Learn more about the Adirondack Canoe Company online: www.adirondackcanoecompany.com
MINEVILLE | For just over a year, neighbors near Essex Industries here have watched a new facility go up near the woodworking plant.
The manufacturing shop that makes award-winning canoe seats, ash components, paddles, and cedar furniture has a new counterpart.
The facility is home to the Adirondack Canoe Company, where supported employees will work and learn aspects of fabrication to build lightweight canoes made of composite materials.
“With the help of a very special workforce, we have produced beautiful products here for the paddlesport industry for nearly 50 years, shipping all over the world,” said John Gereau, director at Essex Industries. “The addition of high-end canoes just seemed like the missing piece of the puzzle.”
And they are as functional as they are beautiful, he said.
"There’s a new option for sportsmen and paddlers looking for a durable, lightweight canoe that can be loaded on a car-top or carried into the back country with ease."
Beginning this spring, Adirondack Canoe Company will offer four canoe models, ranging in length from 10 to 16 feet, Gereau said in a news release.
"Standard models will include carbon fiber exteriors with Kevlar interiors, although other material options can be special ordered. The boats will be finished in all cherry and a scratch pad can be applied to protect the boat from entering and exiting the water."
The boats are well-built using a foam core that makes them more rigid than other models on the market.
And they're made in Mineville.
Essex Industries and its venture with Adirondack Canoe Co. are components of the parent organization, Mountain Lake Services, based in Port Henry. Workshops here provide vocational and integrated job training for people with developmental disabilities.
Mountain Lake Services Executive Director Jack Mudge said they are thrilled to add such a premium product to the line-up of well-made canoe accessories built at Essex Industries.
The new manufacturing company will widen job opportunities for the community MLS serves, along with training for new skills.
“Essex Industries is a unique place where people with intellectual disabilities work alongside those without,” Mudge said. “It is incredibly rewarding for these individuals, and they take great pride in their work, as anyone who has visited can attest.”
The venture is a partnership between Essex Industries and master boat builder Chad Smith of the Adirondack Canoe Company, a composite technician with over 20 years of design-build experience, Gereau said.
Smith is also excited to introduce the new partnership.
“I’m looking forward to working with the family at Essex Industries and passing on the joy of canoe building," he said. "Creating a new department at Essex Industries will be an adventure and a lifelong career.”
The Adirondack Canoe Company is planning a grand opening celebration at the new facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 8 at 2 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.
Essex Industries is located at 17 Pilfershire Road, next to Linney Field in Mineville.