We all know about eating locally. But how about cutting and chopping locally? It's possible with beautifully crafted cutting boards produced by Wood From the Hood. The south Minneapolis company recycles urban trees that are lost to storms, disease or construction and repurposes the reclaimed wood for flooring, furniture and other uses. When the company refashioned nearby elm trees into a custom conference table for the Seward Co-op's new store, "We saw they were selling bamboo cutting boards made in China and we told them, 'We can do better than that,'" said Jon Buck, who works with Wood From the Hood co-owners Rick and Cindy Siewart.
After some tinkering, they came up with three designs in graduated sizes, and the boards hit the shelves three months ago. "They've been selling really well, better than any other cutting board we've ever carried," said Robin Davis, the store's general merchandise buyer.
No surprise. The sugar maple boards are both attractive and durable ("We put them through the ringer, and the only thing that shreds them is the dishwasher," said Buck), and each are labeled with the tree's ZIP code location. Next up: the company is formulating a conditioner for their cutting boards, made using mineral oil blended with an all-natural beeswax produced in Rushford, Minn.
Wood From the Hood (www.woodfromthehood.com) cutting boards ($20 to $33) are available at Seward Co-op (2823 E. Franklin Av., Minneapolis, www.seward.coop), Linden Hills Natural Home (2822 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis, lindenhills.coop) and Mother Earth Gardens (3738 42nd Av. S., Minneapolis, www.motherearthgarden.com).
For more about Wood From the Hood, go to Table Talk, the Star Tribune's food and restaurants blog, at startribune.com/tabletalk.