ELIZABETHTOWN — Dwayne Miller, owner of Manna Woodworks, seems to be barking up the right tree with his new business.
Miller is a local woodworker who claims his business is “doing much better than expected.”
Miller has been a resident of Bladen County since 1980 but moved to Colorado for a brief three years. Miller claims he has always loved working with wood, so in Colorado he worked at the lumber mill, Sears Trostel, cutting wood into certain lengths and widths.
“After all of that cutting, there were always all different types of wood left over,” recalled Miller, “so I decided to take some home.”
This gave Miller the idea to put different pieces of wood together to create something, like his specialty cutting boards. The hardwoods he uses to handcraft them include ash, hard maple, red oak, white oak, walnut, mahogany, hickory and cherry. He also uses exotic woods such a purple heart, padauk and teak.
“I try to always use wood that would otherwise be tossed,” explained Miller, “but I know sometimes I will have to use purchased wood.”
Miller’s cutting boards have also been tested and proven durable very durable.
“I decided to test the durability of my cutting boards by hitting them as hard as I could against concrete,” said Miller, “and I learned that the wood would splinter before the seal that holds the different pieces of wood together would break.”
Miller works in a shop that resides on the property of his home, therefore he must travel to different locations to sell his products.
“I occasionally sell my cutting boards at the Elizabethtown farmers market,” explained Miller. “I do have some events that I am planning to sell at, that may hold an estimate of 170,000 people. If I can get only one percent of those people to buy a cutting board, that is 1,700 cutting boards sold.”
His business, Manna Woodworks, will be one of the vendors at the Cape Fear Fair and Expo and Riverfest in Wilmington.
Miller’s wife, Mary Miller, is also helping with the growth of Manna Woodworks by working on their website and hopes to eventually sell product over the internet. Miller is also hoping to expand his business by one day selling home decor.
If there is any curiosity, Miller’s business name is bibically based.
“My father was a preacher, so I grew up under the Word,” explained Miller. “We got our name from the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, where Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. When they were many days into their journey, God fed them bread from heaven, called manna.”
Manna Woodworks can be reached by calling 910-549-9733 or by visiting mannawoodworks.com.
Rachel Horrell is a summer intern with the Bladen Journal and can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.