PETOSKEY, Mich. - Michigan Maple Block Co. will cease all of its operations, affecting 56 employees. The company has made butcher blocks, countertops, kitchen carts, and other furniture since 1881.
 
“This is the most difficult decision we have ever made, because of the negative impact it will have on all of you, some of whom have worked at Michigan Maple for over 40 years,” wrote company president Ann Dau Conway in a letter to employees.
 
Conway said COVID-19 was to blame. The company was forced to shut down its manufacturing plant after it was deemed non-essential by the state of Michigan. Conway said Maple Block couldn't remain viable.
 
“We are deeply grateful for the entire Michigan Maple Block team and proud of the company’s legacy,” Conway stated. “Together with our team of dedicated employees, my family has operated Michigan Maple Block through many adverse economic time periods, including two world wars, the Great Depression and multiple recessions. I am saddened that the mounting challenges the business faces today have compelled us to close the company.”
 
The closure will be complete by the end of June, according to a release. Customers will be referred to Maple Block's sister business in Pennsylvania, Bally Block Co.
 
Maple Block has operated in Petoskey, Michigan since 1881, when it was founded as a woodenware products company. It began producing end-grain laminated hard butcher blocks in the early 1900s.
 
 

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