Biz Buzz Monday: Edgewood manufacturer to resume popular tours after lengthy hiatus

People tour Kendrick Forest Products in Edgewood, Iowa. Kendrick Inc. will soon resume tours at its Edgewood facility. PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In addition to this update from Edgewood, Iowa, we will highlight other local developments on Tuesday.

A major Edgewood employer soon will resume its popular facility tours for the first time since March 2020.

Kendrick Inc. will offer its first tour in nearly 15 months on Thursday, May 6. After that date, tours will be available weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Events Coordinator Mary Kluesner said the tours offer a glimpse at multiple businesses that operate under the Kendrick brand, including Kendrick Forest Products, Forever Cabinets, Kendrick Home, Shimlee and The Markket.

The tours can be an eye-opener for many.

“Not a lot of people know what a sawmill does,” Kluesner said. “We start our tours where we unload the logs, and you see the start-to-finish process.”

The tours also give attendees a glimpse at how products such as cabinets and wood signs are created.

Kluesner emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic hit Kendrick in multiple ways.

Cabinet makers stopped making in-house visits to see their clients. Meanwhile, fears of the coronavirus led to a significant reduction in business travel.

The company’s retail shop, The Markket, was forced to shutter for a few months, beginning in the spring of 2020. The Markket reopened a few months later, but company officials were reluctant to bring back the tours.

Kluesner is excited that Kendrick is now able to resume them.

“It brings quite a few people from cities like Dubuque and Waterloo into our community,” Kluesner said. “But it’s not just people from here in Iowa. We’ve had people from all over the United States.”

It won’t be long before employees once again are working with large tour groups.

Kluesner said about 70 third-grade students will visit this week. Because Kendrick has established 50 as the maximum group size, the students will be split into two groups.

In addition to showing visitors around the Kendrick facility, the tour provides an opportunity to educate attendees on a range of topics. Kluesner said tours touch on concepts such as supply and demand, sustainable harvesting, the incorporation of technology and value-added processes.

Tours can be scheduled by visiting kfpiowa.com/take-a-tour or calling 563-928-6431.