Bally Block

Celebrating its 80th year in business, Bally Block is a long-surviving manufacturer of wood products, including butcher blocks, kitchen countertops, and gaming table and furniture tops.

What makes the Berks County firm unique is its ability to manufacture a variety of products from the same core framework, says President Jim Reichart.  Although the company chiefly produces high-quality workbenches for customers in industry, education, and the government, the firm’s 75 employees work with seven varieties of wood—maple, oak, ash, walnut, cherry, teak, and lyptus—to also create island- and countertops for home use, as well as butcher blocks for food service use.

“We’re a niche supplier,” Reichart says.“I honestly believe that if you do a value-added, quality examination, you can’t beat us.”

Recently Bally Block extended its production to recreational items such as shuffleboards and high-quality end grain basswood dart boards. And, with the addition of new CNC equipment—the training for which was partially funded through a WEDnet grant administered by MRC—Bally Block proves that flexibility and creativity can lead to successful, and profitable, results.

“If you’d told us five years ago that we would be making shuffleboards, we would have said you’re out of your mind,” Reichart says. “They’re beautiful. Shuffleboards are a small niche, but we like it.”


After enjoying seemingly endless work in 2000, Bally Block struggled with a marketplace that changed radically after 9/11 as manufacturers sent work offshore, thus driving down demand for the company’s premium workbench products.  With the one-two punch of rising healthcare costs and the weakening market, Reichart explains the company simply could not keep up.  Bally Block sought guidance from MRC.


“They [MRC] held out an olive branch and said ‘we can help you,’ and when someone says that, we listen,” Reichart says.  Heeding MRC’s advice, the firm adopted a fresh outlook, resolving not to limit product possibilities. MRC suggested offering more varieties of wood and encouraged Bally Block to work with the Lehigh University Integrated Product Development (IPD) team in an effort to expand the company’s products.  The result, Emmet’s Elixir, is the only cutting board dressing on the market that is both antimicrobial and National Sanitation Foundation-approved, thanks in part to an MRC-aided NSF-approved project.

In addition to increasing product variety, Bally Block focused attention on the group that makes or breaks any business—the consumer.  “It comes down to listening to the customer,” says Dave Ritter, Bally Block plant manager. “That’s how we build a lot of business—listening to what the market wants.”


Grateful for MRC’s guidance, Reichart says the most beneficial service provided from MRC is “the fact that whenever we have a real question on something, we feel we have a source to go to for answers.”  Whether it’s time to tackle a thorny marketing issue or seek ISO implementation to fulfill a client requirement, “the first call,” Ritter says, “will be to MRC.”


Contact Us

Contact Us

Don’t see what you are looking for or have a question? MRC can help. Contact us today!

Training and Certifications

MRC provides far more than certifications and funding assistance. We offer job creators access to specialized coaching, mentorship and a variety of business and marketing assistance normally outside the reach of most manufacturers.


No matter what’s happening with your business, MRC has probably seen it. We know the problems that keep CEOs up at night, and we know how to help solve them. Our staff has more than 100 years of combined experience working side-by-side with business owners to evaluate, strategize, discover and implement solutions that address both strategic growth needs and organizational transformation.

Training & Events Calendar

MRC breaks down the barriers that prohibit manufacturers from realizing their full potential. Our proven tactics and methods can help nearly any company at nearly any stage of its evolution. Whatever the hurdle – going green, becoming lean, entering new markets, rebranding the company – MRC can help you clear it.

Workforce Initiatives

Developing Future Workforce with programs like: What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®, PA Dream Team, the Inside Manufacturing Series, and Manufacturing Day.


Through our partnerships, we are able to bring the horsepower of the best-in-breed experts to you. Imagine having access to the second-largest technology institute in the world, a corps of ex-Toyota executives trained under the best Lean practitioners in the world or world-renowned business strategy groups. MRC makes it possible.

About Us

For over 30 years, Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) has helped small and mid-sized manufacturers become more competitive, adopt lean and agile processes, strategically grow their companies and invest more effectively in their existing human capital.

My Account

Ready to complete your event registration? Need to confirm the date of a previous registration? Find all these details here or call us at (610) 628-4640 for additional assistance.