In 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!


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Please NOTE: Although we make every effort to keep our showroom well-stocked, we cannot guarentee that we will have all the varieties mentioned on this website in stock at all times - thank you for your understanding.
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