Published on Apr 14, 2022

JUstenbois: Maple Wood Is Inviting Itself to the Table

Combining the art of fine tableware, and a design with an ecological approach, this East Bolton company creates magnificent utensils and cutlery carved and turned in maple wood. Founded in 2004, the workshop is enjoying a new momentum thanks to its new creative master and owner who’s taken up the torch.

By Natalie Sicard

This artisanal manufacturing process originated with Pierre Simard, who, while toying with a piece of wood, had the idea of making wood-based kitchen utensils. Calling upon a number of thinking minds around him, including a cabinetmaker friend, after more than a year of research and development, he created JUstenbois in 2004. J for just and U for utensils, its name expressed his dream that one day everyone would use only wood instead of metal or plastic. Although his vision may have seemed utopian at the time, he was indeed a trailblazer by adopting values that are very much the trend today; taking the time to eat and rediscover the textures and flavours of food, buying local and choosing eco-friendly products that respect the environment.

In addition to bringing charm and authenticity to the table, wooden utensils and cutlery offer several advantages. Wood preserves the integrity and flavour of food, without the taste and oxidizing effect of metal. Maple wood does not crack, which also prevents the growth of bacteria. In fact, the products are coated with natural resins: linseed oil, wax, rosemary and lemon extract. You simply clean them with hot soapy water, rinse well and wipe dry after each use. The wood retains heat as well as cold; so soup stays hot and salads stay fresh.

“These ergonomically designed utensils are sensual and warm in the hand and mouth, and their sound is soothing as you use them. Enjoying soup in a wooden bowl with a wooden spoon, whether in silence or with soft jazz music playing in the background, is a pure delight.” Jackie Goes passionately explains to me. She fell in love with the products of JUstenbois and has just bought the company.

A Happy Coincidence

Originally from Montréal, Jackie worked 30 years for different companies in the Marketing and Sales sectors. During her leisure time, she enjoys working with wood to create small pieces of furniture and decorative objects. She was looking to take her business in a new direction, when, by chance, she came across this Bolton business that was up for sale since Pierre Simard wanted to retire. Oddly, she had never heard of the workshop, even though it’s located at only a 10-minute walk from her Bolton country home! Since acquiring the business in December 2021, she has embarked on this new adventure with loads of energy, bringing in three new artisans to work in the workshop, including a woodturner who creates her plates and bowls. She has restructured the entire organization, relaunched distribution operations, and refurbished the boutique and small showroom. It’s open to the public by appointment and the products are all sold on the JUstenbois online boutique. Her products will also be distributed in a few boutiques in various locations.

The Most Popular Utensil

The wooden “Coup-Coup” children’s knife is as popular now as it was when the company first began. It can cut most fruits and vegetables and the handle offers a very good grip. A very safe knife, it’s perfect for having your younger ones participate in your meal preparations!

With all these lovely products, we wish JUstenbois a very long life!

To find out more: www.justenbois.com

Her Address Book

  • The workshop is located at a 15-minute drive from the Abbey of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac: a peaceful place where she likes to take walks on some of the paths surrounding the main building. You must drop by the Abbey’s boutique to buy the monks’ home-made products; cider, cheese, jams.

  • In Eastman, a delightful idea is to stop by and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at La Station whether it’s on their lovely summer terrace or indoors throughout the year. You can take advantage of your time here to drop by La Savonnerie des Diligences located just next door, in the same building.

  • She loves to pamper herself by spending the day at Spa Bolton, a treat she offers herself at least twice a year! A massage inside a yurt is her favourite relaxation activity here.

  • On the way to the Town of Brome Lake, she always makes a stop at the Brome Lake Ducks boutique, in Knowlton, to purchase some of their delicious products.

  • Mount Owl’s Head spices up her weekends; whether it’s to ski here during the winter, to play golf in the summertime, or when she takes the chairlift up to admire the autumn colours.

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