We design wood products for the top chef’s and restaurants in the world.
In July of 2011 I had the idea for NeighborWood while I watched the CIty of Evanston remove 3 large storm damaged trees from the front of our house. Originally the concept was to make cutting boards from fallen urban trees and sell them to consumers. This was a hobby/business for the next year and in January 2012 decided to make it my full-time business.
I had great success making cutting boards and my boards could be found in retail locations across the country in high-end cooking retailers like The Chopping Block. For the next 6 months I focused on retail, but in July 2012 a call from out of the blue changed my business model forever.
Chef Stephen Lewandowski saw our cutting boards at The Chopping Block and wanted to know if we could make boards for them to serve burgers and fries on. He was openng Harlan Social (named after his son Harlan) in Stamford, CT in August of 2012.
Not one to turn down business, I took the job and delivered Live Edge Black Walnut boards for the opening. We have done Chef Stephens second restaurant Harlan Publickin Norwalk, CT. You can see the boards in action here: Harlan Social
Thinking this was a one-off project, I quickly learned that chefs eat at other chefs restaurants. especially when they are new. I soon got a second call that solidified our new business . That call came from Chef April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig in New York and she was opening a new restaurant called Salvation Taco, saw our boards at Harlan Social and wanted us to design a group of boards in various sizes.
I quickly changed our business model from a low volume retail model to a high volume manufacturer for the restaurant and hospitality industry. The two market segments are very different, so I focused on the restaurant business and did fewer and fewer retail projects and eventually the retail part of the business was tabled. NeighborWood quickly became the “go to” manufacturer for custom wood serving boards by chefs and restauranteurs across North America.
For the next two years NeighborWood has had the opportuntity to design boards for chefs such as Rick Bayless and Stephanie Izard, restaurant groups such as Levy and Gibsons, hotels such as Ritz Carlton and Fairmont and our boards can be found in most of the professional sports venues in America.
In January 2015 I partnered with John Manson of Manson and Associates and created SolarWood USA, to further grow the restaurant and hospitality market by partnering with the top restaurant distributors.
We love inspiring the chefs we work with to push the boundaries of food presentation and I hope you enjoy letting you culinary imagination run wild.