From modest beginnings to national renown
WallGoldfinger got its start as American Construction Co-op in a barn in rural Warren, Vt., in 1971. It would later become Union Woodworkers and then Wall/Goldfinger Inc., after then partners John Wall and the late Michael Goldfinger. The company would make a couple facility moves in central Vermont, spending most of its years in Northfield.
As many woodworking businesses do, WallGoldfinger got its start with cutting boards, wooden toys, kitchen cabinets and furniture for local clients. It graduated to creating furniture statewide for courthouses, universities, bars and restaurants. In 1984, WallGoldfinger officially moved into the larger corporate furniture market thanks to a 1980 Daphne Award for excellence in manufacturing and design and years of exhibiting at the Rhineback Craft Fair in New York, which earned Wall and Goldfinger recognition.
The WallGoldfinger brand grew to a nationally, and even world, renowned name, standing out as the premier producer of large boardroom tables and other custom furniture as well as innovative product lines.
In 2018, the WallGoldfinger brand joined Mark Richey Woodworking of Newburyport, Mass. Today, WallGoldfinger Furniture, a division of Mark Richey, continues to lead the industry in design capability, technology integration and quality, with sales offices in Vermont and furniture manufacturing at the sustainable and high-tech Mark Richey Woodworking factory in coastal Newburyport.
WallGoldfinger got its start in 1971 in Warren, Vt. Michael Goldfinger (middle) and John Wall (right) are two early principals of the business first called American Construction Co-op and then Union Woodworks, a small woodworking shop of residential furniture and construction. (Photo courtesy of Gearge A. Robinson)
In 1976, John and Michael begin exhibiting at the Rhinebeck Craft Fair, the nation’s premier crafts marketing event. Here they are in 1977. Their exhibit, which continued for 10 years, helps break the company into the New York market.
In 1980, John and Michael’s design for the Ribbonback Chair wins the prestigious Daphne Award, a national event considered the Oscar of the furniture industry. The company is finally on the map with designers and architects.
WallGoldfinger is honored with the Vermont Governor's Award for Pollution Prevention in 2001. Then Gov. Howard Dean, right, who would go on to run for president, presents the award.
WallGoldfinger receives the 2006 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year award from then Gov. Jim Douglas on the company’s 35th anniversary.
WallGoldfinger wins a second Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in 2016. The award is given to John by Deb Markowitz, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
The WallGoldfinger brand is purchased by Mark Richey Woodworking in 2018 and the WallGoldfinger Furniture division of Mark Richey is born.
WallGoldfinger Furniture operates a sales and design office out of the historic Gray Building in Northfield in its native Vermont.