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Ted Gravenhorst Jr., Sales & Marketing VP for John Boos, Discusses Marketing Boos Blocks

John Boos & Co. makes and sells Boos Blocks - the world's #1 butcher block brand.

Ted was interviewed by Mark Shook, who has spent most of his career in the consumer packaged goods industry. 


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.

Mark:    Who buys Boos products? What can you tell us about your target audience?

Ted:      Our target audience includes women aged 25 and up who are “Foodies.” We think of foodies as folks who are especially into cooking. They watch cooking shows; read cooking magazines and blogs; try out new recipes and equipment; and typically want the best of everything for their home kitchens. They pay attention to what the experts use and say, and they when they hear that Boos Blocks are the best, well naturally they decide that’s the brand for them.

Mark:    How do you manage to get all the exposure you do on food networks and cooking shows and the celebrity endorsements that come with them?

Ted:      We have a great Marketing team at Boos. They’re experts at spotting and pursuing opportunities, but with Boos Blocks so well known, we see many cooking shows and chefs reaching out to us. So we’re very fortunate in that respect. But then it comes down to the details of execution – like getting the right product samples to the right place on time, providing information, answering any questions.

Mark:    What are some of the endorsements you’ve secured for the brand over the years?

Ted:      Boos Blocks and cutting boards have been used by Mario Batali, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, Giada de Laurentiis, Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray and the chefs of Iron Chef America. Also, Boos products are in the homes of Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, and even in the White House. As you can imagine, we’re quite proud of all the public support the brand and company enjoy.

Mark:    Over the years we’ve seen trends ebb and flow and fads come and go. It seems as though every decade there’s some hot new material that’s really in for kitchen counters: tile, granite, marble, travertine, stainless steel, glass. Are wood countertops as popular today as ever? And which wood species is most popular?  

Ted:      It’s hard to predict how long a certain material, style or design will be in vogue, but I can say two things with certainty. First, butcher block countertops will always be popular. And second, maple will always be our top selling wood for kitchen counters and furniture. Over time you’ll see shifts in importance, but in the long run, consumers will always come back to maple butcher block. It’s just so beautiful and neutral. It goes with any décor, and that pretty much makes it timeless. 

Rock Maple Butcher Block Counters

American Walnut Butcher Block Counters


Read other segments of this interview:   History of John Boos  |  New Product Development at Boos  |  Manufacturing Boos Blocks