Cortland firewood business takes off with help from growing YouTube channel
One Trumbull County man is turning his side hustle into a prosperous full-time gig.
With the help of state-of-the-art equipment and rising popularity on YouTube, dozens of eateries, businesses, and individuals rely on this firewood distributor for some of the best quality material you can get in the Valley.
Cortland native Joe Nay is the man behind Ohio Wood Burner. He has gained popularity in recent years between booming business in the Valley and growing traction on YouTube. His channel has over 15 million views from over 50 countries.
"We grew and the channel grew and it started getting kind of weird," Nay said. "People were showing up at my house. We started filming this firewood processor and it's just a fascinating thing to watch. Everyone fell in love with it. The YouTube thing was an accident and this was never part of the plan."
Ohio Wood Burner is an exclusive firewood delivery service with a full range of premium services and products for wood burning. What started as just a side hustle while taking care of his ill father is now his full-time focus. Nay was once worked in loss prevention, audit, compliance, risk management. "It was 22 years of being a corporate hack," Nay said. When his father passed away, he made the decision with his family to focus on the firewood business full-time. He is a sole proprietor of the company and is moving to site just off of Route 11 in Cortland.
Crews working hard Thursday to move in his equipment to the site, including the Finland-made Japa 405.
"When this one was delivered to us it was the only one in the world," Nay said. "When I bought that machine it was the third in production in the United States. Because of my videos, it now has become the most popular selling firewood processor in the world."
"This has perfect split functionality so it makes really small, controlled pieces of firewood," explained Bob Nelson, General Manager with Metsa Machines. "For what Joe's looking to sell to, it was really important for him to have that functionality."
The majority of Joe's sales are driven by restaurants. Ohio Wood Burner is the firewood provider to dozens of restaurants throughout the Valley including Firebirds, Cafe 422, and Mission Barbeque.
"It's really cool what he's brought to the table," Nelson added. "And now, being in this new property is really huge compared to where he was working out of."
"We are the Mahoning Valley's only full-time firewood service," Nay said. "There are a lot of people who sell firewood. I am a full-time firewood business. We don't do anything else."
Because of this, Nay explained the wood they sell is seasoned, meaning it was stacked and it sat until all of the moisture in the wood gets out.
"Everything we offer is just clean, uniform firewood," Nay said.
If you want to check out his skills and machinery for yourself, there's an upcoming open house on the property at 5286 State Route 5, Cortland, Ohio this Saturday, April 29 from 10 until 3.