One of the things I like so much for a table setting is the introduction of something made out of wood. Wood warms the look, and there’s nothing better than working with a natural element to make your table feel welcoming.
So imagine how excited I was when I stumbled upon a very cool vintage set of 8 teak Baribocraft salad bowls. I’m only showing you four here because they were teetering like the leaning tower of Pisa!
I love the shape of them… not your traditional round shape.
Who would’ve known such a treasure was waiting to be discovered when I was really only browsing? I was waiting for my ferry and just passing time! If you’re ever in Horseshoe Bay between ferries you should pop into the heart of the village, as it’s full of all kinds of unique and fun things.
In case you’re wondering, Baribocraft was a Canadian company in Quebec through the 60’s & 70’s famous for their gorgeous grained maple and teak woodenware. They were known world-wide for their quality of craftsmanship and innovative styles.
…and you’ll find it on the bottom of each piece, like this.
Notice the grain in the wood? Isn’t the colour and sheen pretty?
Salad bowls were definitely popular Baribocraft pieces, and I have to say that in all my research I never came across another set of salad bowls shaped like mine! That makes me feel pretty lucky to have them.
Baribocraft also had another division called BARIBO-MAID, which was dedicated to the production of commercial woodenware for the food service industry.
In fact well-known British chef and TV personality, Jamie Oliver collects Baribocraft bowls. If you go to the forum on his blog (bcrain is his forum name), Jamie says, ‘The only thing I look around for is Baribocraft woodenware from Montreal. I have a small collection but I love big wooden bowls, actually, I love bowls for some reason and have so many I don’t even use them, lol!’
Here is an example of a Baribo-Maid large salad serving bowl:
I actually saw one like this the last time I stopped in Horseshoe Bay, and was tempted to become its proud owner, but we have a beautiful handmade serving bowl, so I disciplined myself. Crazy? I know! I can see why Jamie Oliver collects them! I think it’s safe to say that if Jamie is a fan of Baribocraft, that says a lot about what you can expect of the Baribo-Maid commercial line too!
This is another large salad serving bowl style, and one of my favorites:
I really like the simple drum shape of this bowl… apparently my daughter does too, as this one now belongs to her!
Salt and pepper mill sets were another popular Baribocraft/Baribo-Maid item. In fact I grew up with a set like these, and remember them well…
This pair also belongs to my daughter. Do you see a pattern beginning to emerge?
Something to note, the grinding hardware in the pepper mills was known for its lasting quality, and was among the commercial favorites. This makes a Baribo pepper mill a definite keeper!
Here is a close-up of the grinding hardware.
If you look closely you’ll see Baribo-Maid engraved in the underneath component of the hardware.
This very unique piece is an arc fruit bowl, also referred to as a curved serving dish.
I love this piece for its shape and simplicity, its beautiful classic lines so typical of the Eames era. I spotted this one a few years ago and it instantly became ours. It sits proudly on our counter, usually with bananas but often a mix of fruits.
True to form, Baribocraft designed a piece that really spoke to the fun side of innovation and craftsmanship…
The apple ice bucket.
Never known to overlook function, here you can see that the apple has been designed with a removable plastic liner.
This makes for easy clean-up without jeopardizing the integrity of the wood.
These last photos show pieces that are really a set, and I thought them apropos of not only Baribocraft’s time, but also their French-Canadian roots.
Kitchen canisters labeled in both French and English…
| Café * Coffee | Thé * Tea | Farine * Flour | Sucre * Sugar |
Isn’t it interesting that the words in each language begin with the same letter?
And a matching bread box.
| Pain * Bread |
Guess what? Why yes, these now belong to my daughter, too!
Sadly Baribocraft ceased production in the 70’s and they are no longer in business, but their pieces withstand the test of time!
With proper care the woodenware looks just as stunning today as it did when it was created, and the quality in craftsmanship allows for continued use for as long as you have a use!
TIP: To care for your Baribocraft, or any other woodenware for that matter, never soak it in water. Water will dry out the wood. A small amount of coarse salt scrubbed gently on the surface will clean and sanitize your piece, and if you condition the wood occasionally with butcher block oil it keeps the wood looking fresh and moisturized! If you prefer to wax your woodenware, I recommend Clapham’s Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish, an edible mineral oil and beeswax product. Once the wax is dried and buffed, it also leaves your piece protected and sets off the patina of the wood. *You may have heard to use a skim of cooking oil instead, but I find it builds up over time, and leaves the piece feeling sticky to the touch. You decide!
To purchase a classic Baribocraft piece of your own be sure to visit Audrey Would! We carry a number of Baribo pieces and are always on the lookout for more!
One last bit of trivia… did you know that Baribocraft made pant hangers?
AND hockey sticks! I wish I had a Baribocraft hockey stick to show you… in fact I wish I knew where there was one to see for myself.
Do you have any woodenware that you treasure? How about a vintage Baribocraft?
For more information on Baribocraft and Baribo-Maid, please visit the corporate website or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be pleased to note, the website is available in both French and English!
Thanks for stopping by!
Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless linked to a source where indicated.