Tucked away at the edge of the Freeman Brook and Flat Iron Road in historic Warren Village, an incredible new business is born. You'd never know what was hatching inside without an invitation or some inside information.
Stacked outside the otherwise innocuous two bay garage converted into an open studio are thick slabs of hardwoods divine. The side room full of wood samples including a palette of mahogany shipped by Gibson for guitar neck experimentation. But music isn't the main focus here in this brilliant and buzzing space.
Welcome to Warren Pieces.
The woodstove crackling, fueled by the scraps of progress. Tools across the floor, sawdust, the intoxicating aroma of exotic hardwood.
Whitney walks in and though it's first thing in the morning, he's unusually clear as his wife Jesse is in contraction, the waves every twelve minutes. Any time now.... As if their powerful industrial incubation wasn't enough.
Witnessing the start of something so clearly loaded with promise and success would be a thrill under any circumstances, but seeing the intense focus on a product so dear to boys across the planet is, for anyone who has ridden or likes to ride, like walking into a candy shop for the first time.
When I was in my early teens I'd jump the subway in Manhattan and go all the way down to the epicenter of 1970's skateboarding, Paragon Sports. There were hundreds of boards displayed in force with kids riding through the store, wheels and tracks of every shape and color. G&S was big in long boards. But nothing in that store came close, even in the heart of the largest US city, to the ultra-fine craftsmanship on clear display on Flat Iron Road in Warren this week. Local luxury defined.
Matt shows off one of the new purchases, a radio frequency driven wood welder harnessing dielectric heating: disturbed water molecules cause friction with twenty seven million cycle changes per second translating to heat, vastly accelerating wood curing time, allowing faster production without sacrificing strength. Matt's comes to Warren Pieces from Matt Groom Building & Remodeling, already widely acclaimed for carpentry & design excellence.
Warren Pieces is aiming for a special niche market, with long boards at $350, other price points to follow. Out of the gate, they can't make enough to keep up with the traffic through the shop. One purchase after the next, for a friend or relative here or far away, a real piece of Vermont to show the surfing dudes you don't need an ocean to rock. It won't be long before the word will get out, the online orders will pour in, and Matt & Whitney will be celebrities on the world skateboarding circuit.
When you take your board home, it won't just rest in the corner or under you bed. They've designed stunning wall mounts to be illuminated from behind that are works of art themselves and would make any adolescent's room jump.
QR codes will be etched in copper on board underbellies for an instant link to Warren Pieces, the website evolving now.
Everything about this entrepreneurial effort sparkles.
With Whitney's years of sports branding and sales with Mad River Rocket the original extreme sled co., and Matt's discerning eye, stylistic excellence and superior craftsmanship, this is one new business you can bet on. Whether you stay at the Relais & Chateau Pitcher Inn around the corner or more modest digs, don't miss this visit.
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