Background Story

Founder of Canadian Cheeseboards Bernard and Helga Schimmel next to cheeseboard

Bernard (Founder of Canadian Cheeseboards) and Helga Schimmel

Bernard spends an inordinate amount of time looking at trees. His experience and creativity helps him to visualize their potential. Bernard appreciates the intrinsic characteristics and imperfections — the natural shapes, holes, curves and ‘live edges’ make each cheese board and serving platter unique.

They also tell a story. The conditions and even the events in the history of a tree are told through the grain, colour, special markings and scars.

Bernard knows the importance of sustainable practices. He has built a valuable network of relationships with forest stewards in order to make Canadian Cheeseboards a significant link in the healthy management of trees in the Simcoe region. These boards are dipped in a natural food-grade oil and are built to stand the test of time.

When you use a Canadian Cheeseboard, we hope that its history, natural artistry, and its well-crafted functionality will inspire your next hosting event.

To make room for the new buildings, a row of Sugar Maple Trees had to be removed. He asked the construction supervisor if he could have a piece of wood from the trees to make a little table for people to perhaps remember the past.

Bernard was very fortunate a few years ago when he became involved with the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. Because of 3 serious situations from which Bernard recovered fully, he really appreciated the seamless and efficient operation of RVH’s nurses and doctors and felt a little donation back to the Hospital would be in order. On March 09, 2009, an addition of a new Cancer Treatment Centre and another 100 bed extension was started. To make room for the new buildings, a row of Sugar Maple Trees had to be removed. He asked the construction supervisor if he could have a piece of wood from the trees to make a little table for people to perhaps remember the past. “Sure,” he says, “bring your pickup truck and let me load a piece.” However, before the conversation was finished, he also asked Bernard if he could make something for their construction company as a gift to the hospital and as a thank you for the $250 Million contract. “What was that?” he asked.  “Well,” Mikko replied, “can you make a 25 ft x 5 1/2 ft. Boardroom Table out of one of those trees?” A few minutes later, after walking back and forth along the still standing trees, Bernard agreed.

Upon seeing the partially completed boardroom table, the Art and Decorating Committee decided it should not be hidden upstairs in the boardroom, but displayed prominently in a public area of the Hospital. This was truly an honour for Bernard.

Massive boardroom table top crafted from harvested maple trees at RVH Massive boardroom table top crafted from
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