Forever Redwood started out as a non-profit.
One day, three friends shared their mutual love for Redwood forests and decided to do something about it. In 1995, Raul Hernandez, Frank Marrero and A. Terry Patten went in on a 42-acre piece of land in Sonoma County, California. After a couple years of teaching themselves hands-on forest restoration, they realized that their model needed to be independent of donations and government funding.
From Hobby Farm to Tiny Firewood Business: The forestry work required extensive thinning of overcrowded lower quality trees. The results were hard fought but spectacular. To get more done, they decided to sell some of the cut material as firewood locally. By 1999, the first 42 acres had been thinned and many baby redwood trees had been replanted. The three friends were fortunate enough to acquire 40 acres next-door and another extra truck. They had three employees working full-time to help with the labor intensive thinning, planting and firewood business.
From Local Business to Shipping Around the World: In 1999 another good friend, Warren Linney, bought a portable Lucas Mill. They decided to mill some old and very beautiful Redwood logs that had been left on the forest floor from the industrial logging carried out back in the 1950’s. There were a significant number of these logs lying about they seemed worth pulling out. The wood was incredible, and Forever Redwood was born.
In 2000, we built a small barn for the woodworking shop so that we could start making furniture. With no electricity out in the woods, we used Honda Generators to wire the shop. We decided to make picnic tables and ran ads in the local papers. Selling high quality furniture for a few years in the San Francisco Bay area raised enough funds to purchase another 40 acre parcel nearby, and allowed us to continue expanding our restoration model.
In late 2002, a tiny website for local customers was set up. Suddenly calls from all over the country starting pouring in. Since we insist on making things by hand with the highest quality standards, we began receiving many custom requests and started expanding our catalog. We were not prepared to ship out of state and grow so quickly. Annapolis is a lovely town with minimal housing, and shipping nationwide from such a remote location was complicated. We expanded the barn and began looking for larger buildings in nearby towns. It was during a real estate boom and so we had to expand the search. In 2004 we found the perfect shop! Since a large part of our business was in Southern California, we landed in Mexico's seaside town Ensenada.
Forever Redwood has slowly expanded our Ensenada woodworking shop over the past 17 years. As of late 2021, the facilities total exceed 40,000 sq ft on 3 acres with 180 employees. Some of their best carpenters go back to the barn days, like shop foreman Antonio Toledo. Our carpenters and carpenter assistants stay with us because we offer excellent working conditions with above average pay. In return, we have a stable, experienced, happy and well trained women and men that produce what we think is the highest quality outdoor wood furniture anywhere. We hope you agree!
Forever Redwood has shipped to all five continents, and we want to thank all our wonderful customers for making it happen!
Over the years, original customer requests for new designs and custom orders have come to define the bulk of our products. We still manage our forestlands and mill and dry all our lumber in Northern California, and we still continue to acquire forest lands to protect and restore. We have expanded into owning, protecting and restoring 580 acres of Redwood Forest, housing a nursery of young Redwood trees, and a growing shade structure and patio furniture line.