Custom Hardwood Fireplace Mantels at The Mantel Shoppe

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By Michelle Keller

“We are a one-stop source for beautiful custom fireplace mantels. For more than two decades, our team has been creating custom wood fireplace mantels for homeowners across the country.” – Nick Leopard, owner, The Mantel Shoppe

The Mantel Shoppe, based in Trussville, AL, manufactures solid Hardwood fireplace mantels, wood mantel shelves, and interior and exterior columns. Special items are also built on request and include cabinets, bedroom furniture and church pews. The company purchases 150,000 board feet annually in 5/4 and 8/4 Poplar, Cherry, Red and White Oak, quarter-sewn Oak, Walnut, Maple, Alder, pine, antique heart pine and mahogany. 

The Mantel Shoppe was created by Ronald Leopard in 1988 in Springville, AL. It was officially named The Mantel Shoppe by 1990. The first few fireplace mantels were built in a spare room in his home for friends. His business grew quickly and he moved into a garage where it remained for a couple of years. As demand grew, The Mantel Shoppe was forced to expand into a full wood shop rather quickly. “We were crowded in that shop, but it didn’t keep us from turning out an average of 400 fireplace mantels per month,” Ronald’s son, and the current owner, Nick Leopard said. “When we reached 600 fireplace mantels per month, it was time to move again.”

Working in the family business since he was 12 years old, Nick said his father found a place that would provide them space to continue to expand. “Our current shop is four times as big as the previous one and about 40 times as big as the original room where my dad built his first fireplace mantel,” he offered. “We tell you this not to boast but to explain that we have grown steadily from the beginning by repeatedly giving our customers products and services they can depend on. In return, we are very fortunate to have been surrounded by great customers, great homebuilders and great distributors that have sparked our growth.”

As for the company’s strong points, Nick said, “The quality and design of our product is something very unique. Our turnaround time is very quick. We have stayed consistent in getting our products to our customers on time. We’re easy to deal with and our prices are fair.”

The Mantel Shoppe products can be found in some pretty interesting places. “We’ve manufactured mantels for some pretty key players in this area and also some celebrities,” Nick explained. “We made one for Whoopi Goldberg. We’ve done some work in school buildings that were turned into condominiums. We also redid the fireplaces at Dartmouth college.”

He continued, “We are a one-stop source for beautiful custom fireplace mantels. For more than two decades, our team has been creating custom wood fireplace mantels for homeowners across the country. And when I say team, I really mean team. Four of us have been here over 20 years. Chad Thrasher has been with us for 20 years, Ben Saint for 28 years and Billy Johnson and I would probably need to check with the local historical society. If anyone has built more fireplace mantels in their life than Billy it would be hard to fathom. We have created more than 100,000 mantels for home fireplaces. We have a team dedicated to working with the customer throughout every step of the process to ensure the end result is a fireplace mantel that they can be proud of. We custom-build our mantels and mantel shelves to the customers specifications, including the exact size, wood type and finish they prefer. One of our focus points is custom because customization leads to comfort.” They design and construct all of the custom fireplace mantels and mantel shelves at the location in Trussville, AL. “Because we are a locally owned and operated business, we strive to keep our costs low, meaning we offer our wood fireplace mantel designs at an affordable price,” he explained. The Mantel Shoppe also offers fast shipping on every order.

Nick said the turn-around time is rapid. “If you live in the Birmingham or Huntsville, AL, areas, it typically takes a matter of days to receive your mantel after the order is placed,” he explained. “For those of you looking to place an order out of state, the time frame depends on how far the order must be shipped. Once the custom dimensions are confirmed, and the order is placed, it typically takes about two weeks or less for your mantel to arrive.”

The mantels may require some assembly before installation. “These are not complicated assembly designs,” said Nick. “They are made for quick and easy assembly. We placed holes in the mantel’s breast and ‘dominoes’ in the legs that will insert into the breast. They are fully crated in plywood on all four sides to ensure they arrive safely.”

With over 100 possible configurations, each of the styles are packaged a little differently to maximize shipping efficiency. “Most of the time, the first thing you will see when you open the crate is the breast (the large upper part) of the mantel and two legs,” Nick said. “Shelf-style mantels without legs will be fully assembled and ready to install after removal from the crate.”

As for the future, Nick said The Mantel Shoppe is looking forward to building new customers on a national basis through advertising and the company’s recently remodeled website.

The Mantel Shoppe is a member of the Home Builder’s of Alabama Association and the St. Clair County Homebuilder’s Association. For more information visit

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

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By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

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