Author Topic: The What The F*ck Thread  (Read 7466 times)

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Re: The What The F*ck Thread
« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2011, 11:05:20 am »
It's impossible to make this stuff up.  :-\

Hot trend: Demand for designer firewood heats up

This year, even the old yule log is getting a makeover. Ordinary Americans can't get access to a sheik's palace or a movie star's mansion, but they can score the firewood of the rich and famous this holiday season, courtesy of firewood farms in Minnesota that ship display-worthy logs to elite addresses from New York to Saudi Arabia.

The Wall Street Journal flagged the trend with a mention of Minnesota firewood in a high-end gift roundup that also included a cashmere robe and a five-figure watch. Sellers say there's a burgeoning demand for a Minnesota firewood staple: pretty white birch logs.

"That's our largest selling item as far as what we ship out," said Sharon Wilczek, owner of Paul's Fireplace Wood, Inc. "It's gone up 50 percent at least." Paul's used to sell only 16-inch size white birch log, but it's expanded its offerings to include two larger sizes, and Wilczek said the company fields a growing number of custom orders from florists and decorators as well as homeowners.

"I don't have to worry about ugly wood," a customer enthused in a testimonial on the website of J.N. Firewood.

This high-end wood has prices to match its pedigree. At more than a dollar a pound before shipping which can run into the thousands for big orders this wood might seem too valuable to burn. Many customers don't burn the firewood they order. Wilczek said customers who plan to burn the logs typically order them split; people who want to display them request that they be left whole.

Even the buyers who purchase pricey logs just to take a match to them have grown increasingly choosy, said Angie Nelson, owner of J.N. Firewood. Birch is popular because "it's a fun wood," she said. "It gives you a really cool blue flame and crackling noises. It could be used for heat, but mostly, it's used for ambiance." Pinon pine and juniper, she added, are other popular varieties around this time of year because of the Christmas-tree smell they give a room when they burn. "This time of year, I do sell a lot of that."

Customers with money to burn also like varieties that give off a cedar-like aroma, according to Nelson, because they inject a note of calm into the hectic holidays. "It's like you're in a spa that laid-back, relaxed smell," she said.
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