Superior Thermowood of Brainerd
Overcoming Challenges for Green
Entrepreneur John Bieganek, President and CEO of Superior Thermowood of Brainerd Inc., is no stranger to the challenges of owning and operating a green business. Since beginning operations in 2006, his company has faced financial, marketing, building code and green wood supply challenges. Still, Mr. Bieganek, who has been instrumental in guiding Thermowood through these hurdles to make it the burgeoning business that it is today, remains committed to his work.
Using a thermally modified wood process originally pioneered in Finland, Thermowood applies high temperature and steam to wood, changing its chemical properties and making it more stable, durable and resistant to rot and decay. The process does not use harmful chemicals; and by purchasing raw materials from local Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified sources, Thermowood upholds a commitment to making the building of a deck or the installation of a new wood floor environmentally sound.
Because of its unique green business model, Thermowood received a $19,200 loan from ShadeFund to help finance an order of 4,000 pieces of thermally modified basswood for guitar fingerboards.
“It makes a difference to have ShadeFund capital in order for us to get the materials we need to expand our business and provide products to new markets,” said Bieganek. “As more consumers seek out sustainable ways to build, our wood products will become a more dominant force on the market.