1979, while honeymooning in subtropical Mexico, Richard Mandroian noticed
that much of the local rustic furnishings were made from exotic hardwoods
that grew in the region. As an artist and master woodworker, he had
a deep appreciation for the beauty and value of these species, and a
hunch that he could find a ready market for them back home. By the end
of the trip, he and his bride, Jan, had collected a load of several
species, hired a truck and driver, and made the elaborate arrangements
to get it all over the border and home to Pasadena, California.
For the next seven years, he continued to import woods directly, selling
them through mail-order and to local artisans. As he developed more
sources and knowledge of the industry, he planned his next step: a retail
hardwood business selling the finest cabinet-grade hardwoods in both
domestic and exotic species. He rented a building in east Pasadena and
opened Arroyo Hardwoods in 1986. The business soon built a reputation
for its selection of woods (the
exotic species now
came not just from Latin America but from all over the world, including
Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia), expert custom milling
services, and its knowledgeable and helpful staff. Within a few months,
other product lines were added and Arroyo customers could also choose
from a wide offering of mouldings, plywood, veneers, staircase parts,
and architectural elements.
In 1988 Arroyo Hardwoods moved to its present location
at the busy corner of Foothill and San Gabriel Boulevards in Pasadena.
The move proved to be a lucky one and the business grew, but Richard
and his staff were careful to preserve its tradition of personal attention
to customers. As Richard’s two sons grew, they worked along side
their father during the summer, and quite often the family dog would
put in a day at the shop, greeting customers. Arroyo Hardwoods had become
a place where contractors, designers, homeowners, woodworkers, artists
and hobbyists could find friendly, personal service and a wide array
of hardwoods and wood products to meet their needs.
Sadly, Richard passed away in 2002, but Jan and her very capable crew
have kept the business thriving. The friendly, family atmosphere, so
familiar to our regulars and so reassuring to our new customers, remains
in full force. Please pay us a visit when you are in Pasadena, whether
you’re looking for a rare & exotic
wood species or a crown moulding
for your home improvement project or need our milling
services or just some advice about wood – come
on down. We’ll do our best to make you feel welcome!