A tribute to our heritage
When a family grows up in a house built by their father’s hands, and the rooms of that house are filled with furniture built by those same hands, craftsmanship becomes second nature. Artisan isn’t a trendy term; it’s a way of life.
That way of life began when Bobby Greer married his high school sweetheart and began working full time for his friend and mentor, V.A. Tayntor in the late 1950s.
Mr. Tayntor had started his company in 1947, making metal chicken feeders, and delivering them to Alabama customers. One day a man stopped by and asked Mr. Tayntor if he would consider building a cedar mail stand. He did. Then he built more mail stands and later he diversified. He built picnic tables in a time before air conditioning brought meals inside. He built porch swings where people sat after those suppers and talked about their days. He built lawn chairs and dog houses. He built cedar chests and bedroom furniture. He built a business.
By the mid 50s, Mr. Tayntor’s “Cedar Products Company” grew to the point he had to hire help. A young Bobby Greer was among that help, working high school summers at the shop that people had begun to call, “The Cedar Place.” The name – and Bobby – stuck. In 1958, the year Bobby married his sweetheart, Judy, he began working for V.A. Tayntor full time.
Bobby and Judy made a life and a family, four boys and two girls. The Greer kids grew up in the rural hills of Middle Tennessee watching their father work with his hands, creating a home, crafting furniture and making a living by hewing the planks of strong, aromatic cedars into products.
As Bobby built cedar furniture, he also built the values of a strong work ethic and craftsmanship into his children. The family constructed their own house, a process that took four years. Danny Greer remembers asking for his own room, but being told that only after he had sanded the sheet rock smooth and painted the entire room, could he have it. Thirteen-year-old Danny sanded and sanded the sheet rock and his father inspected. Not good enough. Danny sanded more. Still not quite right. For two months, Danny sanded the walls of his room until they were smooth enough and perfect enough for paint. Finally, Danny got his own room.
In 1971, Bobby Greer bought The Cedar Place from Mr. Tayntor’s widow, knowing it was the step he had to take to keep the company going and “keep his job,” Bobby joked. For decades, The Cedar Place continued to build quality furniture and a living for the Greer family.
Tragedy struck in 2005, when Bobby Greer died in a single engine plane crash. The heartbroken, stunned sons picked up their father’s tools and planks of aromatic Tennessee Red Cedar and continued to make sturdy, practical, functional and beautiful furniture. It’s what Bobby Greer would expect from them. It’s what he taught them to expect of themselves.
Nestled against a Middle Tennessee hill, just on the outskirts of one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, the Greer boys continue their father’s work. As artisan bakeries, coffee shops, and restaurants pop up in the city like mushrooms in the loamy soil of that Middle Tennessee hill, true artisans continue the work started by a man making chicken feeders in 1947.
“I hold that a strongly marked personality can influence descendants for generations.”
― Beatrix Potter
The Cedar Place is driven by that strong and talented personality of Bobby Greer
A Tradition in Craftsmanship