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Gevry Firewood Expands VT's Firewood Processing Capacity

January 25, 2023

Vermont is home to many quintessential occupations; dairy farmer, maple producer, snow-plow operator, town clerk, etc.  But one that has as much historical importance and present-day impact may sit in your driveway every fall as you prepare for winter. Firewood remains a vital element of rural living and our working lands economy. 

Working the woods comes naturally to many Vermonters.  Spending the day amongst the trees of Vermont attracts many to find an occupation that makes Vermont’s hills and valley’s their office. Ethan and Ashlie Gevry have done just that.  “Here at Gevry Firewood we do what we do because we like being able to provide our local area with high quality firewood,” said Ethan Gevry of Addison, Vermont.  “We also do it to enrich the local economy, from supporting area loggers to buying our fuel and parts locally, while creating jobs in our community.” 

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative supports entrepreneurs at the forefront of Vermont’s Working Lands economy to help growing businesses thrive.  “The working lands grant is important to our business because it allowed us to do things needed to grow our business at a much faster rate than we could do on our own,” said Gevry.   

Ethan Gevry wearing a red hoodie, hat, and sunglasses, sitting in front of a pile of firewood

Of course, every successful Vermont working lands business impacts other layers of our state’s rural economy, a distinct element the WLEB Board considers when processing grant applications. Gevry said their firewood operation reaches many other Vermont businesses in its day-to-day operations.  “In 2022 we will have spent almost $750,000 on logs, all of that is spent with Vermont loggers in our community and throughout the state. We also buy all our fuel and parts locally, supporting those local businesses that rural areas need. We employ five full-time employees, all from our local area.”  

The potential growth of Gevry Firewood and other Vermont working lands enterprises highlights the importance of our rural economy and the employment, sustainable product, and community provided by these successful businesses.  “The grant activities will put our business in a very good position where we can easily scale to meet market demands,” Gevry said.  “The grant has helped us increase production and, in the spring of 2023, we will construct storage to be able to better serve our customers by having a stockpile of ready to deliver wood at any given time rather than cutting to order.” 

Logs are on a loader and a crane reaches down to grab them

Working lands enterprises increase the resiliency of our economy and support Vermont’s unique sense of place. Ashlie Gevry said their plans for the future will establish them as a contributor to their local economy for many years to come.  “Our hopes and dreams for the business is that we can scale to an 8 to 10 thousand cord a year operation by 2025, which would create another six to eight full-time jobs as well as put over 2 million dollars a year into Vermont’s forest economy.” 

Gevry Firewood and the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative share the common goal of increasing the success and prosperity of Vermont’s forest economy.