A woodcraft company's roots in Manchester are as solid as the family behind the business.
First opening in 1950, Manchester Woodcraft is still thriving today. "It's really nice to have been here for so long," said Jenny Foster, the company's co-owner.
The business was co-founded by Ferdinand "Nundy" Bongartz. Nundy's daughters, Jenny and Lauren, grew up in the shop. "We'd make little roads in the sawdust with sticks and drive cars or horses through there -- yeah it was fun," Foster said. Nundy bought out his partner and eventually left the business to Jenny and Lauren. "Just ended up here the summer I graduated from college, and it just kind of mushroomed from there. My sister basically did the same thing."
If there's any wooden object you can think of, Manchester Woodcraft has probably produced it.
"We see a product in every piece of wood that we get our eyes on," said Ann Smith, an employee at the shop.
And they were most likely made with some of the original equipment. "All of the machines in the sanding room, they're hand built machines that are still working, and I don't know what we'd do without them because the ones that you can buy are not as good," Foster said.
Reporter Scott Fleishman: What's your favorite part of the process?
Bruce Moffit: I like it all. I don't have a favorite. It's all good.
As much hard work goes into the process, it's the customers that keep the company going. "We all take such pride in the place, knowing the history and the fact that the same people keep coming back year after year is really nice," Smith said.
Generations of customers, visiting a family business started nearly three generations ago by a man who loved working with his hands. "He'd be thrilled. He already was thrilled," Foster said.
PO Box 4508