Elmira Stove Works: 35 Years of Evolution & Innovation

Elmira factory

Manufacturer of Vintage Appliances Shares Success Story

ELMIRA, CANADA (April 2011) – Founded in 1975, Elmira Stove Works’ connections to antique appliances date back three and a half decades, supplying parts for wood-burning cookstoves to local Mennonites, and on to manufacturing cookstoves with 19th century styling.  Thirty-five years later, Elmira Stove Works has become the industry’s leading provider of vintage-styled appliances, offering full lines of “circa-1850” and retro 1950s products.

Elmira’s first manufacturing venture was in building wood-burning cookstoves for the local Mennonite and Amish communities. As the business expanded to include cottage and camp owners, many consumers loved the appearance of the cookstoves, but wanted the practicality of gas and electric models. In the early 1980s, Elmira introduced gas and electric models with the same traditional styling, plus all of the modern features of the time.

In the 1990s, Elmira completely re-engineered its line of ranges, introducing models with state-of-the-art features including full-size, self-cleaning convection ovens, electronic controls and high-output burners. As sales grew and the line gained exposure, consumers began asking for other appliances to match their ranges. An “antique” refrigerator was introduced, and microwave ovens, wall ovens and dishwasher panels followed soon thereafter.

Much has changed over the past 35 years, but one thing remains the same: Elmira’s innovation is customer driven. “We are proud to be the industry’s leading provider of high-performance vintage appliances,” stated Tom Hendrick, President of Elmira Stove Works.  “Elmira has always focused directly on the needs of consumers, developing and updating products to meet their changing needs. Using the best ideas and most innovative practices, we have grown with our customers.”

Elmira is constantly upgrading the performance of its products, yet remains committed to maintaining the authenticity and craftsmanship that sets it apart from other manufacturers. Elmira’s products stand alone for state-of-the-art performance, along with old-time elegance and charm.

Elmira became fully ingrained in the 1950s retro appliance category after coming to the realization that retro products were becoming popular, but were not readily available. Elmira developed a ’50s-style retro refrigerator in nine “nifty-50s” colors, including its most popular to this day, Candy Red. The retro refrigerator was a roaring success in the early 2000s but yet again, consumers wanted other products to complement their retro refrigerator. In 2004, Elmira introduced electric and gas ranges with modern features and an original retro look. Today, the Northstar retro line is comprised of the ranges, three models of refrigerators, two range hoods, a microwave, splashbacks, and three models of dishwasher panels.

In 2009, Elmira Stove Works came full-circle with its introduction of the all-new Fireview wood-burning cookstove. The Fireview brings Elmira back to its roots but, in true Elmira style, it incorporates many unique features never before available in wood-burning cookstoves.

All Elmira products are made with North American components and finished in-house, giving Elmira complete quality control. As one of the few appliance manufacturers left in North America, one of Elmira’s biggest challenges is working continually to improve overall product quality. All products are custom built to the order at hand, a reflection of each consumer’s individual taste and cooking style. Elmira does not stock inventory, as every product is built to each customer’s specific desires.­

“We continue to create new, innovative products based on past eras. This takes time and planning. The products we are designing are like fine furniture; the appliances are the focal point of the kitchen, much like the fireplace in a living room,” said Hendrick.

Recently, Hendrick was inducted into the Canadian Kitchen and Bath Hall of Fame as an innovator in the industry.

“Over the past 35 years, we have realized that the more innovative and creative we get with our products – keeping the antique and vintage design image – the better we can serve our customers. It’s not just what we do: it’s who we are,” said Hendrick.

About Elmira Stove Works:

Elmira Stove Works has been manufacturing vintage-styled ranges since 1975, and offers full lines of “circa-1850” and retro 1950s appliances, including ranges, refrigerators, microwaves, wall ovens, range hoods and wood-burning cookstoves. Elmira appliances are sold through dealers across North America. Elmira Stove Works is a privately owned company based in Elmira, Ontario, Canada.

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