Juan Ferrer runs a blossoming new woodshop called Spoon + Board, featuring tree-to-table goods. Himself a lifelong chef, his love of crafting wooden kitchen products comes from a love and passion for the kitchen. To create his unique kitchen wares, Ferrer forages the woods of Rhode Island for fallen trees and logs, then hand-carves a variety of spoon shapes and sizes from a diversity of tree species. He also creates chef-inspired cutting boards designed to last a lifetime, featuring simple designs that display stark color contrasts and the natural beauty of native Rhode Island trees. He remembers the origin story of each item he makes and shares that history with his customers.
How did he come to start this business? Ferrer, a chef for a number of years, struggled to attain a living wage despite his noted talents in the kitchen. He’d even won competitions and cooked for celebrities, including the late, great Anthony Bourdain. He chose to leave the industry to relearn what it meant to be passionate about cuisine, and that led him to the woodshop. With no money and no experience, he was able to teach himself how to carve. That journey began nine years ago and since then, he’s become a full-fledged woodworker, running Spoon + Board full-time.
The time needed to create various items can be lengthy, sometimes taking months to season and dry the wood. Once in the shop, each utensil is meticulously carved by hand, requiring a number of hours to a couple of days to complete. Unlike most woodworkers in the kitchenware sphere, each Spoon + Board piece is stress tested under water three times to adjust the grain for use in cooking. This process is time consuming, but perhaps the most valuable aspect of his kitchenware.
Ferrer also produces many turned wood items on the lathe, from beautiful wooden bowls and deluxe rolling pins of all shapes and sizes, to small kitchen accessories like salt cellars, sugar boxes, bottle openers, cheese cutters, honey dippers, chopsticks, and tool handles for vintage kitchen tools. These are all finished with his proprietary, food-safe, organic wood finish. Spoon + Board is a one-stop shop for all wooden kitchenware, making for some great holiday gifts. You can find him at two local farmers markets including the Pawtucket Farmers Market on Fridays at The Guild, where he is a market manager and board of directors member, and the Tiverton Farmers Market on Sundays, located inside Tiverton Middle School.
For more info, visit Spoon + Board online at spoonandboard.square.site and Instagram @spoon. and.board.