John Boos Butcher Blocks – Worth the Investment?

Posted by admin on August 18, 2013
Home Improvement / Comments Off

butcher block countertopA kitchen remodel today can easily run into five figures. So it can be tempting to look for ways to cut corners on the remodel itself, or on the kitchen furniture, appliances and accessories that cap it off. But before you cut corners, keep in mind that kitchen upgrades and remodels are among the smartest investments a homeowner can make.

For decades, butcher block has been among the most popular counter and island top materials used in kitchen remodels, and it’s far and away the top pick for kitchen island tables, kitchen carts and cutting boards. Among butcher block manufacturers, none is as renowned as John Boos and Company. Their butcher block products tend to cost more than most, so here again you might be tempted to opt for a lesser brand in order to save a little. Here are some points to consider in deciding whether Boos butcher block is worth the premium.

By a wide margin, John Boos is the industry leader. They’ve had plenty of time to get it exactly right, seeing how they’ve been making butcher blocks since the late 1800s. Basically, Boos & Co. sets the standards for both the foodservice and residential markets. They make more than just butchers’ blocks and countertops, of course. Their butcher block kitchen island tables, carts and cutting boards have won the praise of professional chefs and home cooks alike, and have earned Boos a vast number of awards and celebrity chef endorsements.

In this business, getting it right requires excellence in three key areas: design, material inputs and craftsmanship. As the industry leader with over a century of experience, Boos knows the tastes and expectations of avid cooks and knows how to keep on top of style trends. They use only the finest North American hardwoods: Hard Rock Maple, American Cherry, Appalachian Red Oak and American Black Walnut harvested from well-managed forests – a resource that is sustainable, biodegradable and renewable. To ensure durability and longevity of their products, Boos even dries the wood to exacting standards in their own kilns. And while Boos makes good use of advances in manufacturing technology, the sophisticated machinery they use would be of little value without their highly-trained, seasoned operator-craftsmen.

In buying butcher block, as with anything else, it pretty much comes down to “you get what you pay for,” and high-quality design, materials and craftsmanship do not come cheap. If you’re still hesitant, but at all vain, then weigh the status of the John Boos name itself. It happens to be one of those iconic, American brands that shouts quality and connotes premium. So much so that many of the company’s products feature the Boos brand name emblazoned on them; not so much because of self-promotion, but because their consumers demand it. After all, if you drive a Lamborghini you want people to know it, right?

How is it that so many people are aware of the John Boos name anyway? Decades ago that wasn’t so much the case, but with our increasing interest in cooking and surging popularity of cooking shows on such food-centric networks as the Cooking Channel and Food Network, we’re all paying more attention to what’s in the kitchens of our favorite chefs and food personalities, as well as the kitchens of our friends and neighbors.

Finally, if you’re not persuaded by the vanity argument, let’s complete the circle by returning to the investment thesis. If you’re installing butcher block countertops, keep in mind that high quality counters will give you many years of usefulness and enjoyment, as well as a return on the investment when it comes time to sell your home. If the purchase you’re considering is a butcher block table, island, cart or cutting board, the same principle applies, only in this case you will likely take it with you if you move. Bottom line: you’re sure to get years and years of satisfying use from any John Boos product. And in the end, that’s how you should think about value: quality and longevity for the price.

Mark is the owner of Butcher Block Co., a leading online retailer of premium butcher block tables, kitchen islands, carts, countertops and
cutting boards manufactured by industry leaders John Boos & Co, Catskill Craftsmen, Home Styles and others.

Would You Like To Become A Business Leader? Read This

Posted by admin on August 18, 2013
Business / Comments Off

businessleadershipLeadership qualities are important to gain if you want to find success in the business world. While this is easy to understand, it is sometimes frustrating knowing where to turn for leadership advice. We have simplified that for you by compiling a list of the most important leadership qualities. Continue reading to learn more.

A good leader should always try to remain optimistic. Even when things aren’t going as planned, a leader should be positive so that the people around you will remain positive. No matter what the problem is, a good attitude will give you, and your team, hope that the problem will be handled.

Communicate openly with your team. You must find your own voice. You also need to learn how to express it and how to trust it. When you have ideas and information, you must learn how to share them. Stay accessible and be willing to listen. Integrate your thinking into the whole. Be aware of how your style and presence affect other people.

Do what’s necessary to promote group unity. This means making sure that everyone knows what tasks they need to perform and what everyone else is doing. This prevents duplicate effort. Also, make sure each member of the team keeps the others up to date on progress. This makes budget and time overruns less likely.

Watch out for project creep. This can happen when your project’s scope isn’t clearly defined. If you have control over the project, resist the temptation to add more project objectives as time goes on. If you are receiving external pressure to expand your project, resist it with all your might. Your subordinates will thank you.

If you make a mistake, admit it. Nothing will kill the confidence workers have for you faster than insistence that you’re right when you are clearly not. However, if you can admit that you are wrong, you will gain the respect of your underlings. The respect of those around you is imperative.

Don’t be overbearing when your subordinates are learning a new process. Instead, ask them how they learn best. You might be surprised to find out that some of your subordinates want direct instruction, while others want to take a more trial-and-error approach to learning. Unless there are specific reasons why accommodating them would be problematic, try to allow for both types of learning.

When you’re trying to be a good business leader, you’ll need to be able to make difficult decisions. When making a difficult decision, you should understand the consequences and outcome of your decision. When making a decision, you should always consider what is going to be best for your business, not just for certain people or yourself.

Leaders aren’t afraid to ask questions. If they don’t know something, they ask. Follow their example and don’t try to pretend that you know everything. It will reflect badly on you when the truth comes out. Gather all the relevant information so that can you make an accurate decision.

Converse with your employees in a way that makes them feel important. Everyone needs to be heard. It is always best to lead by example. Don’t yell at your employees, embarrass them in front of their co-workers or belittle their ideas. Opportunities for improvement can come from anywhere so be open to suggestions.

Don’t hesitate to recognize people for their accomplishments. It is easy to forget to thank people for what they do, especially in a work environment where everything is moving quickly. Make sure you look for reasons to thank people for their good work, instead of simply chiding them when they make mistakes. This will encourage loyalty, and you will find you have an easier time leading when those you lead are loyal.

One principle of successful leadership is to consider all points of view. You need to examine situations from the perspective of others. Even though you might not agree with another’s point of views, show respect and attentively listen as this perspective is shared with you. Never be close-minded to new information or new ideas.

Leadership qualities are essential for business success. You likely now understand that, and you also have the tools it takes to develop those qualities. Whenever you feel a little lost about developing your own leadership abilities, turn back to this article for help. By doing so, you can achieve your personal best and create a business environment that breeds success.