BRISTOL – Dusty Dude Woodworks, a new Bristol business which opened last year, offers high levels of customization and delivers high-quality craftsmanship for home décor, kitchen accessories, custom cornhole sets and other wood craft projects.
Eric Verikas and his wife Carolyn opened Dusty Dude Woodworks at 139 Center St., Building 30, Unit 4, last September after creating custom cornhole sets for many years for friends and family. They now have expanded their services to include a variety of other woodcraft projects as they work to grow their business.
“I’ve been building stuff out of whatever I could since I was a kid,” Verikas said. “Back when I was living in Florida and working in the hospitality golf industry I saw videos about woodworking and decided I wanted to own my own shop and work for myself. My wife and made cornhole sets on weekends when we had the time for three or four years as a side hobby and I was working at a woodworking shop. Then, we decided to open up our own shop. While we started out doing cornhole sets almost exclusively, we now do home décor, furniture and all sorts of stuff.”
As for the name “Dusty Dude,” the business is named after Eric and Carolyn’s dog, Oreo, who during the cooler weather would often hang around the shop and lay down in the sawdust.
Despite the challenges some have faced opening during the pandemic, Verikas said he handled customer orders much as he had when running Dusty Dude as a side business – via phone calls and emails. Now that the restrictions have lifted, he said, more people have been wanting to come into his shop, look around, talk to him about their projects and pick them up in person once they’re completed.
“It has been going great,” he said. “The community has been awesome. It seems like every time we sell something to someone who lives in Bristol, they post about us on Bristol Talks and share reviews on social media to help us get the word out.”
Verikas said Dusty Dude Woodworks offers personal customer service, high-quality craftsmanship and high levels of customization for projects.
“We work with customers to nail down the sizes, colors, paints, whether they want the finished project to be clear or stained a certain color, or if they want a certain wood type,” he said. “There are a lot of places you can go to find a bookcase, but they might not fit in your space or be what you’re looking for We make sure that, before our customers receive their invoice, they know exactly what they are getting. We can work with all kinds of woods, depending on what people are looking for. Most of our cornhole sets have customized monograms, logos, names, whatever people are looking to get on there. We can even use the most exotic hardwoods we can find to make real showstopper pieces. We let our end products speak for themselves.”
Going forward, Verikas said Dusty Dude Woodworks plans to grow in Bristol.
“We’re currently getting ready to start hiring some help so that we can offer even more,” he said. “We’re looking for people with a knowledge of basic tools, a passion for the craft and the ability to learn. We’re more than happy to teach the trade. We’re trying to connect with area interior designers and home renovators and get into that market. Having some extra help in the shop will help to steer us toward that direction.”
Dusty Dude Woodworks is also going through the local permitting process for a showroom which Verikas and his wife hope to have open by the fall. The showroom will be open on weekends.
“The city’s been great – they’re the nicest people, easy to work with and ready to help,” he said. “The building and fire inspectors have already come out. We’re looking at 60 days to get a special permit approved and we’ll be doing as much work as we can to get ready while that’s happening.”
For more information, visit dustydudewoodworks.com or call 860-894-0188.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.