Phoenix Hardwoods, Inc., an artisan manufacturer of high-quality furniture and home goods made exclusively from Virginia-grown hardwoods, will expand its production facility in the county and open a new retail storefront in the historic Farmer Supply store in the heart of downtown Floyd.
The new retail and manufacturing space will enable the company to grow its product line, improve production efficiencies and better serve its customers. The project will create eight (8) career focused positions, lead to $100,000 in new capital investment and allow the company to purchase an additional $76,000 of Virginia-grown hardwoods over the next three years.
Established in 2002 by Bill and Corinne Graefe, Phoenix Hardwoods built its reputation through high-quality, artisan-crafted hardwood furniture and home goods. After nearly twenty-years in business, the founders were retiring and planning to close the company. In January 2020, longtime friends of the Graefe’s, Jeff and Annie Armistead, acquired the business. It was a perfect match with Jeff, a lifelong conservationist, and Annie, a local artist and gallery owner.
Their desire was to continue what had become a loved and well-respected local business. They are passionate about retaining true handmade artisan craftsmanship which is rich in Floyd and part of the draw to this truly unique community. In addition to keeping the facility and retaining their team of talented young artisans, the company’s retail expansion into the Town of Floyd is breathing new life into the old Farmer’s Supply store, a Floyd landmark that opened in the 1930’s and closed in late 2020.
“As someone who grew-up in the Appalachian woodlands of Craig County, Virginia’s hardwood forests have always held a special place in my heart. I am thrilled that we are able to partner with a community like Floyd County to support a company like Phoenix Hardwoods as both appreciate Virginia’s hardwood resources as much as I do,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “As it is through a deep appreciation of our forests and the beautiful products that come from them, like those created by the artisans of Phoenix Hardwoods, that we are able to grow markets for Virginia’s forest landowners and support sustainable forest management and restoration of our forests.”
The company saws, planes, and finishes local hardwood logs and lumber to handcraft fine live edge furniture and accessories. Their mission is to create high end generational pieces that become more valuable once they leave the shop. Their product assortment ranges from custom tables of all kinds beds, stools, chests, live edge mirrors, desks, kitchen goods, and home accessories. Moving the retail gallery to town will increase customer exposure and broaden their reach. Wholesale products, such as laser cut custom logo cutting boards, is a new and growing part of the business.
“As a lifelong conservationist, I’m overwhelmed and elated to receive this AFID grant,” said Phoenix Hardwoods President Jeff Armistead. “This will allow Phoenix Hardwoods to expand and continue our work with Virginia’s sustainable natural and human resources, trees, and jobs.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with Floyd County and the Floyd County Economic Development Authority to secure this project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved a $10,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which Floyd County will match with local funds.
“The Floyd County Board of Supervisors and the Floyd County EDA are excited about the expansion of Phoenix Hardwoods in the County,” said Floyd County Board of Supervisors Chairman Joe Turman. “This expansion by local entrepreneurs is bringing good job creation to our community and capitalizing on local craftsmanship and hardwoods.”