Effingham, Illinois is on the route back to Minnesota from Florida. Right on I-57 in southern Illinois. After stopping in Chattanooga,Tennessee for the night, I told MaryJo that we would stop in Effingham the next night. That would be around a 410 mile day if I recall. Well we found a motel and it was still only 3 o’clock and MaryJo said that we should look around town to see some sights. Just then I remembered that Effingham was the home of John Boos Co. The place where they make the best butcher block tables and chopping blocks used by all the chef’s on Food Network and fine restaurants everywhere. A phone call later, we were off to the Boos Block store, only a five minute ride from our motel!
Once at the showroom, we were greeted by Connie, the super helpful and knowledgeable saleswoman. We told her that we were just passing through town and had to stop to see their products. I also told her that I had a food blog and had done a post about their cutting boards and asked if I could take some photos of their shop. She was super accommodating and told me to take as many photos as I like.
Well I was like a kid in a candy store. All of these beautiful butcher block tables and cutting boards! It made me wish that I was designing a new kitchen and could use all of these great products. And I haven’t even mentioned that John Boos Co. has a large stainless steel factory to make the best restaurant fixtures available.
Connie said that we had to meet Norb, the factory showroom manager and the resident historian of John Boos & Co. Norbert Bruce finally got back to the showroom and he proudly showed MaryJo and I some of the history of the company with old photos and articles. I didn’t ask him how long he had been with the company, but I know from his passion for the products that he’d been with them a long time.
The original building is still in use and has the same wood floors and some of the same two wheeled carts used a hundred years ago. Due to safety regulations were weren’t able to take a look in the factory, but I’m sure it would be fascinating.
This last photo is the largest butcher block that John Boos & Co. has done and Norb said that it went to Texas A&M University. It’s about 1000 pounds of solid maple on their custom stainless steel framework!
I love our two Boos Block cutting boards and would encourage everyone to use their products because they are the best.
On our way back to Florida in the fall, I think we’ll stop in Effingham!
John Boos Factory Showroom and Outlet , 507 Fayette St. E., Effingham IL 62401