HOW WE BEGAN
The Whiskey Joe’s story fittingly starts with an old barn and a family history. Years ago a neighbor from the small rural town where Steve was raised approached him about taking down an old “bank” barn before it collapsed. The barn had become dilapidated and a burden on the family. It needed to be scrapped, but while tearing it down, Steve saw potential in the old, beautiful wood that had formed the structure and held for over 100 years. Hesitant to throw it into a burn pile, he and his wife discussed the possibility of using the wood to create furniture and bringing the Greenzalis’ on board to form a business – Steve was the craftsman, and Melinda handling the day-to-day side of the operation; and Whiskey Joe’s was born.
STEVE & MELINDA
Steve was raised on his parent’s dairy farm near the bustling town of Tippecanoe, Ohio. Growing up on a working farm taught him to create beautiful and useful things, keeping form and function in a proper balance. He worked to hone his woodworking craft in a small family workshop not far from his house. Steve is the woodworker behind all of Whiskey Joe’s products.
Melinda grew up and raised her own family in the heart of suburban Columbus, OH. However, she has always felt a pull toward the farms of the countryside, fueled by the memories of her time spent on her relative’s farm in Indiana and the happiness found in the quieter side of life there. Melinda works behind the scenes, handling all of Whiskey Joe’s administrative tasks.
Deciding on a name was a more difficult task and after a “men vs women” naming debate, Steve went to dinner with Dorothy, the woman who owned the barn. At one point during dinner, she leaned over to whisper to him, with only 4 people at the table, and said, “I probably shouldn’t tell you this but, my grandfather who built the barn’s nickname was Whiskey Joe.” And that’s when we knew – a name that represents the family roots that set the foundation for the business and gives a little color to each piece made. The name stuck and since then we’ve paid homage to the barn that started it all, branded on every table, bench, and coaster sold.
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