Treeworks: Wooden Cutlery in the Capital City

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By Chelsea Chambers

From arborist to woodworker, you can safely say that Mike Goulder has had plenty of experience with wood. Mike, alongside his wife and business partner, Meaghan, are well-known for being the sole artists behind Treeworks, which creates high-quality cooking utensils from wood they source themselves right here in the Treasure Valley!

Photo Nicole Krumm

“Mike has been an arborist for over 35 years; he started the spoon side of the business 25 years ago (1996),” Meaghan shared with us. “He needed a long spoon to stir jam and had nothing on hand, so he hacked one out of a piece of scrap wood he’d been saving, and friends loved it so much he started making utensils to sell!”

With the popularity of their spoons taking off, Mike was able to build a small shop in 2004, eventually quitting his arborist day job to focus full-time on woodworking. Meg was able to leave her job with the city and join him around 2010. And the rest is history!

With such an intricate and well-made product, many of their customers are often curious about what kinds of wood they use to create their Treeworks offerings. And they’ll be happy to know, that most of their lumber is sourced locally!

“We mainly use hardwoods, which can be anything from fruit trees to species like maple or walnut. We get most of our wood from our own tree-trimming business, so the majority of our utensils are made from Boise trees. Our all-time favorite local wood is blue ash: it’s beautiful, strong, and wears well over the years. We also sometimes use scrap wood. Our current favorite is some upcycled Brazilian Cherry flooring that came from a church.”

They make a large portion of their sales at the Capital City Public Market, where they sell an average of about 50 pieces a week. However, as with all things, the pandemic and the temporary market shutdown did affect their overall sales capacities.

“COVID has been our biggest challenge,” Meaghan said. “But we are so happy to be back downtown again!”

Not able to make it down to the Saturday market? Treeworks has you covered with their online ordering system. Most, if not all, of their products are available on their website at treeworksidaho.com!

Mike and Meaghan pride themselves in responsible and sustainable lumber sourcing and are thrilled to share that they have never purchased lumber from a vendor whose source is unknown. “We truly respect trees and want to honor them for all they give us, and we strive to make beautiful, quality utensils that can be used for years and—hopefully—passed to the next generation.”

Their current goal is to grow their inventory and their online presence so be sure to check them out at their website (listed above) and on their social media channels @TreeworksIdaho. There you can find great photos and videos about their products, their process, and the masterminds behind Treeworks!