a family AFFAIR
In 1856, our great-great grandfather, John Breuner, opened the first Breuners Furniture Store in Sacramento, California. John, a German cabinet maker, came to California to seek his fortune in the Gold Rush and quickly figured out he could make more money building “gold cradles” for prospectors instead of panning for gold himself. He started building furniture and turned it into a business.
In 1869, John Breuner was commissioned to build 120 carved walnut desks for the California state senate, which are still in use today. Breuners continued to expand, opening stores in San Francisco, the East Bay, Nevada, and eventually the east coast. Breuners finally closed its doors after 148 years in business, having established itself as one of the country's most recognized furniture brands.
Our grandfather, Wallace Breuner, helped run Breuners with his brothers. Grandpa is second from the right.
All five Breuners fell in love with Lake Tahoe’s west shore, where their families grew up enjoying the outdoor activities the lake offers.
Fast forward to social distancing. Now what do we do?
With drastically altered work and life schedules (Heidi's previous business closed overnight due to the pandemic) , Heidi and husband Derek went into the workshop to simply make a gift for her mom. Gretchen, who lives with her family next door, came over to help. It was their first Lake Tahoe coffee table—and when they posted a photo of it online, friends cheered them on and saluted their efforts.
One by one, people asked if they could order a table, and before they knew it, Heidi and Derek accidentally stumbled into a new business.
And that's how the marriage between furniture making and Lake Tahoe was born. Gretchen and Heidi have come full circle, building these table tops that showcase a place they love, using tools that their grandfather passed down to their father, who passed them down to their brother, who gave them to Heidi and Derek.
They are honored to keep a family tradition alive.
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