Meet the Bells


More than 90% of our products are made in the U.S. In fact, quite a few our products are even made right here in Minneapolis, home of Room & Board’s headquarters. Bell Manufacturing, a vendor partner  since 1988 who makes most of our steel furniture, works just down the street from us. Turns out the owners live just down the street from one of our Shop From Home Design Associates, too. Today we’re sharing Jennifer’s post from our Design Associate blog about trick-or-treating at the Bell’s. Happy Halloween!

On Halloween night last autumn, I took my daughters trick-or-treating. We went a block further than normal, per their coaxing: More. Candy. More. More!

Ding-dong. The kids wait nervously at each stop. I stand a few feet back. I’m nervous, too. My oldest is just six and we’ve accumulated way too much sugar. And then to my surprise, there’s a familiar face: Judy Bell, a longtime Room & Board vendor along with her brother Jim. Jim and Judy Bell are co-owners of Bell Manufacturing. Their company constructs the steel pieces that I’ve grown to consider iconic, pieces I think of as synonymous with Room & Board. I’ve seen Judy in my neighborhood over the years, walking her dogs to or from the Bell facility just a mile or so away. We chatted years ago during my Design Associate plant visit about our close proximity to one another, the Bell Manufacturing facility and Room & Board headquarters.

And now here she is, with a warm smile, holding a tray of trinkets for my three daughters to choose from. I reintroduce myself, given the fact that I’m standing in the dark with a unicorn, a peacock and a ballerina. They take their time choosing, giving careful consideration to all of the choices. I gesture to where we live a block further north and thank Judy as we leave. My girls were thrilled with their chosen bouncy ball, a fancy deck of cards and a yo-yo.

The candy from that night got quickly eaten but the cards and the ball and the yo-yo are still in rotation at our house, almost a year later. I can’t help but think of Judy each time my family plays Go Fish with those blue, reflective cards.

We talk about sustainability at Room & Board. One of the natural steel Parsons tables or beds made for us by Bell Manufacturing combines timeless design with solid construction that is virtually indestructible. It should come as no surprise that of course Judy Bell has managed to provide even Halloween treats that will last much longer, with more memories, learning and laughs, than any other neighbor’s candy bars could ever offer.

We are also proud to be able to share with our customers that so many of our products are made here in America. I can verify that Parsons, Piper, Portica, Pratt, Slim, Atlas, Benson, Burton, Cooper, Cruz, and Bower are made for Room & Board right here in the USA.

By Bell Manufacturing.

By one of my neighbors, down the street.

Photo by Jennifer Moore

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