Local Firewood Burns Warmer
By Neil Schroeder, OWC President
Often, we who are involved in producing firewood bundles are asked, “How can you ask and obtain so much for your products?” There are several reasons, but probably first among them is that OWC delivers small orders on short notice. In addition, our product is clean, tight and has a most appealing label.
Our first customer is the grocery or retail store, and we provide convenient, reliable service with a very high quality product. The second customer is the end consumer, the person who buys the bundle at the retail store. Our products, to command the prices we set, must meet the criteria of being attractive, clean, dry and of course will provide a warm fire when burned in a stove or fireplace.
In the seven or so years we have been selling bundled wood, there have been instances where the consumer has been very instructive. Terry Howell came back from a delivery and told the story of watching a customer as she inspected each bundle in the store display. He asked if she would mind telling him what she was doing. Her reply was that she was looking for the bundles containing larger pieces. By burning our wood, she quickly learned that the larger pieces burn longer and therefore have more value. From that we now teach our producers to put a few pieces up to 6 inches in diameter into more bundles.
Another time while talking to a store customer about the OWC bundles, her comment was, “The wood is so clean and dry and makes a wonderful fire. Besides that, it is so CHEAP!” That comment certainly reinforces our belief that we are not charging too much even though it amounts to over $600 per cord!
Our direct customers, the retail stores like Whole Foods and New Seasons, as well as the few other grocery and hardware stores, could not be better business partners. They appreciate our local, sustainable, service-oriented approach. And they support us by always paying their invoices. We have never, in these many years of doing business, not received payment for a delivery. Often the staff will come out and help unload our trucks and trailers. Some have attended our annual meeting and our yearly “How to Bundle” classes. More than once, a person helping with the delivery of firewood has offered to come out to the tree farm and help with the work of making our superior firewood products.
Thank you buying our firewood – we appreciate your business!