In 1986 John, Peter and Dave Herwynen began producing rough cut lumber on a small piece of land severed from their parents farm. To run a successful operation the brothers soon realized more capital was needed and took on full time jobs at a local sawmill, spending their free time building their own business. Peter gave up his job in 1988 to focus solely on their business venture, and began running cedar and pressure treated wood.
In 1989, John and Dave left their jobs at the local sawmill to help Peter with the operations of the business. That same year, they purchased a molder and started manufacturing unfinished hardwood flooring. Three years later, in 1992 they decided to move into manufacturing high quality, high grade unfinished hardwood flooring. The brothers realized if they ensured the wood was of good lengths, dried and milled properly, they could match or exceed industry standards to become the diamond standard within the flooring industry.
By focusing on their goal to produce top quality flooring the demand was high and business was brisk. In 1993 a larger building was required to house the manufacturing line and to store the finished inventory. It was at this time a kiln was built to dry the lumber instead of outsourcing. The demand for their quality product continued to increase and several employees were added to keep up with the demand. By 1999 they were producing around 9000 square feet of hardwood flooring per day.
In 2001, John, Peter and Dave saw that the trend was moving toward pre-finished hardwood flooring. The company took a huge step expanding their manufacturing operations to accommodate this trend. Herwynen Sawmill purchased Platinum Wood Finishing, a pre-finishing company in Toronto, in order to have full control over the quality of their product. Platinum moved onsite in Rockwood in 2008.
The Herwynen brothers suffered a devastating blow in May of 2007 when one of the kilns caught fire and the kiln and ripper room were lost. Without missing a beat, and while it was business not quite as usual, they were up and running on Monday with a mobile office in place. They temporarily outsourced part of their operations to continue providing their valued customers with a quality product. By the summer of 2008 they had finished rebuilding the flooring plant, kilns and offices.
Currently, Herwynen Sawmill has 52 employees in the hardwood flooring plant and 26 employees in the pre-finishing plant. The mill produces its diamond standard flooring under the name Superior Flooring, and distributes the hardwood to over 80 stores across Canada and the USA.
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