August 9, 2022

Century-old Michigan wood products company falls to COVID, shutdown order

PETOSKEY, Michigan – Michigan Maple Block Co. will cease all operations, affecting 56 employees. The company has been manufacturing butcher blocks, countertops, kitchen trolleys and other furniture since 1881.

“This is the most difficult decision we have ever made, because of the negative impact it will have on all of you, some of whom have worked at Michigan Maple for over 40 years,” wrote the president of the company Ann Dau Conway in a letter to employees. .

Conway said COVID-19 was to blame. The company was forced to shut down its manufacturing facility after being deemed non-essential by the state of Michigan. Conway said Maple Block cannot remain viable.

“We are deeply grateful to the entire Michigan Maple Block team and proud of the company’s heritage,” said Conway. “With our team of dedicated employees, my family has operated Michigan Maple Block through many adverse economic times including two world wars, the Great Depression and multiple recessions. I am saddened that the growing challenges facing the business today have forced us to close the business. “

The closure will be complete by the end of June, according to a statement. Customers will be referred to the Maple Block, Pa., Site company Bally Block Co.

Maple Block has been operating in Petoskey, Michigan since 1881 when it was founded as a wood products company. It began producing hard end-rolled butcher’s blocks in the early 1900s.