From learning how to use chair-making equipment from the 1850s, to meeting the owners of his retail partner Chilton Furniture and getting featured in Popular Mechanics; together these things have helped maintain this local tradition as a thriving operation.
Tappan Chairs is an unusual business for several reasons. Not only has it continued in Sandwich for seven generations, but the style and way the chairs are made hasn’t changed much either. From one chair maker to the next, tools, patterns, and methods have been passed down, and members of the greater community have helped keep things going as well. At one point in the 1960's, the business was saved at an estate auction, and its equipment and patterns stored in a barn. There it stayed for nearly twenty years until it was discovered and rejuvenated by Adam's predecessor, Gunnar Berg. It was by using the methods that Mr. Berg rediscovered that Adam himself learned to build chairs. “That's the thing that makes these chairs so special—their story,”says Nudd-Homeyer.
Moving to Sandwich, and becoming the director of the Sandwich Historical Society gave him access to the history of the business. Besides his skills in teaching, woodworking, German, and local history, Adam is a skilled welder, and resurrected the statue of Niobe to its original home on the Great Wall of Sandwich. He is truly a Sandwich Renaissance man.
Nudd-Homeyer talked about how, although he’s very happy with the business, he would love to help continue the legacy that has been created by turning it into something more than just a sell-a-chair business model, like a nonprofit or an artist residency program.
With its historical background and current vision, Tappan Chairs is one of Sandwich's many interesting and unconventional businesses.