Walpole Outdoors, ‘an old Ridgefield landmark’, moving out after more than 60 years

RIDGEFIELD — A local business with a long-held history on Route 7 is moving out of town after opening its doors 62 years ago.

Walpole Outdoors’ Ridgefield branch, at 346 Ethan Allen Highway, will close next month. The business is looking to relocate to Norwalk and consolidate operations to better serve its Fairfield County customers, design consultant Erik Andersen said. It also has locations in Westport and Farmington.

Walpole Outdoors, formerly known as Walpole Woodworkers, was founded in Massachusetts in 1933. In 1959, the owners came to Ridgefield to set up shop at 424 Ethan Allen Highway. Although the branch moved down the road to its current location in the mid-2000s, it has remained a focal point for folks who travel along the thoroughfare.

“There’s been a lot of years and a lot of history here,” Andersen said. “It’s an old landmark in Ridgefield. People have given directions based on our place.”

Walpole deals in outdoor furniture, fences, gates, pergolas and other amenities all crafted from long-lasting materials. In the olden days it fabricated more rustic products “from soup to nuts” using white cedar trees that came from a mill in Maine, Andersen said.

It also sold a line of small buildings designed by architect Royal Barry Wills. “You can still see them around the area occasionally,” Andersen added.

In the early 2000s, Walpole was approached by Azek to produce and market their solid cellular vinyl products. The name change shortly followed.

What sets Walpole apart, Andersen said, is its fully-integrated business model and consistent attention to detail. In addition to producing standard outdoor living products, staff work with landscapers, builders and architects to bring their highly-customized projects to life.

“They know their vision and we have the knowledge of how to make that work,” Andersen said. “We pay attention to the design, the proportions and make sure everything fits well … (and) build them to a higher quality.”

Andersen, of Bethel, has been with the business since 1986. While he’s excited to see what the future of Walpole holds, he said Ridgefield has been a great place to work.

“We’ve done a lot of work in this town,” he added, “and we really do feel like we were a part of this community.”

Walpole Outdoors’ Ridgefield showroom is at 346 Ethan Allen Highway. For more information call 203-587-8584 or visit walpoleoutdoors.com.