Walnut Butcher Block Tops

Walnut Butcher Block Tops

Walnut butcher block has become incredibly popular over the last few years, and we totally understand why: it is GORGEOUS! A while back we had a customer who needed to exchange his blended walnut butcher block countertop for a different finish. The top was 107″ long and absolutely beautiful, and it just so happened to be in Phoenix. A couple of us here at Butcher Block Co. decided we could find use for this beauty, so we each embarked on a DIY journey to create our own masterpieces.

We hope these two projects will help inspire you to bring walnut butcher block (or any butcher block) into your home!

Candice’s Island Top

About 10 years ago I inherited a kitchen island that was originally used as a store display, and I have wanted to refinish it ever since. I got as far as replacing the wooden knobs with cute ceramic ones, but the improvement wasn’t exactly notable. The biggest problem was the top. It was cheap and too soft to use as a butcher block, not to mention completely unappealing to my tastes. Thankfully the perfect solution presented itself in the walnut butcher block being exchanged by our customer. It was already the ideal depth at 30″, and I only needed 51″ in length to give my island a nice 2.5″ overhang on each end, expanding my work surface a bit more than the previous top.

After a couple hours of wrenching the original pine top off my island (seriously, there were something like 18 screws…a little overkill!), I was able to start sanding the base so it could be painted. Unfortunately I do not possess quite enough upper arm strength to power sand 25 years of buildup off a table base, so I enlisted some help at this point. I bought some spray paint in a nice almond shade, went out of town for a week, and came home to a fully transformed kitchen island (do I have the best dog-sitter/friend or what?!)!

The oil finish already on this block was the right option for me, as I am using this as a prep table to do all my chopping. My favorite part of every month is when it is time to oil my block – there is just nothing quite as beautiful as a freshly oiled walnut butcher block. My ugly old island has become one of my most prized possessions.

Walnut Butcher Block

Kathleen’s Kitchen Table

My son was moving into his new home and we gifted him the oak breakfast nook my husband designed 25 years ago. It was a perfect excuse for us to finally upgrade to the kitchen table of our dreams.  We have always wanted a bar height kitchen table to match our dark mahogany colored kitchen cabinets. And luck would have it, we were able to repurpose this blended walnut butcher block countertop that was returned to Butcher Block Co.  Using the “other half” of the top Candice used, we were able to make a kitchen table 59”L x 36”W.

We started with an oil finish blended walnut top, our “half” was 56”L x 30”W x 1.5”. We sanded it down to completely remove the oil finish that was applied at the factory.  This table was a little small for us, so we added a 3” mahogany rail on the sides and a 1.5” wide rail on the ends using a biscuit joiner.  We chose a 3” thick rail of mahogany so that the finished table appeared to be a chunky 3” thick, even though the butcher block was just 1.5” thick. Further sanding smoothed out the seams. We did not have any desire to cut upon this butcher block, so we decided to stain it to match our cabinets, using a Zar brand wood stain. And because we were looking for a low maintenance table top, we knew we wanted to go with a polyurethane finish, applying 4 coats to the top.

The base of our table consists of 2 bar height metal disc bases.  We hired a family friend to weld the custom foot rest that attaches to the metal base. Then we sent the bases and footrest to a local business to powder coat them to match the metal on our bar stools. Our finished table is gorgeous.  The walnut colored stain brought out the beautiful grain patterns in our blended walnut butcher block. And this top is so low maintenance that all I need to do is wipe it clean and use Pledge on the top to keep it looking new.

 

A New Year Brings a New Pantone Color of the Year: Greenery

A New Year Brings a New Pantone Color of the Year: Greenery

A yellowish green, Pantone’s Greenery is reminiscent of nature and reminds us all to slow down a bit and smell the great outdoors. 

It’s critical that artists, designers, manufacturers and printers around the world “speak” a common “color language.” Toward that end, Pantone’s proprietary Color Matching System helps ensure standardized reproduction of colors across geographies, users and applications. Pantone’s system includes over 1000 unique colors, each of which can be simulated with a specific mix of 14 base pigments. Each color is assigned a distinct, numeric identifier.

Like other companies involved in the design industry, Pantone stays abreast of evolving trends and changes in consumer tastes. Each year the company selects a representative “Color of the Year” that it believes best captures the world’s collective mood. They think of it as a snapshot of worldwide cultural trends at a particular point in time.

For 2017, the company sees Greenery, Pantone 15-0343, as best fitting the bill. It’s a soft and warm shade of green that Pantone describes as “refreshing and revitalizing” and “symbolic of new beginnings.”

They believe Greenery connotes “flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors,” reminding people to “take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”

“Considering the harried pace of society today and the rapidity of technological change, Pantone’s message seems timely and spot-on,” suggests small-business owner Mark Shook. He and his sales team at Butcher Block Co., an online-only store specializing in kitchen furniture and equipment, much like the color trend-setters at Pantone, are in position to observe changing consumer tastes. “Homeowners and apartment dwellers view kitchens as their safe rooms – quiet and soothing places where they can get away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. That’s why many are opting for naturally beautiful wood countertops and John Boos butcher block kitchen islands and tables with bases painted Basil Green or Clover Green,” Shook opines, in support of Pantone’s 2017 selection, Greenery.

For more information, please visit https://butcherblockco.com

Contact Info:
Name: Kathleen Grodsky
Organization: Butcher Block Co.
Address: 10448 N 21st Pl Phoenix, Arizona 85028

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!

Furniture Industry Growth Is Driven by Shifts to E-Commerce and Environmentally-friendly Products

Furniture Industry Growth Is Driven by Shifts to E-Commerce and Environmentally-friendly Products

Like other mature industries, the U.S. furniture market is experiencing shifts toward E-commerce and environmentally-friendly products. These are two key findings recently revealed in a market research report issued by Conlumino, a retail research agency and consulting firm.

The report notes that the furniture sector is strongly outperforming the economy as a whole, with sales increasing 6 to 7% annually, thanks to a pickup in new home sales and the increasing ease of shopping online and U.S. consumers’ increasing confidence in purchasing online. Demographics are also favorable, in that millennials stuck in parents’ basements will at some point join the homeowner ranks, further fueling demand for home furnishings. Notably, this age cohort is especially interested in environmentally-friendly, sustainable and renewable materials and products – a segment that’s increasingly important.

One company that seems well positioned to capitalize on these trends is John Boos & Co., with headquarters and manufacturing plants in Effingham, IL. Not only is Boos – a maker of wood countertops and butcher block tables, islands and carts – a leader in the home furnishings industry; it relies on online dealers (as well as brick and mortar distributors) to deliver its goods to consumers; and nearly all of the company’s residential products can be described as environmentally-friendly.

Ted Gravenhorst, Jr., Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the company, indicates that, “Boos only uses wood harvested from North American hardwood forests that are managed for sustainability. Suppliers must be members of the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA, whose focus is replenishing forests through reforestation). Not only does this enable Boos to satisfy today’s demand for natural, wood counters and butcher block kitchen furniture, it ensures that the U.S. will have an adequate supply of domestic hardwood to satisfy future generations’ needs for recreation plus beautiful, natural home furnishings.” Gravenhorst went on to explain that, “Boos makes sure no wood is wasted. Leftover wood staves are used in end-grain island tops and cutting boards, and pieces that aren’t long enough to be repurposed are ground into sawdust that’s burned to generate steam to power kilns used to dry out fresh lumber.”

Gravenhorst says he is encouraged by the report’s conclusions and optimistic about prospects for Boos’ continued sales growth. “All we have to do is keep designing, making and marketing great-looking wood furniture that’s made to exacting standards and perfectly priced,” he quipped.

The information herein was compiled by Butcher Block Co., a leading online seller of home furnishings and accessories made by such manufacturers as John Boos, Catskill Craftsmen and others.

For more information, please visit https://butcherblockco.com

Contact Info:
Name: Kathleen Grodsky
Organization: Butcher Block Co.
Address: 10448 N 21st Pl
Phoenix, Arizona 85028

 

“Choose Your Boos” Cutting Board Giveaway

“Choose Your Boos” Cutting Board Giveaway

“Choose Your Boos” Sweepstakes Will Feature Famous John Boos Cutting Boards

Butcher Block Co., a leading online seller of kitchen furniture and equipment, unveiled its latest consumer sweepstakes event. The winner of their “Choose Your Boos” promotional giveaway will be awarded a John Boos butcher block cutting board with a retail value as high as $350.

The company’s Marketing VP, Kathleen Grodsky, says, “Since September kicks off the fall cooking and baking season, it’s the perfect time to showcase the incredible variety of butcher block cutting boards on the market; they come in a wide assortment of woods, sizes and styles. John Boos & Co., the best-known and most renowned supplier, makes over 100 different wood cutting boards.”

“With so many great options to choose from, it was difficult to select a single Boos board to feature, so instead, the winner of  the sweepstakes will have the option to choose his or her own prize from the full Boos cutting board collection.”

Echoing Grodsky on the subject of cutting board diversity, Ted Gravenhorst suggested, “It can be more complicated than it first looks. After all, there are Boos cutting boards designed for everything from serving cheese or slicing bread to chopping vegetables or carving roasts. Plus, you have different wood species and grain styles to consider, along with size and shape.” Ted is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at John Boos.

Ms. Grodsky says the Boos cutting board promotion runs through the end of September and is open to U.S. residents at least 18 years of age. “It’s easy to enter by visiting Facebook and no purchase is required,” she emphasized.

About Butcher Block Co. – BBC is an online seller of wood countertops and kitchen furniture, stainless steel kitchen equipment, and such accessories as cutting boards, kitchen knives and knife blocks. Besides John Boos, the company carries products made by Catskill Craftsmen, Chris & Chris, Cotton & Dust and Proteak.

For more information please visit: https://butcherblockco.com

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com

Butcher Block Co. Giveaway Promotes Tiger Wood Cutting Board, and Safe Food-Prep Practices

Butcher Block Co. Giveaway Promotes Tiger Wood Cutting Board, and Safe Food-Prep Practices

Consumer Sweepstakes Aims to Educate Public about Safe Use of Cutting Boards

Butcher Block Co., a leading online seller of “all things butcher block,” has a consumer sweepstakes giveaway slated for August. The grand prize is a spectacular end-grain cutting board made of South American tiger wood, designed and constructed in West Texas by the artisanal studio, Cotton & Dust. It’s reversible, 2 inches thick and 22 by 11 inches. All Cotton & Dust boards carry a Lifetime Reconditioning Guarantee. You can return the board for a free annual refurbishment and reconditioning.

According to the company’s Marketing VP, Kathleen Grodsky,

“This giveaway promotion will serve two purposes. First, it will draw attention to Cotton & Dust’s magnificent cutting boards. Second, it provides an opportunity to remind consumers of the best, safe practices concerning the use of cutting boards.”

“Summertime is peak grilling season, when the risk of cross-contaminating food through unsanitary practices is at its highest. With that in mind, Butcher Block Co. is disseminating the following information and helpful tips across various media outlets.”

Reminder – Unsanitary Use of Cutting Boards Can Pose Risk to Your Health

The Center for Disease Control estimates that foodborne illness sickens one in six Americans each year. A key cause is the mishandling of food, which allows for the transmission of bacteria and viruses. Since cutting boards play an essential role in the food preparation process, their unsafe use can contribute to the problem. For example, using a single cutting board both to cut up raw meat, poultry or fish, AND to slice fruit or vegetables, can result in cross-contamination. In other words, microbes can be transferred from contaminated food to clean food.

Best Practices for the Safe Use of Cutting Boards

  1. Use Two Cutting Boards – Dedicate one board to cutting raw meat, poultry and/or seafood. Reserve the second board exclusively for fresh produce and bread. This will help prevent cross-contamination.
  2. Wood vs. Plastic – While it’s true you can sanitize plastic cutting boards via dishwashers, cutting on them can leave deep grooves where bacteria can hide, persist and thrive. In contrast, any bacteria that remain in grooves in wooden cutting boards do not multiply; they die off as the wood dries after cleaning.
  3. Cleaning – Plastic cutting boards should be washed in very hot water. To thoroughly clean a wood cutting board: rinse off debris; scrub with soapy, hot water and a bristled-brush, sponge or dish rag. Dry the board thoroughly. Moisture promotes bacterial growth.
  4. Disinfecting – Once in a while, and after prepping raw meat, fish or poultry, disinfect with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Pour it on the board, spread it around and let it stand for 10 minutes, rinse and dry.
  5. Moisturizing – Re-oiling (at least once a month) helps prevent butcher block from drying out or cracking. Apply food-safe oil liberally and allow it to soak into the wood overnight. Remove any excess the next day.

For more information, including instructions on how to care for and repair butcher block cutting boards, visit our Help Center:

https://butcherblockco.com/butcher-block-info

To enter our August 2016 Cutting Board Giveaway visit our Butcher Block Co Facebook page.

Butcher Block Co. Custom-Sized Cutting Boards in 15 Wood Types

Butcher Block Co. Custom-Sized Cutting Boards in 15 Wood Types

Butcher Block Co., a leading online seller of wood countertops for residential and commercial kitchens and offices, as well as retail food outlets and industrial job shops, aggressively promotes kitchen countertops, furniture and accessories made by such leading American manufacturers as John Boos & Co. and Catskill Craftsmen. This week the company expanded its product line to include custom-sized cutting boards in fifteen wood species.

Since 2007 the online store has marketed standard and custom-sized wood countertops and a broad line of butcher block cutting boards and chopping blocks made by John Boos, headquartered in Effingham, Illinois. Boos started making blocks for blacksmiths in the 1880s and to this day is recognized as the industry leader. Since Boos countertops only come in four types of North American hardwood – maple, walnut, cherry and red oak – earlier this year BBC began marketing private-label countertops in custom sizes, in the process increasing to fifteen the total number of wood species available. The eleven additions were ash, beech, birch, Brazilian cherry, hickory, knotty alder, knotty pine, mahogany, poplar, Spanish cedar and white oak.

According to Kathleen Grodsky, the company’s Marketing and Operations VP, “The greater variety of wood species and grain styles broadened appeal and drove overall countertop sales higher.” So Grodsky and her team decided to execute a similar strategy for custom-sized cutting boards. She went on to explain the process saying,

“It involves five easy steps. The shopper simply specifies one of the fifteen wood types, a grain style, edging, finish and dimensions, and the associated price is instantly revealed. She can either order the custom-sized cutting boards right then and there, or save her quote and cart for retrieval later.

Grain-style options include edge or end-grain butcher block or plank-style. Eight different edging options are available: square, eased, beveled, coved, radius with or without a step and small and large Roman ogee. Finish options are natural oil or conversion varnish.”

About Butcher Block Co. – BBC operates exclusively online at https://butcherblockco.com, offering butcher block kitchen counters islands, carts, tables and work stations; kitchen knives and knife blocks; and cutting boards made of wood exclusively, since scientific studies have confirmed the superiority of wood over plastic cutting boards.
Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com

Acclaimed Chef Couple Opens Unique SuperBite Restaurant in Portland

Acclaimed Chef Couple Opens Unique SuperBite Restaurant in Portland

Greg Denton and his wife Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton – 2016 finalists for the “James Beard Award, Best Chef Northwest” competition and named among the Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine – opened their critically acclaimed Ox Restaurant in Portland, Oregon in 2012. Just one year later, Ox – a modern Argentine steakhouse known for its sizzling grill – was named Restaurant of the Year by The Oregonian.

Grill masters Greg and Gabi attribute the distinctive taste of their meat and fish to their unique wood-fired grill, which features a catch basin that captures delicious drippings from delicacies on the grill for recycling into an even tastier marinade. Greg explains, “We add a special blend of herbs and seasonings to the juice we capture, then use it to baste the steaks as they cook.” Ox is located at 2225 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. 

Encouraged by the notoriety, in March the Dentons released their first cookbook: “Around the Fire: Recipes for Inspired Grilling and Seasonal Feasting from Ox Restaurant.” It includes 100 black-belt recipes for inspired backyard grillers – vegetarians and carnivores alike. The book is flagged “Number One Best-Seller” on Amazon.

Fresh on the heels of widespread acclaim for both Ox and their inaugural cookbook, the Dentons opened their second unique concept restaurant in Portland in April. According to Gabi, “SuperBite is all about small dishes packed with big flavor. It’s a thrill for chefs to have a chance to be creative and bold in devising flavorful, unusual combinations.” And the cooks’ uncustomary experience doesn’t end there. “Unlike other restaurants,” adds Gabi, “here patrons will actually be served by the team who created the food. That feedback loop will help our chefs and our concept evolve.” SuperBite is located at 527 SW 12th Ave. SuperBite

One thing not unusual about SuperBite is its kitchen countertops. They’re butcher block tops made by John Boos in Central Illinois and supplied by Boos’ online dealer, Butcher Block Co.

SuperBite John Boos According to Chef Greg, “I have used Boos equipment my entire career. They have a great reputation in the industry and such a strong following among chefs that I respect that this was one of the easiest decisions we faced in launching our new restaurant.”
About Butcher Block Co. – A leading online seller of kitchen furniture, equipment and such accessories as cutting boards, knives and knife blocks. Butcher Block Co. offers kitchen islands, carts and tables, and specializes in wood countertops. They carry products made by John Boos, Catskill Craftsmen and other leading manufacturers.
For more information, contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]

200 Million Americans Enjoyed Grilled Food over Memorial Day Weekend

200 Million Americans Enjoyed Grilled Food over Memorial Day Weekend

We’ll consume 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day through Labor Day – 70 million each day; over 800 per second!

Of course, the real focus of Memorial Day is the 1.3 million veterans the U.S. has lost to armed conflict over the decades, but one can’t help but fixate on statistics that summarize America’s celebration of the weekend that marks the start of summer. Roughly 6 in ten Americans grilled out over the weekend; that works out to nearly 200 million of us. Almost 40% of them did so away from home, and 9 out of ten of them travelled to their destinations by car. Orlando, Florida was their most popular destination. Washington, D.C. was visited by nearly 1 million atop two-wheelers, headed to the annual Memorial Day Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally.

This time every year Americans move many cooking chores outdoors to take advantage of improving weather. And what types of food did we gorge on? No surprise there: burgers were most popular, enjoyed by 6 of every seven celebrants; followed by steak and hot dogs (4 out of five); with chicken not far behind (5 out of seven).

The summer surge in outdoor cooking is a boon to manufacturers of related merchandise, such as grills, grilling implements and food carts, for example. According to Ted Gravenhorst, Sales and Marketing VP for John Boos & Co., the U.S.-based manufacturer of kitchen carts made of butcher block and stainless steel, “Sales of Boos kitchen carts build every spring and peak just before the July 4th holiday. Demand  typically remains robust right up until Labor Day.”

Looking to capitalize on seasonal demand, the online store Butcher Block Co. is fielding a John Boos Butcher Block Cart Giveaway.

The company’s VP of Marketing, Kathleen Grodsky, advised, “The sweepstakes will be aggressively promoted throughout the month of June. The Grand Prize winner will be awarded a Boos Cucina Elegante kitchen cart, which features a varnished, maple butcher block top; a steel-faced, dovetailed drawer; two food-service-grade stainless-steel shelves; and a 10-inch drop-leaf extension.”

Butcher Block Co. compiled the above information from various sources, including Wallethub, KHAK.com, the Christian Science Monitor and John Boos & Co.

BBC is a leading online retailer of kitchen furniture and accessories, including tables, islands and carts manufactured by Boos, Catskill Craftsmen, Chris & Chris and Oasis Concepts.

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

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