Skyline Cabinet and Millwork
Article from Bakersfield Magazine Spring 2012
When James (Wes) Spalinger returned from World War II, he quickly found work with Malouf Cabinets. But working for someone wasn’t enough for Spalinger. So, just a few years later in 1948, he and his brother, Erwin, would open up their own cabinet shop on Kern Street in an area that was often referred to as Skyline. Therefore, the brothers decided to call their shop Skyline Mill and Cabinets.
Wes and Erwin quickly earned a reputation for high quality craftsmanship in both the residential and the commercial industries, working for some of Bakersfield’s most well-known architects, contractors, and homeowners.
It is this reputation that has helped them continue to serve Bakersfield and the entire state of California for over 60 years. The cabinet industry has changed drastically since the first days of the company. During the early days, the machinery was basic and the standard style of cabinet was face-frame style.
By the time Wes’ youngest son, David, became a partner in the business in 1979, the European influence on cabinetry was just beginning in the United States. Dave was like a kid in a candy store, wanting to learn the European techniques and take Skyline to the next level. Thankfully, Wes was willing to let his son, who had just graduated from high school, invest in new equipment and help move the cabinet shop into the next generation. Which Dave did completely when he became the sole proprietor in 1988. Today, the company has autocad designers that send programs directly to computerized machinery. These CNC machines create less waste, are more accurate, and make it possible to create more intricate and detailed products.
The Spalinger family has always taken pride in their commitment to excellent service and a quality product. This is apparent in Melody Spalinger, Dave’s wife, who is actively involved in the business. The couple’s two sons and daughter have worked at Skyline during their summer breaks.
The location of the shop has changed over the years, as well. In the late 1960s, the business moved to a 7,000 square foot facility on Yampa Street. Then, in 2002, Skyline moved once again and upgraded to a 20,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility on South Mt. Vernon.
What hasn’t changed over the years is the family’s commitment to the community. Dave has given his time to numerous high school wood shop programs, including his alma mater, Foothill High School. because of his involvement with these schools, he was honored to be the first recipient of the Jim Burke Light and Liberty Award. Dave is on the boards of both the Kern County Builders Exchange and Bakersfield Christian High School. Melody has been a member of the Junior League of Bakersfield since 1998. She was involved with the Parent Support Group at Heritage Christian Schools for many years.
The Spalingers and all the employees at Skyline Cabinets attribute their success to providing the highest level of quality and service available. Because of that, they have been able to weather the ups and downs of the economy.
All in all, Skyline Cabinet and Millworks looks forward to another 63 years developing relationships with contractors and homeowners both in Bakersfield and throughout California.