The Two River Times
The Week of September 5 - 12, 2003
Bartender Finds A Business Through ‘Thinking Outside The Box'
By Peggy Sturmfels
Patrick Satterfield shows off two of the serving trays he made from
wine boxes.RED BANK - When Pat Satterfield joined Two If By Sea
owners Vince DiVivo and Scott Ferrar as their bar manager, three
years ago, he was impressed with the renovation of the dining rooms,
but uninspired by the bar area.
"Yvonne (Young, the waitress) and I would sit around after work,
trying to think up themes we could use for the bar design. It was
devoid of any decor."
At home Satterfield was in the midst of a total home renovation
project in which he and his wife, Sharon, had completely gutted
their Linden Place home and were slowly refurbishing it room by
room. In the process of the remodeling, he had learned a lot about
staining and polyurethaning.
"We had stained all the floors and woodwork and I really enjoyed
working with the stains, getting the colors I wanted and applying it
to the wood."
Satterfield had taken a few wooden wine crates home from Two If By
Sea to experiment with. Through experimentation, he came up with the
idea of creating lacquered wooden plaques from the sides of the wine
boxes, each of which bore the name of a fine wine served at Two if
"We really liked the look of it, and because we have an extensive
wine list, it really was a good theme to carry out," Satterfield
said. "We started hanging the stuff up on the walls and I decided to
make a few placemats for the patrons who wanted to dine at the bar.
I had no intention of selling them, they were just part of the wine
part - and well - nice." Satterfield continued to play around with
the boxes, pulling them apart and trying to find new uses for the
wood. "My owner, Vince told me that people were going to want to buy
these things and at first I was skeptical. Than on February 12,
2002, a customer came in and asked to buy placemats and three of
The restaurant was adding to its wine list and Satterfield was
taking home all the boxes, pulling them apart and saving everything.
"We use about 95 percent of the box. We offer sawdust to some of our
friends for gardens, and I give the leftover strips to friends with
fireplaces for kindling." he added.
"In March of last year, they diagnosed my daughter with spina bifida
and I was worried about having the extra medical bills. But this has
really helped and we're holding our own with it. And Kendal is doing
(Satterfield and his wife Sharon have two children Grant, 3, and
Kendal, 20 months.)
Working out of their own separate workshops in two different states,
the partners have created Satterfield Originals® with a product line
of 16 designs using wine boxes from all over the world.
The designs include glass-topped cheeseboards in three sizes,
serving trays, placemats, jewelry boxes with velvet lining,
humidors, decorative plaques, trivets and wine coasters sets. The
partners will also finish wine boxes that the customer has. "We get
people who have old wine boxes that they have been carting around
for years that they have a sentimental attachment to and want us to
refurbish or make into a useable object for them," Satterfield says.
Satterfield's workshop is small but impressive. "Being in the bar
business for over 25 years, I've learned to work in tight places and
make the most out of usable space. The drying shelf can hold up to
200 pieces that have been polyurethaned and are waiting for
The rafters hold wine box sides of every size, wooden workbenches
hold saws, clamps, sanders and wood-carving tools. Air conditioning,
fans and heaters are used to keep the temperature and humidity
perfect for the wood and a big plastic sheeting curtain protects
pieces from sawdust and dirt.
Satterfield gets his raw materials from various places. Liquor
stores, other restaurants and bars, customers and sometimes the
occasional winery have all been sources for the wine boxes.
They have had interest from some of the wineries that have tasting
rooms to supply them with products using their wine boxes, but they
want to build the business slowly so that it is manageable. "That
will come in time," said Satterfield. "Some businesses get too big,
too quick and they lose it in the process. I don't want to lose the
craftsmanship- you have to crawl before you run. "
Each piece is sanded and stained to bring out the best grain in the
wood, or complement the design imprinted or burned into the top.
Some pieces are added to or "framed" to enlarge them. Others are
reinforced with wood or brass fittings for strength or as a design
Cheeseboards are fitted with a removable glass top for easy cutting
We were asked to make a Christmas gifts from Mondavi Wine boxes. Using
the Mondavi box for a cheeseboard, and an Opus box for a humidor, he filled
the order for the customer, who in turn presented it to his friend,
renowned vintner Robert Mondavi.
Mondavi wrote a note of thanks and agreed to let the partners use
the letter on their new brochure.
The business ships orders throughout the U.S. and internationally as
Plans for the future include displaying their products at local wine
events and designing a website.
This Sunday, Sept. 7, Satterfield will have a booth at the Red Bank
All of this takes time and manpower. Satterfield puts in 35 to 40
hours a week at the restaurant and then 20 to 35, hours a week
"If I didn't have the support from my wife, Sharon, and friends like
Jeff DeVaney who comes and helps do anything I need, and Yvonne too,
to get the orders out, it wouldn't work."
For more information about Satterfield Originals call (908) 902-0290