Cutting boards, made in bulk, come from scraps of 3/4-inch maple or cherry.
David West Cutting boards, made in bulk, come from scraps of 3/4-inch maple or cherry.

The project deadline was a Friday, the day before the clients’ birthday party for their 2-year-old. “I’m always thinking about how to come up with memorable gifts that show we care,” says David West of Meadowview Construction, in Georgetown, Mass. That morning, he spotted the solution in a pile of 1¼-inch cherry scraps left over from the custom kitchen island his company had made. Voila! A one-of-a-kind set of toy blocks.

The toddler loved them. So did the toddler’s parents and their guests — potentially future Meadowview Construction clients. “Sometimes clients appreciate a gift to their children more than a gift to themselves,” West says.

He has nothing against food baskets or restaurant meals — “I’ve given those, too,” he says — but handcrafted gifts, recycled from the clients’ projects where possible, have helped brand Meadowview’s local reputation for warmth and craftsmanship. Extra kitchen tile? A trivet. Scrap plywood? A bowl. Extra attic boards? A wine holder. One of his favorite gifts was a cutting board in the shape of an iconic apple. “The client loved Apple computers,” he says.

Not every gift is custom. For efficiency, West sometimes creates cutting boards and wine holders in bulk. “I have a large stockpile in the shop,” he says. More expensive (about $75 apiece) are wine bottles sandblasted with the Meadowview logo.

Because custom woodwork is key to the company’s selling process, West strives to have prospects visit his 3,800-square-foot shop. There his team is always building island tops and cabinets, some of them embossed by the hot-iron Meadowview brand.

—Leah Thayer, senior editor, REMODELING.