2019-10-30

Storied Lunenburg County company Amos Wood selling off its assets

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>Jeff Amos, founder of Amos Wood, passed away in August, 2018. He&#8217;s shown here in 2017 at the company&#8217;s factory in Blockhouse, standing amid the makings of a new window for St. Mary&#8217;s Basilica in Halifax.</p>

Amos Wood, the design, mill work and furniture company most recently based in Blockhouse, has put its assets on the sellers' block.

The company's two retail and production facilities on Highway 325, as well as its retail space in Mahone Bay, went up for sale earlier this month.

The move follows the passing of the company's founder, Jeff Amos, who died in 2018 from complications arising from a bacterial infection.

"Without Jeff to lead the way, we decided to close the business, and [ allow] Jacqueline [Jeff's wife] to recover as much from the assets as possible," his son, Logan, told LighthouseNOW. Jeff had had more than 40 years in the woodworking industry.

Logan and his wife had moved back from Toronto before Jeff passed away, with the intention of taking advantage of lower property prices and establishing Logan's architectural firm in Bridgewater.

Although Jeff's other son, Obe, was once an integral part of the business, he had since moved on to developing his own construction company, and it largely was left to Logan to oversee the day-to-day running of Amos Wood.

The plan was to give it a year and see if the company would be profitable. "To be honest, it was probably the most stressful year of my entire life," said Logan. He and his wife had their first child in February. Meanwhile, he was responsible for keeping six workers busy, and "dealing with a million details," including advertising and marketing.

"It was just exhausting. So I'm happy to kind of continue my own life that my wife and I had planned," says Logan.

He said the family had tried to sell the business. Although there were two buyers who showed interest, nothing came of it. Meanwhile, there has been some interest in the properties themselves, and the company intends to have a yard sale or something similar to move the remaining inventory.

While Amos Wood had weathered changing supply, production and market trends to be able to invest $150,000 in a Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine, according to Logan the custom wood industry has been struggling more and more due to outsourcing of supplies and the larger buying power of big factories.

"You need to be on a larger scale than what Amos Wood was. There's too much overhead ... and we're not close enough to the city to get a lot of business through there," he said.

Added Logan, there were "one too many investments in machinery and property that just wasn't able to get paid for. We kind of expanded too quickly without the demand."

However, the custom wood work that Amos Wood clients had come to enjoy isn't necessarily disappearing for good. Logan says he will carry on operating a small-scale woodworking business under the trade name Amos Wood, alongside his architectural work.

He says he likes the idea of "taking the company back to its roots, and being able to supply something that very few other people can do in Nova Scotia."

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