More than two hundred years ago, Wilber Reed ran a ferry between the towns of Litchfield and Merrimack, on New Hampshire’s Merrimack River. The town of Reed’s Ferry took it’s name from Wilber’s enterprise. Later, in 1960, Hobart D. Carleton built a shed in the town, and decided to name his fledgling business ‘Reeds Ferry Sheds’. Today, the company employs over eighty carpenters, and takes great pride in their workmanship.
If you don’t consider the humble ‘shed’ to be the pinnacle of architectural beauty, talk to Hobart’s grandsons; Tim, Mike and Steve. Your mind may be changed. We recently caught up with the brothers, to discuss sheds, BMW’s, weather-vanes and signage:
What makes us different? It’s like buying a car. Many shed dealers sell the Honda Civic. There’s nothing wrong with it, it will get you to where you want to go, but some drivers want the styling and attention to detail offered by BMW. We are the BMW of sheds. Aside from the higher quality we work to ensure a better ‘shed buying experience’. We go beyond to ensure the customer gets their shed with no complaint, because it doesn’t matter if you sell a BMW if you deliver it in the wrong colour.
Our Colonial style shed won the award for ‘Top Garden Structure’ in the Boston Flower Show. We’ve also been named by Business New Hampshire Magazine among the ‘Top Small Companies in New England’, and we’ve won the Angie’s List Super Service Award four years in a row!
We partner with Good Directions Weathervanes in Danbury, Connecticut. They supply hundreds of different styles. The weather-vane is not decided by the shed style chosen, the customer can choose any style shed, then they choose the weather-vane they want. As a customer you might not be the only person to own our ten-by-twelve-foot Country Carriage with Sagebrook siding, but you’re likely to be the only one to own that exact style with a pelican on the weather-vane!
We chose Danthonia Signs because we wanted a New England handcrafted look and many of their samples fit the exact look we were searching for. We wanted a sign that looked like the signs made by artists back in the days of Paul Revere. Like our sheds, the signs had to reflect attention to detail and craftsmanship. Danthonia delivered exactly that… Even though ‘computer technology’ wasn’t what we want in a sign, technology does make doing business easier. We found Danthonia on the Internet, we ordered our signs online, we corresponded halfway around the world easily by phone and email… and it was no different that Danthonia was in Australia than if they were two miles down the road.
The ‘Popsicle Shoppe’ is located inside one of our display sheds. Like a car dealership that serves free cappuccino, we serve free popsicles because it adds to the ‘shed buying experience’. Many folks shop for sheds in the middle of the summer, they bring the kids, and the pay-off is seeing the look on a kid’s face when you give him a popsicle on a hot summer day… It should be noted that there are limits to our generosity. Even though the popsicles are free we take great umbrage if any other flavour besides ‘Reeds Ferry Berry’ is ordered and our signs strongly convey the customer should share our popsicle flavour preference (wink). Yet despite our narrow minded view regarding flavour choice, we’ve been voted the top popsicle shop operated by a shed company in America and we don’t consider it any less of an honour just because we ran unopposed (wink part-two).
Right now we’re expanding our showroom offices. The previous office was fine, but when it was busy it was difficult for our salesmen to communicate with the customer without distraction. The new private cubicles will be outfitted with computer design software and allow the customer to create a virtual design and see it on a large wall mounted monitor. It’s a great idea. We stole it from BMW !