Main Street Business

Mystery Business – Dutchess Millwork

By Published On: May 1st, 2024

Inspired by the popularity of our series on “mystery houses,” Main Street decided to extend the category to mystery businesses whose products, customers, and purposes elude our attention. Dutchess Millwork, in existence for almost 50 years, is our first mystery business and, as with so many mystery houses, change is coming. 

What’s in that building on Route 44 by Troop K?

For 47 years thousands of cars have driven by a nondescript 9,000 square-foot building on their way to the Taconic Parkway. Located at 2599 Route 44 between the former Copperfield’s Restaurant and a gas station, the plain brown building disappears on the commercial strip. Almost no one knows what’s behind its modest façade, and for the past few decades that’s been by design. But that anonymity is about to change. 

Repainting, redesigning, new management – including a president – and a refreshed digital media presence will introduce the company’s capabilities to a broader audience. Cars passing by and searchers on the Internet will notice it’s there.

The Woodworks Company becomes Dutchess Millwork

Dutchess Millwork is the new name of a company that’s completed more than 10,000 jobs over its history, including contributing towards many high-profile restoration projects like FDR’s home and Migdale Castle in Dutchess County, the Library of Congress, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Its former name was The Woodworks Company, and just by looking at the two websites side by side you can see the evolution of the brand. What hasn’t changed is the business model: making high-end residential and historical millwork.

“We do the hard stuff!”

Dutchess Millwork has two main business lines. First, it is a highly specialized replicator of high-end custom millwork such as moldings, doors, and windows that are used in renovation projects. They have many customers that want to exactly match a historical element in an old home or building and many others who send an Instagram inspiration picture they want to duplicate.  

Their second business line is custom wood turnings, an art that goes back thousands of years. Dutchess Millwork has large CNC lathes, which means they can duplicate newels, spindles, columns, and table legs directly from a computer drawing. Most millworking shops build case work, cabinets, and book shelves and produce standardized moldings usually in pine and soft wood, but Dutchess Millwork doesn’t do any cabinetry work. Instead, it “focuses on the hard things” having the space, expertise, skilled craftsmen, and industrial equipment to custom work with any wood species of customers liking, including white oak or African mahogany. 

The folks at Dutchess Millwork complete difficult projects, and their capabilities are in demand from the “trade.” Contractors, stair builders, interior designers and architects rely on them to custom produce exact, quality details that few other companies can provide. Nothing in this shop is a “stock” item with an SKU.  

Increasingly home owners are contacting them directly as they invest in and renovate older homes or add their own personal style to new construction.

What’s new

Dutchess Millwork not only wants people to know it exists but wants to give back to the community that’s supported it for almost five decades. It plans to collaborate with local groups and schools to host educational workshops and even start a free sustainability program to give local farmers the wood chips and dust to use on farms. It is also planning to put up a sign and paint that brown building.

The name Dutchess Millwork not only represents its home in Dutchess County but also nods to the fine woodworking that makes Dutchess County architecture and interiors so beautiful and classic. “Millwork is the ultimate quiet luxury. And it’s getting harder and harder to find spaces and people who can make it well. That’s what we want to be known for,” said Francesco Paoselli, Dutchess Millwork’s president, one of three new hires. “We are believers in the value that millwork adds to any project. It’s not just about the aesthetic appeal; it’s about creating a lasting impression that combines beauty with functionality. Millwork offers a unique blend of quiet beauty with practical benefits – it’s cost-effective, requires minimal maintenance, and adds unmatched character to any setting.” Accustomed to working with employees who constantly respond to change, the biggest challenge for Paoselli is shifting the inertia of traditional established manufacturing business to the digital age. •

Dutchess Millwork is located at 2559 US-44, Salt Point, NY 12578. You can call them at (845) 677-3960 or visit them online at