Jerald Reinford and 2 friends created the business 10 years ago, and have tried to control growth since.
Photo by Staasi HeropoulosJerald Reinford, co-owner of Countryside Woodcraft on Route 20 in Russell. RUSSELL – When Jerald Reinford moved from the family dairy farm in western Pennsylvania to Western Massachusetts 10 years ago, he came to help build a Christian school for the Ukrainian community in Westfield. But, Reinford also needed to make a living, so he turned to what he knew best – building furniture. Reinford and two friends, now business partners, created Countryside Woodcraft on Route 20 in Russell.
View full sizePhoto by Staasi HeropoulosThe well-constructed, simple Shaker design of this sample of kitchen cabinetry is part of what attracts customers to Countryside Woodcraft.
The company used to advertise a little, but they’ve cut back, not because business is down, but because it continues to grow.

Even in a down economy, staying small has become increasingly difficult to do, as people discover this business tucked in the woods, drawn by the pristine pieces made from native New England hardwood and the charm of the people who make it. Reinford, his wife and six children are among the founding families of the Pioneer Valley Mennonite Fellowship. Photo by Staasi HeropoulosDan Fox is a carpenter at Countryside Woodcraft and member of the Pioneer Valley Mennonite Church that Countryside owners founded. Countryside may not be obsessed with profits, quarterly earnings or the minute-by-minute minutiae that drive gyrations in the stock market. But the owners do keep their eye on changing lifestyles, consumer trends and modern technology. And with an eye toward innovation and efficiency, what used to be a decoration-only fake drawer is now re-designed to pull out with a purpose. The organization is celebrating a decade in business this year, but perhaps more important than that is its growth.

Once work was completed on the Ukrainian church, Reinford and his fellow Mennonites built a church of their own in Russell; membership today stands at 14 families. I enjoy working with him,” said Raymond Glick, who builds furniture while his 8-year-old son Sheldon looked on one summer afternoon. Built into the simple design of Shaker cabinetry is a retractable computer monitor programmed to display recipes.

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