The idea of a roll out kitchen drawer that screws to an existing shelf was invented by Herb Welch while trying to build rollouts for the kitchen cabinets in the new house he was building in Henderson, NV, just outside of Las Vegas. After sticking his head into tight dark holes and trying to attach the drawer rails to the cabinet walls, he decided there had to be a better way. Why not build a base to hold the rails that attach to the cabinet walls, and simply screw the base to the shelf.BINGO.
After doing his house, Herb started a business in Las Vegas, making the drawers out of wood, and selling them in the Las Vegas area. That business is still active today.
Herb liked the idea so much, he applied for a patent of a base that holds a drawer and attaches to a shelf. The patent…US 6,659,576 B1 was granted in 2004.
In 2001, his brother-in-law, Brian Cruickshank retired and decided to make and market the drawers in the Vancouver, BC area. He did this until 2005.
But over the years, cutting the wood, sitting at Home Shows, and installing the drawers became tedious. Over many conversations and glasses of Scotch, we looked for a better way.
In 2004, we decided to develop a plastic drawer…they come out of an injection mold, so we personally didn’t have to make them. In spite of plastic ribbing on the bottom of the drawer, we found deformation when we static loaded the drawer for roughly a month, so we added additional steel cross bracing on the bottom between the rails which eliminated the problem.
ROKD was incorporated in May 2005 in British Columbia, Canada after we got our first production run of the first size…the 14”. Every month thereafter another size was added until we had the 5 most popular sizes. Our plant was located in Abbotsford, BC
For a while, we sold our drawers through Canadian Tire in the Vancouver area, and then through The Container Store in the US. We found the tail wagging the dog, so switched to selling directly to the end customer over the internet in 2007.
In 2012, we moved our operations to the United States, contracting Diversified Shipping at 1167 Grant Ave, Blaine, WA 98230 to do our assembly and shipping.
And we are still doing it today…giving housewives (househusbands) access to the back of their kitchen cabinets and ease of organization to the items in their cabinets.