John Boos & Company has been a supplier to restaurants, butchers, and the White House kitchen since 1877 and their products are being used by celebrity chefs throughout the United States.
John Boos & Co. is the oldest industry in Effingham, Illinois. It has been in business continuously since its founding in 1887 by Conrad Boos Sr. who named it for his son, John. For many years, the business was operated out of a local blacksmith shop. The wood for the blocks was cut in wooded areas surrounding Effingham and was mostly sycamore lumber. The lumber was processed in the Boos sawmill and sent to the Boos shop for finishing. The plant operated from the blacksmith shop until 1892, when it moved, and began producing the blocks as we know them today.
Few companies in the food service and butcher block industry can look back at their historical past with as much pride and accomplishment as John Boos & Co. The butcher block is a definite cornerstone in the building of the food service industry, and in the beginning this was the trademark of John Boos & Company. During the first half of the 20th century, butcher blocks manufactured from hard maple trees were found in every restaurant, food store, and butcher shop in American.
Striving for the very best quality control is an important goal for all manufacturers, and this attitude has been prevalent from the very beginning of the John Boos Company. World War II was instrumental in changing the manufacturing philosophy of management. There was need to produce food service tables, butcher blocks, work tables, table tops and other items that were already being produced for the government under contract. The various types of tables produced in support of the military included mess hall dining tables and kitchen tables, which were sold to Defense General Supply Center.
In 1955, the John Boos Company continued to expand, adding equipment, and office and manufacturing space. In addition to the standard old style butcher blocks, butcher block tops, which are laminated strips of northern hard rock maple or Appalachian red oak, were in great demand. The natural beauty, combined with natural durability, gave butcher block dining tables and counter tops a success ratio that still exists today. Value is difficult to substantiate, and solid wood is easily identifiable as a good value.