Fogo Island furniture catches tourists' interest

​​Local furniture makers are finding that Fogo Island Inn visitors are interested in buying the pieces found in the hotel.
Furniture from inside the Fogo Island Inn is catching the eye of tourists, and buyers in Toronto. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

​Local furniture makers say Fogo Island Inn visitors are falling in love with, and buying, the pieces found in the hotel.

Made by the designers and craftspeople at the Fogo Island Shop, the pieces are handcrafted by Fogo Island natives with experience as fisherman and boat builders.

"Each piece at the inn carries a story with it and has this amazing quality of being built right here on the island by hand," Kingman Brewster, design and development head at the Shorefast Foundation, told CBC Radio's The Broadcast

Today we're going to check in on one of this province's most interesting places, Fogo Island. 21:32

"People just really love that and want to take it home with them," said Brewster.

The Fogo Island Shop is located in the old Society of United Fishermen's Hall.

Two carpenters and one finisher make the pieces, which can be as small as tiny soap dishes and as large as eight-foot-long benches.
Many of the Fogo Island Shop's outdoor furniture pieces were recently purchased by Toronto coffee chain Dark Horse Espresso Bar. (Kingman Brewster)

The pieces sell for a premium.

An in-demand item like the shop's Punt Chair will set buyers back $4,680.

In Toronto, the furniture is also being sold at a showroom. Many of the shop's pieces were recently purchased by Toronto coffee chain Dark Horse Espresso Bar.

"It's just great because there are little Fogo Island pieces sitting next to world famous design pieces like Eames chairs and Barcelona chairs."

"It's nice to have our little handmade wooden pieces sit alongside of those," said Brewster.

Although the shop doesn't employ as many people as it did while building furniture for the inn, Brewster is hoping that increased demand means they can hire more people to help out in the future.

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