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Strong values combine well with tough-as-nails teak

Two brothers with a strong work ethic. A shared desire to provide quality products. A shared love for cottaging in Muskoka.

And, of course, the best wood on the planet. Brothers John and Trevor Philbrick put it all together to start and develop Muskoka Teak in Port Carling – opening the doors to the iconic and successful cottage furniture store in 2000.

Finding the very best materials to work with led the brothers to Indonesia, where they discovered sustainably sourced teakwood that could be customized into outdoor furniture and imported to Canada.

“We come from a family of farmers, so that was our background,” explains Trevor. “But we wanted to do more and started Cat Sass Imports in 1998.”

Originally located in Oakville and serving the Greater Toronto Area and the Golden Horseshoe, the business moved to Muskoka to service the great demand for quality, long-lasting furnishings. But, more than that, they came to Muskoka because they were enamoured with the lakes, rocks, and people.

“We had some loyal customers request delivery to their cottages in Muskoka,” explains John. “After our first deliveries here, we fell in love with all the region has to offer. That’s when we knew we had to open Muskoka Teak and become a part of this community.”

The appeal of teak
They began developing the teak furniture business due to all the amazing characteristics of the naturally durable wood. Teak is the perfect material for outdoor furniture in Canada – particularly in places like Muskoka – because it can endure through the seasons and generations.

Through sun, rain, sleet and snow, the wood’s tight grain and high natural oil content protects its integrity. The essence of teak means it repels water and provides resistance to both fungus and insects that would otherwise bore into the wood.

The main teak features – strength and durability – fall perfectly in line with the Philbricks’ own characteristics.

Their old-school work ethic has helped them build a teak-solid reputation over the past 26 years. They only sell the highest quality products to their clients, preferring quality over quantity.

Of course, over the years, the top-end quality in goods and service has led to increased sales as cottagers throughout Muskoka and the surrounding areas are outfitted with the finest lifestyle pieces.

From the original teak chairs and teak line of Canadian wildlife sculptures – their teak moose at the storefront is constantly photographed and shared online – to harvest tables and the highest end umbrellas on the planet, John and Trevor are always adding something special to their line-up.

One advancement they are particularly proud of is their line of sofas, loungers, and club chairs that combine three strikingly different materials into each product.

Starting with teak and stainless steel, the brothers went hunting for the final touch that would match the durability while providing the comfort to sit in or lie on.

They found it in France when they happened upon batyline – a high-end synthetic material that has the qualities needed to match teak and steel: the fabric is water-resistant, strong, stylish, and long-lasting.

Unbelievable umbrellas
Over the years, the brothers have added to their product lines bit by bit, always searching out the most luxurious and exceptional items to add to their line-up.

FIM Umbrellas, for example, feature a contemporary style and ergonomic design that allows for user-friendly 360-degree rotation to match the sun’s trajectory throughout the day. The canvases are sewn in Canada, and the umbrellas are assembled here using Italian-made parts.

Though those umbrellas proved quite popular, the brothers kept getting requests for something to fit wider spaces.

Enter two brands from the U.S.: Frankford and Tuuci.

Frankford has been making top quality umbrellas since 1898. Their commercial grade umbrellas are perfect for patios and boathouse decks. Made with aluminum and stainless steel and marine grade canvas, they can rotate 360-degrees while also having a tilt system to maximize shade.

But for the very best umbrellas, look to The Ultimate Umbrella Company Inc. (Tuuci). These umbrellas are built with ocean-side living in mind, where high winds and plenty of salt-water spray are commonplace.

Produced only in Miami, they feature marine-grade materials that are a must in those environments: stainless steel hardware and aluminum struts along with fabrics woven specifically for waterfront usage.

“We sell durable, user friendly products so you, your guests or your renters will enjoy a seamless outdoor experience,” says Trevor.

Adds John: “Much of the mass-produced furniture today lacks the style and substance we grew up with. Our goal is to ensure our customers’ lives are enriched by offering superior comfort and style that will last.”

Visit their showroom, where welcoming smiles and expert advice on what products best fit your needs await.

TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI

www.MuskokaTeak.com

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