by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
While Shiawassee County politicians and economic developers have for years touted the county’s turn-around from the most recent economic recession, more proof was on display during Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State address on Tuesday, Jan. 17. The company, which was established in 2010 and is currently located in Vernon, has impressed the governor by committing to stay in Michigan, despite opportunities to move anywhere in the country. The company is planning to build a new facility in Durand, and owner Tadd Morris says he should be ready to break ground in the coming months.
The company uses reclaimed wood to create furniture that is sold in three states, including in Morris’ Austin-based Reclaimed Wood ATX and in Green Bay, Wisconsin at Beam and Board. Additionally, Morris’ services are being utilized by the Woda Group, Inc., as the multi-state development company has tapped 2nd Chance Wood to re-finish wood flooring removed from the Shiawassee Street School in Corunna. Morris reports that business is growing at such a rate that he needs to double his work force and space to meet the demand. Currently employing 32 workers, Morris expects to add an additional 50 employees with the move to the new Durand facility. The new building will expand the the company’s workspace from 30,000 to 50,000 square feet, and Morris noted that designing his own space will greatly improve the business’s efficiency.
“We have been on an accelerated growth rate since we started, and it’s still as enjoyable as it was six years ago,” Morris said recently. “The new business opportunities that come to us each year are always in addition to our existing growing business. Every year we find new markets to sell into that we never saw as a potential before. We are now connected with the Woda Group, which operates in 13 states, so that is one example of an avenue we never even thought of before. We are also doing work for Michigan State University where we use trees from the school’s campus to make furniture and other wood products for them. So, instead of grinding the trees down, we are able to use trees that fall due to storms or are cut to make room for expansion, and we are now making those into products for the university to re-sell. And that opens us up to universities across the country, so we don’t envision our growth slowing down anytime soon.”