For Helmstown, a maker of high-end cabinetry for bathrooms and kitchens, expansion of its product line and entry into new markets â especially outdoor kitchen and grill displays â proved key to new sales and success.
âIn a tough economic market, we found our biggest growth area by developing a strategic partnership with Sub-Zero and Wolf, manufacturing kitchen and luxury product displays,â says John Evans, vice president of sales and marketing for the Arab, AL, -based company.
Helmstown also sells outdoor grill cabinets for personal use. Evans says this has provided the company with additional market and retail opportunities. The designs include outdoor grill surrounds made of ipe and are featured in both Sub-Zero and Wolfâs showrooms and brochures.
While Helmstown uses a wide range of wood species, the unique properties of ipe make it ideal for outdoor applications. âIt is particularly well suited as a material for grill surrounds because it has a Class A fire rating, meaning it has the same rating as concrete or steel. â
Ipe, which is also known as ironwood, is one of many commercial names used for the Lapacho group of trees from various species of Tabebuia. Ipe trees typically reach heights of 140 to 150 feet, but some grow to 200 feet. The trees have trunk diameters of 6 feet with boles clear to 60 feet or more. The wood is stable, durable and strong with a natural resistance to insects, decay and wet conditions.
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