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A Family Tradition

Glance Into the World of Amish Furniture

Ervin Yoder started his furniture store, Twin Locust Furniture, in 2003 in a small shop at his home in Holmes County with two large locust trees in the front yard, which became the symbol and namesake for his business. Back then, Ervin was making dovetail drawers, cabinets, television stands and entertainment centers on a very small scale compared to the amount of business that he does today. In 2009, he moved the business to its current location, which is located at 11575 Salt Creek Road, in Fredericksburg – about 15 miles south of Wooster.

Amish family and traditions. Ervin has a large extended Amish family of cousins, uncles and friends that help with all aspects of the business at his location and at theirs. For instance, a cousin may have equipment that is better for making chairs than what he has at his shop. So to cut his lead time down, Ervin outsources that work to his family and pays them instead of using parts for chairs that are not authentic to the Amish tradition of furniture making. His father is a timber buyer and one of his brothers has a dry kiln that dries the lumber and then he sells it. And yet another brother has a finish shop that finishes all the pieces used to make the furniture. 

“With our furniture, we’ve basically got our hands on it from the tree to the finished product,” Ervin says

At 14 years old, on the day after his last day of formalized school education (Amish go to school up until the eighth grade), Ervin immediately went to work for his uncle who needed help and was very busy at the time with his own furniture shop. Ervin worked with his uncle for nine years, learning the trade until he started making television stands and entertainment centers out of his own shop at home with his wife. Eventually, customers who would stop in to see or pick up the entertainment centers he was making started asking him if he could build different types of furniture for them.  From there Ervin opened a showroom and started making all kinds of different furniture. 

Word of mouth customers that keep coming back. Twin Locust keeps very busy with a large customer base of over 10,000. Customers love their bedroom and dining room sets, whiskey barrel tables, bars, chairs and other custom furniture. 

“We do a lot of different types of styles of furniture. We’ll do rustic, modern, contemporary…anything really, it just depends on what the customer wants,” Ervin explains.

Their sliding barn doors are a big seller for them as well. The doors create a rustic look and add character to any room by using reclaimed barn siding.  

“We do a lot of barrel and double barrel tables, which are really popular as well right now,” he says. “For our whiskey barrel tables, we use authentic Jack Daniels barrels that my cousin is able to buy directly from Jack Daniels. We also use wine barrels for some of our tables as well.”

Part of the appeal of the tables is that they are very durable. Ervin uses three coats of a catalyzed lacquer finish on the barrels, which protect them from hot surfaces up to a temperature of 188 degrees. 

Another item that Twin Locust Furniture specializes in is media cabinets for television and sound components. Ervin explains: “One of our most popular television-related items right now is the sliding barn door entertainment center." The unit has two big sliding barn doors that, when closed, are a stunning accent to their customer’s family room wall and when opened, expose the television and components that are mounted behind the doors.

Since having a website to promote the business is not allowed in the Amish culture, Ervin welcomes and encourages customers to come into the showroom to see and feel the furniture for themselves. 

Twin Locust offers in-home delivery and set-up as well. And while the majority of Ervin's customer base is right here in Northeast Ohio and Central Ohio, the word-of-mouth recommendations have spread much farther than that. He tells me that he has delivered his 100 percent authentic, Amish furniture everywhere in the country from California to Florida, as well as many other states. However, Ervin emphasizes that Medina is “by far” his largest customer base. Lucky for us that we are so close to one of the finest authentic Amish furniture craftsmen in the country. Take the time to head down to the Twin Locust Furniture showroom located at 11575 Salt Creek Road in Fredericksburg today or call 330.695.2240 for more information on their products and services.

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