If you burn firewood regularly, you will understand the importance of good wood and trustworthy suppliers — you will find both of those here at Northern Hardwood. Not only do we offer you superior-quality wood, we also look forward to building relationships with each of our customers. You can trust us to provide you with the best; expect that when you work with Northern Hardwood.
The Team | Our Location | Humble Beginnings
Since its beginnings in 1986, Northern Hardwood has remained a family-run business. Steve and Barb Vos oversee all the operations, deliveries, and administration of the business, with the help of their children. Being a family business, Northern Hardwood maintains a high standard of customer service and quality. We work for the satisfaction of our customers, and we have fun doing it!
Northern Hardwood has a fully-equipped woodlot where all the processing and storage take place. Tractor trailers deliver the logs to the site, where they are unloaded and moved by tractors to the processing area. The cutting and splitting is performed by a custom-built, hydraulic-powered processing machine with conveyer belts and a carbide ripsaw, achieving a high-quality split similar to handsplit wood. The processing area is on concrete pads to keep the wood clean during processing.
Around October of each year the firewood is moved indoors. This wood will be free of snow and other precipitation during deliveries in the late fall/winter months. Because of our large storage capacities, we can guarantee our customers the quantities they need and the quality they are looking for.
Northern Hardwood was started in August of 1986 by Steve and Barb Vos, along with Steve's parents, George and Corry Vos. We were located in Rockwood at the time, and ordered 2 tractor-trailer loads of cut and split firewood to start with. The plan was to try to sell as much of the wood as possible, and if it did not sell, then we would burn it ourselves. Needless to say, we sold it, and we've kept growing since.
Over the years, we changed our business system, purchasing the logs and processing the firewood on-site with chainsaws, axes, and hydraulic wood splitters. Tractors, conveyers, and trucks were used for delivering the firewood, and customers could also pick up their wood from the stacks on our property.
In 1990, George and Corry pursued other endeavours, while Steve and Barb continued expanding the firewood business. In 1997, Northern Hardwood moved locations to a property with a huge open concept barn, perfect for storing the firewood, and allowing it to season without getting precipitation on it. This also ensured dry wood with protection from the winter snow.
The same year, Steve designed a firewood-processing machine along with a Mennonite manufacturing company. This machine featured hydraulic log rollers, vertical splitters (giving a “hand split” type of product), smooth transition from log to conveyor, and ability for 2 men to operate it at a speed of approximately one full cord firewood cut and split per hour. In 1994, the machine was modified to include a carbide ripsaw. This allowed for far less maintenance of saws and sharpening and made the machine operable by one man at the same speed. With two men operating it, we could increase production by almost double.
Every year brings bigger things to Northern Hardwood, and we look forward to more expansion in the future. Despite our growth, one thing hasn't changed for us, though — the desire to provide quality wood to our customers in a way that best serves them. That will never change!