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Felix Hofer Walnut Crackers

08/21/2015 09:00AM ● Published by Enjoy Magazine

What's in Store: Our Products Tell Stories

September 2015

ENJOY: How did you get started in woodworking?
FELIX: I grew up in Europe and did a woodworking apprenticeship there, and I have been working with wood for the last 40 years. It’s just kind of a hobby. I like working with things.

ENJOY: How did this evolve into the creation of these unique nutcrackers?
FELIX: This is just a little side thing that my father-in-law got me into. He had a nutcracker one time that was made out of wood, and where I work, we harvest the English walnut orchard wood and we make flooring out of it. It’s very beautiful. I thought, “Why don’t we make a nutcracker out of English walnut?” I started making it and he said, “Boy, I can sell that.”

ENJOY: Where does the wood come from?
FELIX: My company has a door, cabinet and flooring division, and it’s downfall from our flooring line that I use up. What’s unique about it is the nuts that you’re cracking are English walnuts. It’s orchard wood, so it’s a green thing that we’re trying to use that wood. I just look at all the material and start making parts to see how many I can make.

ENJOY: What do people enjoy about your products?
FELIX: I think they just love the wood and what it does. I’m trying to do a good job on the nutcrackers – it’s kind of labor intensive.

ENJOY: How long have you lived in Durham?
FELIX: I have been here for about 27 years.

ENJOY: What are your plans for the future?
FELIX: I’m in the process of building a shop at my house so I can do it at my leisure time at home. It gives me something to do – it’s better than watching TV.

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