Vermont-based Newport Furniture creates beautiful solid wood chairs and accent tables that are built to last.
Newport Furniture was founded on the scenic shores of Lake Memphremagog in Vermont, just a few miles south of Canada in 1963. Nearly 30 years later, the chair parts manufacturing business was transformed when the second generation stepped in. Dave Laforce and his uncle, Larry Daigneault, two nice guys with French-Canadian roots, each give the other credit for the courage it took to build their business into the successful woodworking company it is today. When most U.S. chair makers were closing down due to cheap overseas manufacturing, Newport Furniture invested in technology that allowed them to automate design and chair part-making processes for extreme efficiency, freeing them up to focus on their passion: creating hand-built furniture that is made to last.
From first sketch to final product, get the behind-the-scenes story of the Dunn table's collaborative creation.
So much goes into creating Newport Furniture's heirloom-quality designs. Chairs, for example, must balance strength, angles and, most importantly, comfort. "A chair can look great, but the sit is key—it is always hand-done," says Dave, noting that they actually sit in each chair in final design development and make minute adjustments until it feels just right. This approach is an example of the natural affinity Newport Furniture shares with Room & Board through collaboration and commitment to lasting value. Once the design is complete, solid wood parts are produced on state-of-the-art machinery with perfect consistency, resulting in variances less than the thickness of a piece of paper. Finally, craftsmen assemble, sand and finish each piece using traditional woodworking techniques that pay homage to Vermont's ancient forests.
Design that Makes a Difference
Newport Furniture embraces a culture of preservation—using responsibly sourced lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and reducing their environmental impact by using technology to prevent waste, making forms out of scrap wood and donating sawdust to local farmers for animal bedding. But perhaps their strongest commitment is reflected in their dedication to their community, by continuing the traditions that represent an enduring way of life in the U.S.