The story of Oak Grove is deeply rooted in the values of the Amish and Mennonite people: Uncompromising integrity. Ingenuity and hard work. Kindness and dignity to all.
About 300 years ago, many Amish and Mennonite people settled in Pennsylvania after immigrating from Switzerland. There, they could invest hard work into their farmland and benefit from a forest rich with quality wood for building houses, furnishings, and equipment. They quickly established a good reputation with their ‘English’ neighbors for their work ethic and conscientiousness.
In the late 1970’s, the fertile farmland of the Finger Lakes in New York beckoned to the Amish and Mennonites. The land was ripe for many types of agriculture, and the region was economically stable enough to support the small businesses these industrious people created.
In 1989, Rufus Burkholder was looking for ways to supplement his income as a farmer. He saw that the area was lacking a place to purchase quality home furnishings. He established Oak Grove Woodworking, and began creating both functional pieces that could withstand the daily use of a family, as well as fine, detailed heirloom crafts that could be passed down for generations. It quickly became the region’s trusted source for custom, top-quality home furnishings.
In 2005, Rufus passed the business on to his son in law, Samuel Zimmerman. The business flourished under Samuel’s capable leadership, and Oak Grove’s product line expanded to tables, chairs, cupboards, bedroom furniture, kitchen cabinets, vanities and whole house projects. The company grew into a new showroom, modern production facility and lumber storage building.
Samuel recognized the needs of his clients were best met with the help of modern technology. Wanting to stay true to his faith while still growing Oak Grove as a thriving business, he made the difficult decision to sell the company. In the fall of 2018, Anthony Hostetler took over Oak Grove with the goal of keeping its core values alive, while using technology as a tool to connect with clients.
Anthony grew up learning the value of hard work on a dairy farm, and first discovered the joys of construction when he was a teenager. He loved building handcrafted pieces that suited the custom needs of his clients, working with his hands, and admiring a beautiful, yet useful finished product. Anthony has volunteered around the globe, from Eastern Europe to the Caribbean, even lending his talents towards rebuilding after disasters like the Haiti Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and the California wildfires. Just as Rufus Burkholder had, he transitioned from dairy farming to a flourishing and inspired woodworking career.
Anthony is excited to grow the business while continuing to instill the values of his Mennonite faith: Quiet determination and industriousness in the face of any challenge, along with a commitment to serving all with decency and respect.
We encourage you to stop in and experience the Oak Grove difference.