Deep in the heart of Indonesia, a tree grows under the careful guidance of the government and plantation owners. The result is a sustainable industry known as teak furniture, and locals can own a piece of it, thanks to Windsor Teak Imports.
Owner Ken Glass and Vice-President of Sales Mike Weso started displaying their teak wares at boat and home shows in the area this past winter.
“There’s a lack of shows in late spring, early summer and fall,” Glass said. “We needed a place to display what we had.”
The answer was a small warehouse building on the corner Route 54 and Hudson Road in Selbyville. Now, the space is filled with furniture for customers to sample and take home the same day or have delivered directly to their place.
And according to Weso, teak furniture is ideal for the Delmarva climate.
“Teak is perfect for salt-water areas,” he said. “Its legendary durability makes it a great choice.”
Teak wood is naturally high in oils, which protect it from wear. Windsor Teak Imports only sells Grade A teak, which means each tree is older than 45 years when harvested. This allows for a greater concentration of the oils and a greater life.
“It lasts 50 to 75 years in its natural state, even if it’s left outdoors year-round,” Glass said.
Not only is the furniture itself long-lived, but its production has its own sustainability factor.
Glass has visited Indonesia to view the plantations and factories where he purchases his product. He said the Dutch originally colonized Indonesia and developed the teak plantations to use the wood for ship-building and weapons manufacturing. The Indonesian government heavily monitors the teak industry to prevent deforestation.
Indonesian teak is the only teak product in the world certified by the Rain Forest Alliance and Friends of the Earth.
“We’re not clear-cutting some rainforest,” Weso emphasized.
Glass said Windsor Teak Imports’ most popular items are table and chair sets – particularly the extension tables.
“They seem to give the most options,” Glass said. “They can fit almost anywhere.”
A large proportion of the furniture sold can fold flat for storage, or has collapsible leaves that allow the furniture to get smaller to fit in tighter spaces.
Windsor Teak Imports also sells Sunbrella cushions in a variety of colors, to go with the chairs and other forms of lounge seating. Sunbrella cushions resist fading, stains, water and mildew growth.
The products on display in the showroom are also accessible through the store’s Web site, at windsorteakimports.com.
“We have even more on our Web site than we do here,” said Glass.
And Glass and Weso are hopeful that they will be able to provide a quality product to customers in the region for years to come.
“Teak is for somebody who wants to buy heirloom furniture,” Weso said. “People don’t throw teak away. It lasts forever.”