Woodworking business opens in downtown Danbury
DANBURY — Jeffrey “Gus” Sackett is giving the wood from old decks, pallets and barns new life, and at the same time helping to add variety to the retail scene in downtown.
Sackett recently opened Greenworks Woodworking at 246 Main St., which features a showroom and his woodworking shop. The showroom displays his handmade tables, chairs, picnic tables, stools and cabinets. He also makes wishing wells, gratitude boxes and wooden plaques with messages etched onto the surface.
“The wishing wells are selling fast,” Sackett, 57, said. “The gratitude boxes are popular, too. The idea is to put in one thing you are grateful for each day for a whole year. Then, at the end of the year, open the box and read all the notes. You’ll realize things aren’t so bad. People tend to focus on the bad things that happen.”
Sackett, a master craftsman, also has a construction company, but he said that business is getting more difficult as the industry changes. He feels the quality of work being done by contractors is going down, while the cost of materials continues to rise.
“I’ll see if I can make a living doing this and phase out the construction business. Construction isn’t what it used to be,” he said. “I spent a lot of time learning my trade and have been a carpenter for 40 years. I started when I was a teenager when a neighbor took me under his wing.”
P.J. Prunty, executive director of CityCenter Danbury, said Greenworks Woodworking is another step towards revitalizing the city’s downtown area.
“It’s a perfect niche store that has come onto Main Street,” he said. “We are looking for the unique stores you can’t find at a strip mall. His plan and product fit into the overall picture of what we want to see in downtown.”
Robert Steinberg is the building landlord and has used Sackett for various jobs, including building a wooden frame to cover the historic “Martin’s” sign at 255 Main St.
“He’s a good, creative man. He uses recycled wood exclusively and that’s good for the environment and also adds an aura to the pieces he makes and sells,” Steinberg said. “It’s a good type of business for downtown. It’s new and different.”
Sackett doesn’t like the waste that is often associated with a construction project. He recently rebuilt a deck after a tree fell on it. Most of the wood from the old deck was undamaged and the client did not want it. Instead of throwing it in a dumpster, Sackett turned the wood into a long, rustic table and six accompanying chairs.
He also repurposes 12-foot, solid oak pallets that would otherwise be destined for the trash. Most of Sackett’s finished pieces are rustic in nature, so old barns also make for good material, he said.
Sackett also takes special orders for tables and other products, he said.
“It’s fun to break out your creative side and maybe make a little money in the process,” he said.
His location on Main Street is a work in progress. He plans to build a divider between the shop and showroom. The divider will include a window so customers can watch him at work. He also plans to make a wooden sign for his business.
Sackett is originally from the Bronx and has lived in the Danbury area for nine years. He hopes the downtown area continues to improve and he’s excited to be a part of it.
“I love what I do. I could stay in here all day and do this,” he said. “I’m taking a shot and if it doesn’t work out, it won’t be because I didn’t try.”
To reach Greenworks Woodworking, call (203) 886-8573.
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