Allegheny Wood Works 20 Year Anniversary
Celebrating 20-Years of Success
Allegheny Wood Works was founded in 1997 by David Haag and James Steigerwald. The beginning of Allegheny Wood Works starts with the end of Hammermill Paper in Erie, Pennsylvania. Since 1898, Hammermill had been a long-standing manufacturer of paper products at it’s plant on Erie’s east side. In 1986, Hammermill was acquired by International Paper. Haag, then a long-time executive with International Paper, was moved to Erie after the acquisition. Steigerwald was a foreman at the plant in Erie. When International Paper decided to close the Erie plant, Haag and Steigerwald hatched the idea of founding their own company.
Allegheny Woodworks was incorporated in May of 1997. The company began with the acquisition of the door division from Khale’s Kitchens in Leeper, Pennsylvania. This gave the partners manufacturing equipment and designs to start their business. After moving the equipment to their first facility at 10012 Railroad Street in Lake City, PA, the company had a beginning.
In the beginning, the company’s goal was to produce six to eight doors per day, with wood species limited to red and white oak, hickory, sassafras, poplar, cherry, and mahogany. With Haag spearheading sales, and Steigerwald leading a small crew in the plant, Allegheny was off and running.
During the first few years, sales were primarily to wholesalers and contractors, and a few homeowners. Business was good, and eventually, the company needed more manufacturing space. The company began renting a larger space from Loger Industries, who owned the Hopkins Building, which was across the street. When Loger Industries ceased production, Allegheny Wood Works was able to purchase the entire building, and expand further.
The growth of the internet changed Allegheny Wood Works forever. Since inception, Allegheny has owned www.solidhardwooddoors.com. In the early 2000’s, the decision was made to use the website to aggressively market to all customers, not just wholesalers and contractors. It was this decision that grew the business to a level that the partners had never dreamed of. By harnessing the power of the internet, Allegheny Wood Works was now able to market it’s products worldwide.
Haag and Steigerwald had accomplished the American dream. They took a chance, built a business and thrived for more than 15 years. In early 2013, the time had come for Haag and Steigerwald to retire, and sell their business. Allegheny Wood Works had become one of the largest producers of solid wood doors, and their products are in homes and businesses in all 50 states, and many foreign countries. The Company now had over 20 employees, had nearly quadrupled it’s original production, and offers over 30 wood species from it’s 86,000 square foot facility.
In January of 2014, Allegheny Wood Works was purchased by brothers Michael and Stefan Kraus, who continue to run the business to this day. Michael had been the office manager at Allegheny Wood, while Stefan was a long-time retail manager with the Walgreen Company. Since the purchase, the Kraus brothers have grown Allegheny Wood Works further, including streamlining the production process, expanding the glass and exterior door business, and adding a mobile website. The Company was also featured in the Made in AmERIca segment of our local news in 2014.
Allegheny Wood Works Trade Partners:
ABF Freight (www.abf.com)
Carter Lumber (www.carterlumber.com)
C&M Hardwoods (www.cmhardwoods.com)
Elk Creek Painting
Emtek Products (www.emtek.com)
Endura Products (www.enduraproducts.com)
Hardwood Mall (www.hardwoodmall.com)
Hermance Machine (www.hermance.com)
Holt & Bugby Hardwoods (www.holtandbugbee.com)
Internet Marketing Resources (www.imrinc.biz)
Johnson Hardware (www.johnsonhardware.com)
Leatherneck Hardware (www.doorhdwe.com)
Matson Lumber Company (www.matsonlumber.com)
Northwest Hardwoods (www.northwesthardwoods.com)
Penrod Company (www.thepenrodcompany.com)
Riggs Financial (www.riggsfinancial.com)
Thompson Mahogany (www.thompsonmahogany.com)
YRC Freight (www.yrc.com)