The Hippo


May 28, 2020








Geoff’s Bits, 746-2408, 
Geoff’s Bits products are listed on his website and he also takes custom orders; just call or email to place any order. For the 2015 season, find him at the Henniker Farmers Market (55 Main St., Henniker) on Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m., the Concord Arts Market (Bicentennial Square, downtown Concord) see his website for the dates, On the Green Craft Fair (Brewster Academy Green, Wolfeboro) in August, and Intown Manchester Holiday Market (Brady-Sullivan Plaza, 1000 Elm St., Manchester) in December. 

Crafted bits
From coasters to cutting boards at Geoff’s Bits

By Allie Ginwala

On a cloudy Thursday afternoon, a handful of vendors unpacked their goods and wares in the Henniker Community Center for the weekly indoor market that runs from November to May. Amidst tables filled with baked goods, fresh produce and soaps, Geoff Mirantz unpacked wooden utensils, coasters, cutting boards, trivets and lazy Susans, a selection of handcrafted wooden items from Geoff’s Bits. Using exotic African woods like paduak and wenge and New Hampshire spruce and cedar, Mirantz has turned a dormant hobby into a specialized craft.

Geoff’s Bits is the wooden craft division of Breads N’ Bits, a bakery business owned by his wife. After accompanying her to farmers markets to help set up, Mirantz decided to find his own way to contribute.

And I said, since I have to go there every week, maybe I can figure out something to go along with it, and I started making cutting guides and crumb catchers to go along with her bread,” he said.

Two years ago he starting bringing a few items to the market, and he has since expanded to making trivets, coasters, paddle and regular serving boards, spreaders, toaster tongs and custom counter tops.

Crafting isn’t something that I ever really did much of until about three or four years ago,” he said, when he decided to send out coasters as Christmas gifts for relatives. Once he started getting inquiries about custom items, he realized this was a talent he should stick with.

Mirantz buys his wood from Goosebay Lumber in Chichester because he likes the selection and the staff, who are willing to work with him if he needs shorter boards. Exotic woods he uses often are African woods padauk, wenge and bubinga, as well as birdseye and tiger maple, which aren’t exotic woods but are priced in the same category.

I like them more as an accent than I do as the main feature because they just finish so nicely and they have some really pretty colors to them,” he said.

Every piece that Mirantz crafts is the natural color of the wood; he doesn’t use any dyes or stains. Since his items are used with food, he finishes them with his own mixture of beeswax and food-grade mineral oil.

Nothing particularly fancy about it, but it seals the wood and it’s absolutely safe for direct contact with food,” he said.

As far as what wood he selects for any given item, he said, it’s based mostly on “what I’m feeling at the time and what color I feel like working with.”

Though he started out crafting items to pair with his wife’s baked goods, Mirantz continued because he likes the combination of aesthetic uniqueness and usefulness of wooden kitchen items. He thinks the benefit of using wooden products rests in the feel and look of the item.

You can buy plastic, you can buy glass cutting boards, lord knows you can buy a cutting board that doesn’t cost $229, but you’ll never buy a cutting board that looks like [mine],” he said. 

As seen in the May 14, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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