Solid White Oak Resort and Specialty Beach Products at H&T Chair Co. Inc. 

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“We wanted a product that would last in all of the outdoor elements.White Oak doesn’t mind a harsh environment. It’s an amazing wood. I have chairs in the concession market that are literally over 40 years old and are still being used on the big rush holidays.” ~ Rick Todd, Owner, H & T Chair Co.

Solid White Oak Resort and Specialty Beach Products at H&T Chair Co. Inc.  1
H & T Chair Co. makes wood-and-canvas beach chairs, some with leg rests for the comfort of the consumer. 

“We manufacture a full line of outdoor folding chairs with our key product going to the beach and outdoor market,” Owner Rick Todd explained. “Our primary market is the hotel and motel concession industry. When you’re on vacation and you see that big umbrella with two solid wooden chairs, that’s an H&T Chair. We make the beach chair; director’s chairs; and oversize chairs for fishermen. We designed a chair for fishermen that people don’t have to push themselves out of. If they get a hit on the fishing pole, they can simply walk out of the chair. We make camp stools, a small slatted table that accents our director’s chairs; and we design chairs for other industries.”

Solid White Oak Resort and Specialty Beach Products at H&T Chair Co. Inc.  2
The most popular chair manufactured is the adjustable #101 chair which can be used with or without leg rest. The newly designed slat table is also made with White Oak and folds for easy carrying.

With continuous growth, H&T Chair Co. products are highly sought after because of their quality craftsmanship and durability. “We redesigned the Atlantic City Sling Chair, which was developed by Take Along Travel in the 1920’s,” Todd offered. “We brought that back to life a few years ago for a client up on the Jersey shore. We are consistently building what people need in the market. They come to us and tell us their needs and we build the best they’ve ever seen.”

The Todd family was in the concession business after World War II. “We designed the chair of choice back in the 1960’s. Prior to our chairs you had the telescope folding chair; the Foxx Brothers out West; and a handful of people manufacturing outdoor beach furniture. My uncle, Harrison Todd and his friend Ed Hickey put together a chair that would be more functional in the market that they were in. For the first time you could reuse this chair and repair it. It became a true tool of the concession trade. They built it with longevity built into the product for long-term use.”

Todd said prototype versions of the new chair were available around 1966. “At that time we had a piece of wood that held the rails together and we saw the need for more stability. About 1968 we started double-dowelling the chairs. This gave the chair more durability and strength. Every year after that has been a year of growth. We have serviced every beach across the country and we’re exporting our products now too.”

Rick bought the family business in 1980. “I grew up around this business and I served in the military and came back and partnered with my uncle,” he explained. “I eventually bought the business and I had little but a dream and a lot of ambition. My first year I literally hit the road with a two-ton truck and 200 chairs on the back. I drove from North Carolina to New Jersey and sold every single chair. We haven’t looked back. 

H&T Chair Co. has grown into a 10,000 square-foot facility with 9,700-square-feet of storage space adjacent. “We have a nice, comfortable, easy-flow business today. We’ve been in this business for over 50 years. We learned over time and we listened to our customers. We build a chair that we know is suitable for the marine, concession and pool deck markets. Our chairs are also customizable. We can put a stamp on the chair with embroidery or screen printing that identifies their hotel or the resort. The quality of our product speaks for itself. We’re building something for a market that has to withstand the elements.”

When asked about the manufacturing process and equipment used at H&T Chair Co., Todd said, “A lot of our equipment dates back to the 1960’s. Our gang rip saw was made in house. It has a 42 horse power electric motor with a handle that we can set up for multiple sizes. It’s not a single-line rip, it’s a multiple-blade gang rip. It’s a phenomenal tool. After that we use a SCMI planer, a XL Mold matcher; Swingarm cutoffs; DeWalt arm saws and cutoff saws; and Porter cable drill presses. We are making dimensional stock and then manufacturing it into chairs.”

Todd said longevity is the reason only solid White Oak is utilized in the manufacturing process. “We wanted a product that would last in all of the outdoor elements,” he said. “In the marine environment, think back to old ships that were made out of White Oak, they would withstand the hit of a cannonball. They could withstand the beating of the waves against the helm. If it’s good enough for the boat, it’ll certainly work for the chair. White Oak doesn’t mind a harsh environment. It’s an amazing wood. I have chairs in the concession market that are literally over 40 years old and are still being used on the big rush holidays. We use a spar varnish because we hate to paint over the wood. The beauty of the grain in the Oak shines through in our chairs. We use two coats of marine spar varnish. The first coat goes on and then we sand it and put another coat on. If the product is for export we will use three coats because we know that they’re going to have 340 days of sunshine on that chair.”

Sister company Anywhere Chair Inc., retails and wholesales chairs and products for H&T Chair Co. Anywhere Chair Company, Inc. was established by Rick’s late wife, Mary Jane Todd as a way to provide resort style, commercial chairs, umbrellas and cabanas to the public for individual use. The company has grown from a tiny advertisement in the back pages of a well established home and garden magazine to a popular website with an established list of website vendors and beach concessionaires. Rick and Mary Jane’s daughter, Elizabeth Bandura, is now the owner and operator of Anywhere Chair Inc. 

H & T Chair Co. and Anywhere Chair Co. are committed to providing commercial grade beach products to not only beach businesses but individuals as well. The original H & T Chair beach chair and all other chairs at H&T are manufactured in North Carolina. Anywhere Chair offers five styles of the chair: the original H & T Beach Chair with leg rest; Mini lounge with leg rest, a full back reclining chair; Deck /Director Chair perfect table height; Mini Sand Chair; and High Chair perfect for lifeguards and bar height tables. “Our entire line of chairs, together with additional items such as the slat table, camp stool, and cabanas are 100 percent manufactured in the USA,” Rick explained. “We are deeply committed to providing American made products wherever possible.”

Solid White Oak Resort and Specialty Beach Products at H&T Chair Co. Inc.  8
H & T Chair Co. makes wood-and-canvas beach chairs, some with leg rests for the comfort of the consumer. 

For more information contact Rick Todd at 828-264-7442 or visit Anywhere Chair Inc. at www.anywherechair.com.

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