American Oak Preserving Co., Inc. in North Judson Announces Another Expansion

Charlie Vorm, President and CEO of American Oak Preserving Co, Inc., with International Headquarters in North Judson, Indiana and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) announced today the beginning of construction on a new 6,000 square foot structure by American Oak. The new building will be a refrigerated structure that will be used for the short-term storage and sale of Christmas trees and wreaths coming from a supplier in North Carolina from approximately November 15 through December 15. The products will be available online from such retailers as Sam’s Club, 1-800-Flowers and Home Depot, with orders transmitted to American Oak for shipment directly to customers. The building will have three loading docks. It is expected that during this 30-day period, several shipments per day will be both received and sent. While no new production employees are expected to be hired, the current production employees will work an additional month to 45 days. During any period the building is not in use for this purpose, it will serve as a warehouse for other American Oak products.

American Oak specializes in the manufacturing and importing of home décor products, such as wreaths, bouquets, balls, bowls, potpourri, pine cones, dried flowers and vases. American Oak sells to national companies like Michaels, Target, Crate & Barrel, Pier 1, TJ Maxx, Bed Bath & Beyond and Wal-Mart. American Oak manufactures products at its North Judson site, and it also has a sister company in Canada that sells to large retailers in that Country, along with a manufacturing facility in Mexico. American Oak receives raw material from the United States, India, China, Italy, Brazil, Vietnam, Philippines, Kenya, Madagascar, Indonesia and Thailand.

American Oak began in North Judson in 1916 when Frederick Vorm and his son, Charley Vorm brought a process to the United States to preserve the oak leaves which were found in abundance in the Starke County area. The family tradition continues under the 4th generation leadership of Charley Vorm, whose daughters, Alyse, Kirsten and Erika are all very involved in sales, purchasing, developing new designs and trends, and are charged with overseas travel in search for new materials and factories.

In making this announcement, Charlie Vorm said, “We are so very pleased to continue to expand our North Judson location as it not only is where this business started, but also because the Town has continued to be so supportive of our Company through these many years. This new venture will help establish yet another line of merchandise for us to handle that is closely akin to products that we already handle and open up some new markets for us as well.”