Proven tradition for the finest cuisines in the world

Our History of
Quality, Craftsmanship and Innovation

When you buy a Boos Blocks®, you buy tradition – a tradition of producing the highest quality products, craftsmanship and design for our customers for over 135 years.

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The Beginnings of John Boos & Co.

In 1887, it was in his Effingham blacksmith shop that founder Conrad Boos developed what would become the original Boos Block. Having harvested Sycamore from local wooded areas, Conrad then processed it in his sawmill and brought it to his blacksmith shop for finishing. He used that first solid round Sycamore slab placed on three legs as a block to absorb the shock of a smith’s hammer against the anvil. A local butcher, having seen the block, became intrigued and requested one for his meat market. Conrad’s son, John, would fulfill the request and so began the journey of John Boos & Co. making butcher blocks and serving customers in the commercial market sector for over 135 years.

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Where steel meets wood, Boos Blocks® are best

In 1892, German immigrant Adelbert Gravenhorst acquired controlling interest in the company, and together Conrad Boos, John Boos and Gravenhorst set the company on the path to success. Focused and committed to making the best butcher blocks of the highest quality and craftsmanship, the reputation soon arose: "Where steel meets wood, Boos Blocks® are best". True to this motto, John Boos & Co. then exhibited its product at the World's Fair in Paris in 1900 – and with great success. It wasn't long before Boos® Butcher Blocks found their way into most restaurants, grocery stores and meat markets in America.

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John Boos & Co. – Flexible, Innovative, Adaptable 

With such a functional product, the company continued to grow in the years that followed, even through tough times of the Great Depression era in the U.S. (1929-1941). This period honed the skills and focus of managers and workers and when faced with new market requirements, the company proved its flexibility, ingenuity and adaptability by allocating 80% of its production to the manufacture of work tables and table tops for the mess halls and kitchens of the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine in support of the war effort. This not only kept the company afloat but led to John Boos & Co.’s growth during this time. The company expanded its products lines and strengthened its manufacturing capabilities and service culture. Manufacturing of wood work tables, table tops, and cutting boards joined the classic butcher blocks to meet the growing requirements of the food service industry and the residential market in the USA.

Boos-style expansion

To adapt to the ever-changing market, John Boos & Co. made its first stainless-steel table in the 1960s and, over time, developed an entire range of stainless-steel fabricated products. This move set the stage for supplying stadiums and arenas as well as other venues in the late 1990s, making the company a leading supplier of gourmet products and foodservice equipment.

Of course, expansion of production facilities and increased staff were not spared to keep up with the ever-growing demand. Though the company moved in 2012, the current 87,000 square foot facility is still located in Effingham, IL and provides generous space for innovation and growth. In the meantime, John Boos & Co. has also established a presence in Europe in order to be even better positioned internationally.

Shaping the future with a commitment to excellence

Today, well over a century after the first Boos® Butcher Block, John Boos & Co. is active worldwide, bringing the joy of cooking to kitchens around the globe with high quality cutting surfaces, workspaces and performance driven equipment.

Though much has changed in the five generations since the company first started, our customers know from experience that our commitment to excellence and the highest quality products is as important today as it was when Conrad and John Boos first started with the local butcher all those years ago. It’s endured since 1887 and is here to stay!

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History - since 1887