DORR, Mich. — In a quiet, clean garage in rural Allegan County lies Loon Hardwoods. The business was the conceived a few years back by David Wiemerslage when he needed to make some extra cash. His friend and business partner Matt Kella make several thousand hardwood kitchen utensils like spoons and spatulas each year from cherry and maple.
It starts with a long wood plank that David typically buys wholesale from a local company. He then draws or traces patterns on the planks and slices the width of the board in half. That will yield double the number of utensils to be made. It’s then off to the bandsaw to cut out the traced patterns.
After cutting, several sanding steps are involved using anywhere from 80 grit to 320 grit sandpaper to finish everything super smooth. David typically does most of the production work before handing the utensils off to Matt for final sanding and completion. Matt applies the completed utensils with a food grade mineral oil and generally concentrates on the sales and marketing as well.
We first met David at the Home and Garden Show at Devos Place and knew there was an interesting story to be told. These are probably two of the nicest guys you’ll ever met, and they clearly take pride in their work. Each spoon takes about 10 minutes to complete, unless the thicker ones need to be routed out with an indentation. The pair made more than 20,000 pieces last year. While they usually craft their spoons, spatulas, and kitchen utensils in cherry and maple, other pieces and custom items like cutting boards, cheese slicers, and wine racks are also available.
There are several steps in making hardwood kitchen utensils, so make sure to watch the attached video to this story to see how interesting it is to see something created from nothing but a wood plank. All the steps are broken down in the video story!
Loon Hardwoods has 11 retail locations in Michigan and one in Texas, but all of their products can also be purchased online at their website. As David says “we’re always looking for more retail locations to carry our products.”
So forget the plastic spoons and spatulas that melt, the metal utensils that scratch non-stick pans. The dependability and durability of hardwood may be the way to go in the kitchen. All Loon Hardwood products are guaranteed for life. By the way, the company and their products were recently featured on the Today Show on NBC.
Click here to visit their website. Enjoy!