Amish Woodshop Story: The Bay Ridge Collection

The Bay Ridge Dining Collection is one of the largest and most diverse collections of Amish dining tables at DutchCrafters, typically adding 5 or 6 new table designs each year! But believe it or not, the collection was almost never created in the first place. Keep reading for the story of how Steve created the collection and built the shop into what it is today. 

The Story of the Bay Ridge Collection

“I accidentally started a woodworking business.”

These were the words of woodworker and shop owner Steve Raber. He continued, “I had zero intention of being a business owner. I just loved to tinker.”  

Steve’s Childhood in Northern Indiana

As a young boy growing up on an Amish farm in Northern Indiana, Steve was never particularly drawn to farm work. Instead, you could find him in the corner of his dad’s barn with the woodworking tools, where he loved to craft toys and gifts from wood scraps.

Learning Woodworking

When he grew up, Steve began to work in a nearby factory, a job he enjoyed! However, he always continued woodworking in his free time. After he married his wife Dorothy in 1992, Steve started buying professional woodworking tools.  

When he was asked to build someone new kitchen cabinets, he agreed to do so. Then, another order came in. Soon, he was building cabinets 35 to 40 hours per week, in addition to his full-time job!  

Steve had to make a choice: woodworking or the factory. And, in 1997, he made the leap to start his wood shop. 

The Bay Ridge Collection Today

Today, Steve owns a shop straight East of Shipshewana, Indiana, the site of the annual Northern Indiana Woodcrafters Association Expo & trade show. Steve’s furniture collection is made by his 14 employees, most of whom live within walking or biking distance of the shop. This includes his wife Dorothy, who handles the accounting, and their five sons. “It really is a family business,” Steve told us.  

To his customers, Steve said,

“Thank you for trusting us enough to buy a table from us. We feel confident that we are building you an heirloom piece that will last for generations.” 

Our Recommendation

It’s clear to us at DutchCrafters that Steve’s success is no accident; it’s driven by a lifelong passion for his craft and dedication to quality woodworking.

We just know that you will love your dining table from the Bay Ridge Collection at DutchCrafters. 

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