Detel 44-spindle
double line borer with drill-through attachment. He also has a
Detel pocket hole cutter that he uses for drawer box construction.