John Boos' History, Marketing, Manufacturing & Product Development

Ted Gravenhorst, Jr. is V.P. of Sales and Marketing for John Boos & Co. In 2013 Ted was interviewed by Butcher Block Co.'s Mark Shook. The full interview consists of 4 segments.

A Brief History of John Boos & Company

Mark:    John Boos & Co. has a long, rich history. What can you tell us about the origins of the company?

Ted:      Conrad Boos founded the company in 1887, naming it after his son John. Together they harvested Sycamore from the woods around Effingham, IL and processed it at the family’s sawmill. These first blocks were essentially slices of tree  trunks that proved to be excellent work surfaces for blacksmiths. Next, they found their way into textile mills and factories throughout the Midwest. When John Boos came up with the idea of placing these wood slabs on legs and peddling  the tables to butchers working local meat markets, that’s when the butcher block was born. Then with the advent of railways, Boos expanded distribution to both coasts.  Continue Reading

Marketing Boos Blocks

Mark:    Ted, I’ve been fortunate in my career to manage some leading brand-name businesses, but I must say, I am truly impressed by the strength and staying power of the Boos brand name. How do you explain it?

Ted:      Last year we celebrated the 125th anniversary of Boos & Co. and the John Boos name is better known today than ever. Consumers know they can’t go wrong with a Boos Block. They associate the name with quality design and construction. There’s a trust factor that’s been built up over the years.  Continue Reading

The Manufacturing of John Boos Butcher Blocks – It IS Easy Being Green

Mark:    John Boos has been a major manufacturer of butcher block countertops, kitchen islands and carts and cutting boards for more than a century. What role has manufacturing played in the company’s long-term success?

Ted:      From the company’s start in 1887, Boos has always been firmly committed to making products of the highest quality that represent great value. Sometimes you might find competing products at lower prices, but you’ll never match Boos quality for the price. That dedication to quality starts at the top, but it’s shared by everyone on the plant floor.  Continue Reading

New Product Development at John Boos & Company

Mark:    For more than 125 years John Boos & Co. has been the butcher block market leader. Some of your success has to stem from keeping the Boos product line fresh. Who is the target audience bull’s eye for whom you’re designing these new products?

Ted:      When we design new products we have in mind females ranging in age from 25 to 35. We also try to appeal to different consumers by offering products at different price points, but that can be tough since our mission is to wow consumers with one-of-a-kind products they can’t get elsewhere. The way we think of it, there are two sets of consumers: those who currently buy Boos products and those who aspire to.  Continue Reading