Creative Uses for Butcher Block

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

Over the past four years, I have seen all sorts of creative uses for butcher block. One of my very first projects was for a customer making a shuffleboard table. A high quality shuffleboard table can run several thousand dollars, and this customer was a skilled craftsman, so he figured he could make it himself. He ordered a 14-foot long maple butcher block countertop to use as his playing surface since he didn’t have the equipment to fabricate something that long in one piece, let alone ensure its stability and level surface. He built his own base for the table and put it all together, saving himself thousands while creating a one-of-a-kind piece of functional art.  I wish I had had the foresight back then to follow up with him and get photos!

We love seeing our customers’ creative uses for butcher block!

Now that we are much more social media savvy, we regularly encourage our customers to send in photos of their projects, whether they are showing off their kitchen, laundry room, office, or something even more unique.  We certainly love seeing butcher block in its traditional role, and get a special thrill when it’s applied to an unconventional base (like this block attached to a vintage sewing machine base), but every once in a while,  we see something totally unexpected, and it just makes our day!

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

A few weeks ago I received a call from someone ordering a Boos dining table top. She had a few questions and when we got to talking, it came out that she was using it as a speed bag platform. Amazingly enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve sold a butcher block for that!  I only know of two instances, but this has me wondering if it’s more common than we thought.  This customer was kind enough to send us some photos showing the setup, and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty dang cool! Who knew a speed bag could look so sleek?

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

Another fun project comes from Ben, whose neat ideas we have featured in the past. Ben used a Boos round cutting board (with feet removed) as a topper to a vintage milk can to make this super unique end table. It’s an unexpected use for butcher block, but it sure looks cool and makes a great conversation starter! Simple projects like this are easy to accomplish and make a big impact. It’s just a matter of getting creative!

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

Have you come up with any creative uses for butcher block? We would love to see your projects!

Sotherly Acquires, Remodels, Relaunches Crown Plaza Houston, Renamed “The Whitehall”

Sotherly Acquires, Remodels, Relaunches Crown Plaza Houston, Renamed “The Whitehall”

Iconic Houston Hotel Renovated; Reverts to Original 1963 Name, The Whitehall

Virginia-based Sotherly Hotels acquired the Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown hotel in 2013 with the vision of restoring the property to its earlier glory as The Whitehall – one of the South’s most stylish destination hotels strategically located in the South’s largest MSA (metropolitan statistical area). Constructed in 1963 and recognized by Preferred Hotels and Resorts and Historic Hotels of America, it’s located in the heart of downtown Houston – a desirable destination for those attending functions at nearby Rice University or the George R. Brown Convention Center, or events at Minute Maid Park or the city’s theatre district.

In April Sotherly completed a $5 million renovation project intended to breathe new life into guest and meeting rooms, public spaces (including an outdoor rooftop swimming pool), two new eateries and a revamped restaurant that some consider the property’s main attraction. Formerly called Brazos, the restaurant received a major facelift and a new name to go along with its new look: “Edgar’s Hermano.” Its unusual menu reflects the region’s distinct cuisine, with such unique offerings as fried chicken with poblano/potato enchiladas. Executive chef Sylvia Covarrubias describes her new menu as, “A fusion of southern food and Mexican cuisine – flavors familiar to Texans.”

Resort Interiors of Myrtle Beach, SC, who handled the restaurant refit, designed an authentic look for the restaurant. In keeping with the restaurant’s brown motif, they selected John Boos walnut butcher block dining table tops constructed in edge-grain style. In the opinion of Kathleen Grodsky, Marketing VP at Butcher Block Co., who supplied the Boos dining tables, “Edge-grain walnut was the perfect choice. It presents the beautiful variety of walnut’s light, medium and dark browns in parallel rails of the wood. Those same shades of brown can be found in the strips of reclaimed wood that line the wall of the restaurant and resemble the side of a barn, capping off the restaurant’s rustic look.”

The Whitehall Restaurant

Butcher Block Co. (website: https://butcherblockco.com) is an online seller of butcher block countertops, furniture (e.g., kitchen islands, carts and dining tables) and accessories (e.g., cutting boards and chopping blocks). BBC sells products made by John Boos & Co., among others. Boos is recognized as a leading U.S. manufacturer serving the food service industry. The company also makes, and BBC also sells, wood and steel baker’s tables, stainless steel work tables and base cabinets and stainless steel compartment and platter sinks.

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877) 845-5597

Announcing 12 New John Boos Products With More Modern Style

Announcing 12 New John Boos Products With More Modern Style

New John Boos Products – 129 Years After Its Founding, Iconic Maker of Boos Blocks Still Relevant
Even though the company was founded more than a century ago, the John Boos name remains one of the best-recognized brands in the home and commercial kitchen furniture and equipment space. Ted Gravenhorst, Boos’ VP of Sales and Marketing, explained the company’s focus on new product development: “One way to keep a brand top of mind with consumers is by continuously refreshing your product line – adding on-trend features to best-selling items and introducing all-new products that tap into emerging tastes and trends.” A full slate of new John Boos products were previewed with customers during the 2016 International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago. Designs were refined based on feedback they received, and one dozen new products were just announced for immediate availability. The new slate includes:

  • 5 distinctly different butcher block tables, in maple, cherry and walnut, and in edge-grain, end-grain and blended grain construction styles
  • 4 carving boards that incorporate full-perimeter juice grooves plus handle grips holes or wing extensions
  • 3 cutting board designs, including maple and cherry boards with walnut end rails; Mezzaluna herb boards; and chopping blocks elevated on stylized, wooden pedestal-and-ball legs

john boos products

According to Gravenhorst of Boos & Co., “The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Boos dealers seem pleased with the breadth of this year’s new product line-up, as well as the magnitude of the tweaks.” His sentiment was echoed by Kathleen Grodsky, Marketing VP at Butcher Block Co. (website: https://butcherblockco.com), the leading online seller of Boos Blocks:

“These new John Boos products incorporate bigger shifts in design than seen in past years. These sorts of changes position Boos to appeal to consumers who seek the heritage of traditional butcher blocks but prefer a more contemporary style for modern or urban settings.”

About John Boos: Boos & Co., headquartered in Effingham, IL, manufactures wood and steel products designed principally for residential and commercial kitchens.
Butcher Block Co.: BBC is a leading online seller of butcher block countertops; kitchen islands, tables and carts; plus cutting boards, knives and knife blocks.
For more information please visit: http://johnboos.com and https://butcherblockco.com.

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877) 845-5597

John Boos & Co. Announces All-New Wood and Stainless Steel Tables

John Boos & Co. Announces All-New Wood and Stainless Steel Tables

Contemporary Designs Are Suitable for Residential and Office Settings

Although the Boos name is typically associated with the eponymous butcher block that the father and son team of Conrad and John Boos unveiled more than a century ago, Boos & Co. manufactures a wide range of furniture, equipment and accessories. A key challenge old-line companies like Boos faces is keeping its product line fresh and relevant in the face of evolving consumer tastes.

Boos’ VP of Sales and Marketing, Ted Gravenhorst Jr., explains “It’s important to stay on top of market trends, and these tables respond to two in particular. First, walnut continues to gain popularity as a wood of choice for kitchen countertops and dining tables. Second, consumers show increasing interest in products for the kitchen that blend materials – especially wood and stainless steel. Wood conveys a sense of natural warmth and steel is viewed as sleek and modern. In combination, wood and stainless steel seem to strike just the right balance.”

Wood and stainless steel, when married together, make for stunning, on-trend, kitchen furniture.

According to Kathleen Grodsky, Marketing VP at Butcher Block Co. – Boos’ leading online dealer – “The new John Boos Walnut Dining Table with Stainless Steel Trestle Base features an American Black Walnut blended butcher block top that’s 2-1/4 inches thick, edge-grain butcher block trestle base legs, plus a structural stainless steel trestle bar.” This table is a perfect fit for a contemporary kitchen, dining room, or even a conference room. Walnut Wood and Stainless Steel Dining Table

“Their Maple Trestle Table with Stainless Steel Pedestal Base is a slightly more architectural design,” Grodsky went on to say. “While its Northern Hard Rock Maple butcher top is also 2-1/4” thick, it’s constructed in edge-grain style, meaning each wood rail runs the full length of the table. But what really makes this table different is its stainless steel pedestals which are accented with maple wood overlays and a cross beam.” Maple Wood and Stainless Steel Trestle Table

About Butcher Block Co.: BBC is a leading online seller of kitchen countertops, furniture and accessories made by John Boos & Co. and other major manufacturers.

For more information please visit: http://johnboos.com and https://butcherblockco.com.

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877) 845-5597

Butcher Block Co. To Promote John Boos Brand in March Giveaway Sweepstakes

Butcher Block Co. To Promote John Boos Brand in March Giveaway Sweepstakes

John Boos’ Products Also Highlighted in March 2016 Issue of Good Housekeeping

The Hearst Corporation’s women’s magazine, Good Housekeeping, was founded in 1885 – just two years before Conrad Boos and his son John created their first eponymous butcher block. The paths of these two venerable American brands intersect this month, as Good Housekeeping’s March 2016 issue showcases two Boos butcher block cutting boards. In their “Organize Everything – Quick Clutter Solutions” cover story, Good Housekeeping pictures Boos’ Maple Countertop Kneading Board and their 2-1/4” thick Maple Cutting Board with Finger Grips, naming them as necessities for well-organized, modern kitchens.

Also paying homage to the iconic Boos brand during the month of March is Butcher Block Co. (https://ButcherBlockCo.com), the leading online distributor of John Boos products. BBC’s “John Boos Butcher Block Giveaway”, which runs through March 31st, is open to U.S. residents who are at least 18 years’ old. Throughout the month BBC will accept sweepstakes entries on the company’s Facebook page (https:/Facebook.com/ButcherBlockCo).

The Giveaway Grand Prize is a Boos C Classic Maple Country Work Table with a retail value of $1,000. It’s topped with a 1-3/4” thick Rock Maple butcher block and can be configured in various sizes and colors and equipped with a drawer, as many as two shelves and up to three sliding wicker storage baskets.

According to Kathleen Grodsky, Butcher Block Co.’s VP of Marketing, “the winner of the giveaway will have the chance to configure a table of his or her choice. Considering high recognition of the Boos name and appeal of their products, plus the high prize value, consumer interest in the promotion is expected to be quite high.”

Grodsky went on to explain that, “The Boos Table Giveaway will also be showcased on the leading giveaway promotion website, Giveaway Promote® (http://www.giveawaypromote.com/), in order to expand awareness of the sweepstakes and to drive contestant-count even higher.”

About Butcher Block Co.: BBC is a leading online seller of kitchen countertops, furniture and accessories made by John Boos & Co. and other major manufacturers.

For more information please visit: http://johnboos.com and https://butcherblockco.com.

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877) 845-5597

John Boos To Build 100,000 Sq. Ft. Butcher Block Products Wood Plant in 2016

John Boos To Build 100,000 Sq. Ft. Butcher Block Products Wood Plant in 2016

Boos & Co. Renews Its Century-Old Commitment to Central-Illinois

No other business in the small town of Effingham, Illinois (population: 12,500) has been in operation longer than John Boos & Co. Founded in 1887, the company manufactures kitchen furniture and equipment for residential and commercial use. They’re most famous for their eponymous butcher blocks, as well as countertops, islands, tables, carts and cutting boards made of butcher block.

But soon, all these Boos wood products will be manufactured in a new facility. On December 15, the Effingham City Council will meet to consider selling to Boos a 15-acre parcel appraised at $300,000. It’s owned by the city and located near Boos’ corporate offices and modern metal plant situated at 3601 South Banker Street in Effingham. Production of stainless steel work tables, cabinets, sinks and shelving began there in 2011.

According to Vic Jansen, Director of Manufacturing for Boos & Co., “The wood plant is located at 315 South First St., and the outlet store is located at 507 East Fayette Avenue. But after the move it would all be together, except being separated by Thies Avenue. First we’d like to get the land secured.” Boos expects to break ground on a 100,000 square-foot facility by spring; sooner if weather permits.

Mark Shook, President of Boos’ online dealer Butcher Block Co. (website: https://butcherblockco.com), explained that, “It’s a smart move for Boos to opt for a greenfield project. That way they can invest in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment that expands their capabilities, enhances flexibility and lowers costs. Plus, by shortening the physical distance between departments they can improve internal communications. This should boost innovation and shorten the time it takes to develop and bring new products to market.”

John Boos butcher blocks and cutting boards are used daily by such celebrity chiefs as Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse. They’re featured regularly on food and cooking-oriented channels, including The Food Network. Professional chefs also employ them at such famous restaurants as The Border Grill in Santa Monica and New Orleans’ Bayone Restaurant. The company’s factory outlet and showroom in Effingham is open to the public daily.

Since 2006, Butcher Block Co. has been selling products designed for home and commercial kitchens. The company offers for sale butcher block cutting boards, carts, islands and tables, but is best known as a destination site for premium custom wood countertops.

For more information please visit: http://johnboos.com and https://butcherblockco.com.

Contact:

Kathleen Grodsky

[email protected]

website: https://butcherblockco.com

phone: (877) 845-5597

Walnut Butcher Block – Bring the Trend Home

Walnut Butcher Block – Bring the Trend Home

Over the last several months, we have seen a substantial increase in orders of Walnut butcher block products. The popularity of Walnut butcher block has been growing steadily for years, but the recent sales indicate this trend has really taken off! So, what’s got people so excited about Walnut? To put it simply: it’s gorgeous! Walnut butcher block has the ability to look both modern and rustic, making it a versatile material that can be used in just about any room of your home.

Whether you lean toward traditional country, sleek minimalism, or ornate details, Walnut butcher block can fit in beautifully with your style.

Let’s start small with countertop cutting boards. A Walnut butcher block cutting board is not only functional, it adds a pop of color and style to your kitchen. Because of their good looks, Walnut cutting boards and chopping blocks also double nicely as serving boards. Can’t you just picture an array of fabulous cheeses laid out on one of these beauties?

Walnut Butcher Block

If you are looking for more prep space than a cutting board will provide, consider adding a stunning Walnut butcher block island or cart to your kitchen. This is a great way to bring in some warmth and usable space if you’re not quite ready to remodel the whole kitchen. A Walnut butcher block island, table, or cart will add a fine furniture look to your home.

Walnut Butcher Block

If you are ready to remodel the whole kitchen, or if you just want to update an existing island or countertop, we have Walnut butcher block countertops available in a wide variety of sizes, and can customize to your specific size or shape if needed. Available in End, Edge, and Blended Grains, you are sure to find a look that fits your personal style. With its rich beauty, Walnut butcher block also stuns in other rooms of your home, from the office to the laundry room.

Walnut Butcher Block

If you would like to squeeze a little Walnut into your life, check out our selection of beautiful products, or give us a call and let us know what you’re looking for. We are thrilled to offer such a gorgeous collection of Walnut butcher block pieces for your home. This is one trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so jump on board with us!

Outfit Your Restaurant or Commercial Kitchen with Butcher Block Co.

Outfit Your Restaurant or Commercial Kitchen with Butcher Block Co.

Do you run a restaurant or commercial kitchen? Let Butcher Block Co. help outfit your space with the beautiful and high quality products of John Boos & Co. Butcher Block Co. has grown into the leading online distributor of John Boos products, and while we love our residential clients, we are also experts at catering to commercial operations like restaurants and bakeries. You may be surprised at the variety of products offered to keep your commercial kitchen or restaurant running smoothly!

One of the most important areas in your commercial kitchen is your prep space. Depending on the product you’re putting out, you may need several smaller prep tables, a long and narrow work table, a huge and hefty baker’s table, or a combination of all of the above. We’ve got you covered with Boos Maple-top work tables ranging from 24” X 36” up to 60” X 168”, available in a variety of standard sizes or customized to your specific needs. You can upgrade your standard steel base by adding casters, shelves, drawers, and bin stops. Poly-top tables are perfect for particularly messy jobs, as the lighter weight, removable tops are easy to clean and sanitize. You will most likely need some stainless steel prep tables in your arsenal as well. Stainless steel adds low-maintenance function that is perfect for plating or packing. Just like the Maple-top tables, these can be customized with shelves, drawers, even cabinets, to accommodate your needs. And don’t forget your cutting boards and chopping blocks! With a variety of NSF certified boards to choose from, there is a chopping block for every job in your kitchen.

REstaurant Commercial Kitchen

Once you have all that delicious food made, it’s time to clean up! Having the right equipment for cleanup is essential for efficiency. John Boos stainless steel sinks are available with one to four bowls depending on your needs. Drainboards are available on neither, either, or both ends. Whether you run a bakery, a restaurant, or a commercial production kitchen, we have the John Boos NSF certified sink to meet your needs.

Restaurant Commercial Kitchen

If you’re running a restaurant, it is essential that your dining area is comfortable and inviting. With Boos butcher block dining tables, you get the versatility to create a classic, modern, or rustic space that fits perfectly with the aesthetic of your food. With our residential clients, we have seen butcher block implemented in high-end modern homes, cozy mountain escapes, in-home taverns, and as the centerpiece of every variation of the standard family home. It is no different in a restaurant dining room – butcher block is a gorgeous and functional addition that is appreciated by all. Boos dining tables are available in a variety of wood types with the option of staining to your specifications. Our Boos dining tops come in a variety of shapes, as well, allowing you to utilize your dining space to its fullest potential. Contact us for custom sizing or shapes. Traditional black metal bases are also available.

Restaurant Commercial Kitchen

 

If you have any questions about any of our commercial grade John Boos products, feel free to give us a call at 1-877-845-5597 or send an email to [email protected] We’re here to help you set up your commercial space with the best available products.

Butcher Block: Unexpected Beauty for Your Whole Home

Butcher Block: Unexpected Beauty for Your Whole Home

Butcher Block is an expected material for cutting boards, island tops, and chopping blocks, but did you know it’s good for so much more? I have the extreme pleasure of working on our custom projects daily, and let me tell you, some of my favorites have started with a customer saying, “This idea is going to sound a little crazy, but…” But nothing! Let’s do it! Besides the amazing kitchen makeovers we’ve done, we also do quite a few non-conventional projects like bathrooms, garages, and even closets. One time I even got to help design a shuffle board table!

Butcher Block makes for an extremely versatile, durable, and beautiful surface for just about any room in the house!

We’ll ease our way out of the kitchen with this gorgeous handcrafted bar one of our talented customers built. He made everything by hand except the butcher block top, which is 12 feet of beautiful Maple.

Butcher Block

Kitchens are, of course, the most common projects I work on, but gaining speed in second place is the home office. You could have a beautifully warm desktop custom made to your specifications to create the perfect workspace. We can even drill the holes for cables and wires to keep your work area sleek and uncluttered. The John Boos Varnique semi-gloss finish creates the perfect surface for an office; it’s polished-looking without being glaringly shiny, holds up well to daily tasks, and cleans up like a breeze. The desktops for the office pictured below are custom Walnut Edge Grain from John Boos & Co. The shape of the top was perfectly and precisely designed to accommodate the computer station, and Boos even custom cut a piece to be used as a leg. It turned out beautifully and is still just as attractive more than two years later.

Butcher Block

We work with quite a few restaurants as well, providing work tables for the kitchen and dining tables for the guests. We have some crossover with the work tables for residential customers, but the John Boos dining tops have really gained in popularity for household use. They are beautiful, durable, and affordable, making them the perfect solution for just about anyone! While there are the traditional restaurant-style black metal bases available, most of our customers are looking to add a custom top to a preexisting base, whether it’s something they found at a flea market, or the legs from the antique dining table passed down by Grandma. These unique dining tops are available in Maple, Cherry, and Walnut.

Butcher Block

Stepping out of the living space, we find ourselves in the garage. You may be wondering what on earth a butcher block would be doing out in a garage, but this is actually quite common. We’ve done some gorgeous Walnut tops to outfit a collector’s garage, Commercial style Maple to accommodate the everyday workbench, and Industrial Maple for those who really get down to business! No matter the purpose, butcher block can add unexpected character and warmth to this often forgotten room. Here you see one customer’s (almost finished!) laundry center in their garage. The sleek Varnique finish makes for an excellent folding and sorting station!

Butcher Block

To a lesser degree, we have also outfitted bathrooms and closets. Can you imagine having a huge walk-in closet with an island for accessories right in the middle? Now picture a gleaming Cherry block atop that island…ahhh, heaven! Something like that would have never occurred to me if I hadn’t had a customer ask for just that. Add a gorgeous Roman Ogee edge, and you’ve got swank to the nth degree! One of my favorite bathroom projects was for a man who was re-figuring the room for his new wife. He had a custom Walnut top made with a curved edge (like a half moon) to expand on the vanity space so she had room for her perfumes, makeup, and hair toys without getting bogged down with “boy stuff” (his words). Because he designed and installed it himself, it was a lovely personal touch and I consider his wife a very lucky lady.

The downside to all of this design fun is that I don’t always get to see the finished product. We LOVE when our customers send photos of their projects so that we can ogle and share. There’s a lot of inspiration out there, and we want to spread it around! So, if you’re planning a butcher block project, take pictures along the way and when you’re done and send them on over to us. You may even end up featured on our blog!

How Butcher Block Is Made

How Butcher Block Is Made

A few years ago, when I started working for ButcherBlockCo., I had the privilege of touring the John Boos & Co. butcher block manufacturing facility in Effingham, Illinois. Seeing the process of how butcher block is made from start to finish was enlightening.  It felt a lot like making furniture by hand in a workshop, but on a much larger scale.

The process seems to be a wonderful balance of technology and science with craftsmanship and artistry, all working together to make these beautiful pieces of butcher block furniture come to life.

Here is my summary of How Butcher Block Is Made:

Harvesting Wood
Before the wood ever arrives at the manufacturing plant, individual trees are selected for harvest, encouraging forests to renew and regenerate themselves naturally. At the lumber mill, trees are cut into lumber for purchase and distribution. John Boos only buys wood from suppliers who are members of the National Hardwood Lumber Association, guaranteeing they practice responsible reforestation.
Drying Wood
When lumber arrives at the John Boos facility it is staged in their lumber yard.  Lumber is sorted, piece by piece, to gauge its grade using a “grader’s stick” to approve each board for processing. After lumber is inspected and graded it “rests” in an outdoor staging area for a few weeks as part of the first steps in the drying process.  Step two of the drying process is to transfer the lumber to gigantic, wood-fired kilns where it is dried for 18 to 28 days. The enormous kilns used to dry the lumber are heated by a boiler, which is fueled by sawdust and wood scraps generated during the process of making butcher block. After nearly a month of drying in the kiln, the cured lumber enters the start of the production process.
Production Process
All the lumber coming into the manufacturing plant is first planed and sanded to get a very flat and smooth work surface. Then it is immediately run through a glue line rip saw cutting the wood into 1.75 inch rails. Each wood rail is inspected and marked for defects using fluorescent markers, which are read by a computer to eliminate defective sections. Final rails are then sorted by grade, separating the premium rails to be used for kitchen countertops and high quality butcher block surfaces from the lower grade rails to be used for industrial countertops.
To make blended-grain butcher blocks, rails of varying length are finger jointed together, then laminated and glued side by side, hiding all finger joints. To make edge-grain butcher blocks, rails of the same length are laminated and glued together side by side, forming what then looks like a solid piece of butcher block wood. End-grain butcher block is characterized by its checkerboard appearance. This block starts with laminated edge-grain boards, that are glued and stacked on top of each other, then placed in a gigantic vice called a screw press, squeezing the wood and glue together. After drying, the block is set on end and the “ends” of the rails become the butcher block cutting surface, hence the term “end-grain.”
Finishing
All butcher block, be it blended, edge or end-grain, is then sanded down with 200 grit to provide a silky smooth cutting surface. It is then made into Boos Blocks, cutting boards, butcher block table tops, standard and custom countertops, etc.  Finally, all butcher block is finished with a treatment of food-safe mineral oil or board cream before it is allowed to leave the plant. It is packaged with care and shipped to consumers, restaurants and retailers all across the US.
Having seen how butcher block is made makes me appreciate all of the effort that has gone into what appears to be a relatively simple piece of wood.  I know I take great pride in displaying and using my John Boos butcher block every day!