Small shop, international name

Local News

ARGENTA, Ill. (WCIA) – In the heart of this town, there’s a small woodworking business with a big reputation.

The employees there say they’re happy they’ve become so accomplished doing something they love.

With more than 3 decades of furniture making-experience on his tool belt, Rick Roberts knows when you’re planning a funeral, everything needs to be just right.

The precision and attention to detail are key.

“What sets us apart from our competitors is we build everything in house, and we start with a pile of raw lumber and turn out a finished product,” said Roberts.

He owns Roberts and Downey Chapel Equipment, making custom-made pieces for chapels, funeral homes and funeral services.

His employees consider this business an art.

“I liked how wood is natural, and what we’re doing to it unnatural,” said Matt Caroll. “As a woodworker, you make those two worlds work together.”

From a young age, Carroll took a shine to woodworking. So it might be nitty gritty, but Carroll says working here is anything but a grind.

“Being paid to do a hobby, basically. If I retired, I would do woodworking, so I’ve already retired,” said Carroll.

From this small shop, Roberts has not only constructed many a wooden masterpiece…he’s built a big reputation.

“We are in our 33rd year now, and we have a nationwide, if not worldwide trade name,” said Roberts. “We have furniture in all 50 states, most all the Canadian provinces, 2 states in Mexico, Ecuador, Germany, and Australia.”

Guess where the stands on the caskets of president Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush came from?

“It’s absolutely the pinnacle of my career,” said Roberts.

He said people are always pleasantly surprised when they find out a business with international rapport can be found in Our Town Argenta.

Roberts said he’s driven in excess of 2 million miles to service his equipment.

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