When looking for outdoor furniture, buyers are often seeking something made well, something that will last and something that will look good. Teak — a hard, closely grained wood that is high in natural oils — is a seemingly perfect choice.
“In a thunderstorm,” said Windsor Teak Furniture owner Ken Glass, “you’ll see that wood bead up. It’s impervious to water.”
Glass and his partner, Mike Weso, started Windsor Teak in 2008 on Route 54 and have since moved to their location in the Ocean Bay Plaza in Fenwick Island. Glass joked that they started just at the peak of the downfall of the economy but said that now business is good, “We can’t keep things on the shelves.”
In addition to their store, they sell their tables and chairs and outdoor dining sets and bars online to people from Pennsylvania to Texas. Glass said he even found out that two of his bar sets ended up at the Sandals resort in the Caribbean.
In addition to the outdoor tables and chair sets, picnic tables and bars and stools, they can provide custom orders for people who are willing to wait. Glass said it takes about 100 days to get a custom order together, but they can and have done it.
Teak has a natural honey color, and Glass said it requires little maintenance. He recommends against painting it because of its natural unfinished nature.
“Paint is a sealer, and teak is a living, breathing thing.”
And to clean it, he said, hot, soapy water usually does the trick. For stains, people can take a very fine sandpaper and buff it out.
“That’s the beauty of unfinished, fine wood,” he said.
Glass maintains that what sets Windsor Teak Furniture apart is their ability to offer high quality, Grade A teak wood for less money than an online retailer because they buy directly from the factory in Indonesia, which has teak plantations that are regulated by the government. He said the only teak furniture that the Rain Forest Alliance and Friends of the Earth certify is Indonesian teak furniture.
“In Indonesia, there are teak plantations strictly managed by the government to harvest wood for the sole purpose of manufacturing, which is reforested and government regulated. For teak to become ‘Grade A,’ the teak tree has to have grown for at least 45 to 50 years to fully mature,” explained Glass. “This length of time gives the tree time to produce a very heavy oil concentration and allows the oil to spread to all parts of the wood.”
He continued to explain their secret to success.
“We buy directly from the factory, we have low overhead, and we have our large storage areas out in Bishopville,” he continued. “And the most important thing we do is listen. Anything that is popular, we have found, you need to offer it in about three different sizes. We always think of what other variations we can offer if something is popular.”
Glass started with teak years ago when he worked for the Northeast distributor for a grandfather clock business. He said he remembers picking up a clock that was made with teak and said it probably weighed 150 pounds.
“It was so dense! I just have always had an interest and respect for it since then.”
Glass has other businesses, but he said he wanted to get into something that would be sustainable and would last.
“I wanted to get into something based at the beach. And I don’t think tables and chairs are going to go out of style.”
For more information visit Windor Teak Imports online at windsorteakfurniture.com. They are located at 1300 Coastal Highway in Fenwick Island, in the Ocean Bay Plaza.