Monticello maker turned restaurant furniture into pandemic supplies

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Like many businesses, Oak Street Manufacturing in Our Town Monticello had to pivot during the pandemic.

They manufacture furniture for restaurants such as booths, tables and seats through wholesale suppliers. When the pandemic forced many restaurants to close or shut their indoor meals, it impacted 95% of Oak Street customers. They were concerned about what this would mean for the future of the company.

CEO Tom Bagge said they took a step back to figure out what they could do that would sell.

“Is there something we can develop that fits well into the restoration program, better than maybe something off the shelf, something we could do very quickly,” Bagge said.

They developed hand sanitizer stations and later hand washing stations so that restaurants could provide a way to put customers at ease. Bagge said the response for the hand sanitizer stations was overwhelming and they couldn’t get them done fast enough.

Now, restaurant owners’ demand is back. And although they face sourcing and sourcing issues, like many companies that make products, they are happy to provide restaurant seating again.

Copyright 2021 KCRG. All rights reserved.


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