This is article is part of a series that the Revelstoke Review is doing this market season. The Review will highlight the vendors that make the Farmers’ Market special.
With Elvis Presley booming from Grizzly Plaza at the car show downtown, Callum McLeary from the Cosy Wood Company takes shelter under his tent, escaping the hot Saturday sun as marketgoers stroll past eyeing the woodwork on his display table.
McLeary’s stand offers different types of platters that he’s constructed out of old wood. His work can be found at the Local Food Initiative’s Farmers’ Market bi-weekly. McLeary spoke about how he got the idea to build the platters, what the market means to him, and why he started.
Cosy Wood Co. specializes in a particular type of platter — the charcuterie board. While the pieces can certainly be used for more than just crackers and cheese, it’s still an easy way to visualize McLeary’s work. With so many different options for wooden boards, McLeary’s stands out for their unique curve that is a signature of his pieces.
Questions about the curve are common for the owner.
“Not everybody clues into it straightaway,” said McLeary.
The key is wine barrels.
“I’m always trying to make something out of nothing,” said McLeary with a laugh.
McLeary is a woodworker and furniture builder by trade. He has worked to build and renovate homes around Revelstoke for some time. He already has a company called Birch Lodge Wood Works, where he makes furniture, but McLeary decided to start Cosy Wood Company more recently.
“The cozy wood company was born in the summer last year,” he said.
When his father was visiting from New Zealand, he offered McLeary a chance to help him with a product that he already made. McLeary helped his dad and enjoyed it, so he decided to try taking it to the Christmas market.
“It was really well received. Sales were good. And so, then I was like, well, why not? I’ll put together a website and I’ll do some markets this summer and just see where it takes me,” said McLeary.
Thus, Cosy Wood was born. McLeary said the name came from wanting to have a business name that conveyed a sense of ‘feeling good inside’.
“That’s kind of a strange thing about starting up a new business,” joked McLeary. “You gotta name it and you’re like ‘ah, this name is gonna stick with me for a long time.’”
With his carpentry background, McLeary had worked on projects around Revelstoke. While working on houses or furniture, he was keenly aware of how much wood was being wasted, which was part of what prompted him to start using reclaimed wood.
“Everything’s so expensive in the world these days. I’ve just can’t bear to see it go to waste,” he said.
His pieces are made from old wine barrels that he buys from Facebook Marketplace or from Okanagan vineyards.
McLeary said his adaptability and price point have helped his business.
“Someone comes up to me and says, ‘can you make a backpack charcuterie board’? And I’m like, sure can,” said McLeary as he picked up a short platter on his display table, demonstrating the product he was talking about.
McLeary gets roughly seven pieces out of each barrel he works with. The barrels are often gone in just a couple of days.
His favourite part of attending the markets is having the chance to see his friends. McLeary said the market offers him a unique opportunity to clear out the cobwebs that come from working solo in a woodshop. Spending the day talking with marketgoers is a treat for him.
McLeary is aiming to make more connections with vineyards to help grow the business and is already working on a website to start selling online.
In the short term, however, McLeary was looking forward to getting out of the sun and relaxing at home under his cherry tree. He even had some beer he was eager to drink that was given to him by someone the night before after McLeary found their phone on a trail and returned it to them.