Have you hugged your woodstove today?

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By way of introduction to the first “official” Sutter Blog, a little history seems in order.

I’ll try to keep it brief and edit out the juicy parts for later…

Starting a business in Seattle in 1979 was in many ways no different than starting one today.  There’s nothing like youthful exuberance mixed with naivete to propel us forward.

With a three-year background at a wood stove manufacturing company I was convinced that there were better products and a better way to bring them to the marketplace.

This was the genesis of the The Sutter Home Woodstove Co.  (catalog)

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I found an old building vacancy on a Ballard Avenue that appeared  much different in 1979 than it does today.   On the cusp of the energy “crises”

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It made sense that high-efficiency cast-iron wood stoves could bring some energy independence to folks willing to cut, stack, store and age their heating fuel.  In 1980 I was joined by my future business partner John Miner.

I soon learned that many of our customers were unfamiliar with the nature of wood heat and discovered that our real job was to inform them of how these products could be safely installed and operated. (Wood & Energy by Jay Shelton).  The need for reliable information presented in an understandable fashion has shaped our philosophy ever since.

As more and more stoves came into use through the ‘80’s it was apparent that wood smoke and particulates from improper combustion were contributing to unhealthy air in our Emerald City.  As a result, woodstove manufacturers developed cleaner burning technology and we saw the evolution of gas-fired stoves and fireplaces.  Today, you can see the evidence of this technology in a broad selection of products with both fuel choices. (product shots?)

In the early days, the business was highly seasonal with stove sales and installations concentrated heavily in the months from September to March.  In 1982 we opened a 2nd location in Kirkland.  In 1986 we added barbecues to our product selection and moved our Kirkland store to Woodinville. 

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Most recently we move our Seattle store from Ballard Avenue to Leary Way in Ballard or as we like to call it; “Freelard” (between Ballard and Fremont) in September of 2011.  The following year (August of 2012) we were pushed out of our Woodinville location by the ever-expanding “Napa North” wine-tasting area.  Unable to find a suitable re-location and

influenced by the busy “season,” we elected to consolidate our business in the newer Leary Way location.

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With our new larger facility we are able to display more product and with our talented installation, estimating and service crews we are still able to work from Vashon Island to

Bellevue and Mercer Island to Mukilteo. (pic of install truck).

A condensed history like this makes me feel a bit underwhelmed by what we have accomplished over the years.  However, from 2 people in 1979 we now number 25 and  believe that more growth is in our future.  I hope this wasn’t too boring for you.  My goal is to share more of our insights and experiences with you as this blog continues.

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February 13, 2017

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  • Welcome to Sutter Home & Hearth

    Our site is designed to help you discover the warmth and beauty of fire. Not only will you see the range of products and services we offer, but you’ll have an opportunity to learn how these products can fit into your home. Our store in Seattle is full of operating stoves, fireplaces, inserts and barbecues. We are ready to assist you with practical knowledge as well as trained, certified installation and service.
  • Testimonials

    • We have looked other places at logs and we felt that they had the best prices and quality that we had seen.  The salesperson was helpful and informative.  The logs looked great in our living room.
      A. FalkA. Falk
    • They were very nice people to deal with.  They worked great and they were very prompt.
      D. KozieD. Kozie
    • We visited their showroom in Ballard and we decided to order our fireplace through them.  I was confused about their various options but they helped explain things quite well.  In the end, we got a great fireplace that didn't break the bank.  They also had to install it before the remodeling was completed, so they worked with the contractor to explain where the chimney had to go, etc.  After the remodel, they came over to teach us how to use the fireplace and help "break it in".  It really is the heart of the house thanks to them.
      F. ServitoF. Servito
    • We have a really small fireplace and were looking for a way to convert it to gas.  All other companies laughed at us given the size of the fireplace opening, but Sutter was really helpful and gave us some suggestions on where to find one that might fit.  We found one, they ordered it and installed it.  They also gave us great advice on a mason to help adjust some of the masonry work needed before the install.  Our new gas insert looks great, really warms up our living room in the winter and is a great focal point for the house.
      T.  SimpsonT. Simpson
    • Shawn, the office manger, was very helpful.  I went to every single place I could find and the price was comparable.  They have a more local store feel than the huge stores.
      C. BrownC. Brown