When you’ve got big shoes to fill, it’s best when you have some help—and what better better help than your brothers?
Gateway Kitchen + Bath has been a fixture in the Winnipeg home renovation market for almost 40 years. From humble beginnings in a 1600 square foot shop, Gateway has grown from a simple cabinet shop to a much larger company specializing in custom cabinetry and renovation.
When it came time for the founder, Art Pauls, to retire, he had an abundance of talent to take Gateway into a new generation. With four entrepreneurial sons under 40 who have each achieved individual business success in their own right, the new leadership of Gateway is a force to keep your eye on.
Aaron Pauls (CPA, CA) is the oldest of the Pauls sons and a partner at Fort Group Chartered Professional Accountants. With an aptitude for building and maintaining financially strong companies and a mind for innovation and strategic planning, Aaron brings a wealth of knowledge to the board.
“I can’t imagine running a business without him,” said Adam. “His business sense makes all of us look good.”
A consistent and dedicated achiever in the accounting industry, Aaron has also offered his expertise by serving in financial roles on the boards of multiple Manitoba charities and not-for-profits. Devoted to his wife and kids and an enthusiastic sports fan, he’s the only one of the Pauls brothers who you likely won’t find wearing camouflage.
Adam Pauls is the brother who spent the most time working at Gateway Kitchen + Bath. From spending summers and evenings in the shop as a young teen and moving into the office as a high school student, Adam ran the scheduling department between his full load of university classes. After graduating from the Asper School of Business with an honours degree in finance, Adam returned to Gateway in a managerial role, ultimately becoming CEO in 2015.
But the wilderness never stopped calling. An avid hunter and fisherman, Adam had been exposed to the outdoor adventure industry at 14, when he landed a job working at North Knife Lake Lodge for one of the founders of what would one day become Churchill Wild. In 2021, the husband and father made the leap and is now the CEO of this unique northern Manitoba experience.
“Adam’s move from Gateway felt like a surprise at the time, but it really wasn’t,” said Aaron. “We knew he belonged outside. It’s amazing to see him using his skills and doing exactly what he loves.”
Matt Pauls always felt that he’d end up in the construction industry. He loved working with his hands and it always felt very natural to him. His quest to bring high-end quality and beauty to a practical industry led him to tile, and he founded Taiga Tile + Stone in 2009. Focused on providing exceptional service, top-notch products and precise installation, Taiga is an innovator in the tile scene. Husband and father of three, Matt is the only brother who has picked up his dad’s love of livestock, raising goats on his family property outside the city.
“He’s driven to succeed,” said Luke. “His business has grown so quickly and it’s impressive to watch.”
Luke Pauls, the youngest, grew up like his older brothers, with summers and after-school hours spent in the shop. After a stint working as a long-haul trucker, Luke entered an electrical apprenticeship in 2014 and started his own business, Lonestar Electric, in 2019.
“Luke is the only person I know who can make wires look like art,” said Adam. “It’s perfection.”
With a wife and growing family, Luke will sing the benefits of good, solid, hard work… in a low resonating bass.
And then there’s the other guy.
With all four of the Pauls sons running businesses of their own, it was important to them to find a suitable partner to take on the daily operations of Gateway Kitchen + Bath. They found him in true Pauls fashion… on a hockey rink.
Bryce Saunders brings more to the board than just hairstyle diversity. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, over 20 years of manufacturing experience and a keen eye for improving processes, Bryce is a driven, hard-working partner and CEO. This same drive has taken him to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and the finish line of a full Iron Man Triathlon.
“Coming into a family business as an outsider was intimidating,” said Bryce, “but all four brothers bring so much to the table and were more than willing to share their experience.”
“Bryce is such a thoughtful person,” said Aaron, “His energy and new ideas can only serve Gateway well as we move forward and put our own spin on the company.”
It hasn’t always been easy. Change never is.
As Gateway adapts and grows under the new leadership—especially during some of the most challenging years for the construction and renovation industry—all five shareholders have needed to find their stride together. In disagreement or consensus, they haven’t stopped supporting each other… or poking fun at each other.
Because that’s what brothers do.