HUDDLE TODAY: Fiddlehead Casket Company Reaches New Customers With ‘Casket Kit’

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s Fiddlehead Casket Company, a business specializing in hand-crafted pine caskets are planning to reach markets outside the province with its new “casket kits.”

building a casket

The kits will allow customers to assemble their own natural-pine casket on their own. Fiddlehead Casket owner Jeremy Burrill says the idea for the kits came from inquiries he was receiving from people in other provinces.

“The big idea came from people that had seen the first caskets that I made, the original Fiddlehead Casket, and had contacted me about whether I’d be able to ship one to them,” says Burrill. “But these are people in Ontario, British Columbia, just too far away to ship something that size and of that kind of weight. It would be way too expensive.”

Burrill says there were also inquires from people simply looking to plan ahead.

“The other reason was the inquiries I was getting from people that liked the idea of the simple pine box casket, but they weren’t terminally ill, they weren’t needing it for hopefully another 20-30 years. So they were asking me if I could store it for them,” he says

“This is a way for those people to act on that decision and store it on their end more easily than the full-size casket.”

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The casket kit comes with 10 natural-pine panels, 38 cherry pins for joinery, a rubber mallet for construction and step-by-step instructions. All kits are hand-crafted by Burrill and cost $699 plus taxes with free shipping. It takes about a half an hour to assemble.

Burrill says the casket kits provide people with a more affordable option than those offered at funeral homes, where you’re looking at over a $1,200 price tag. He says its also an option for those who are looking to be environmentally friendly or minimalist.

“Some of these caskets are full of finishing chemicals and metal components, polyester fabrics, that kind of thing. Why is that going into the ground? It doesn’t make sense to be using that,” says Burrill.

“Another customer is people that just want the simple option. They see any value the show of some of those extravagant caskets for a couple of days of use at the funeral home and them to bury it in the ground.”

The “casket kits” are the newest offering from Fiddlehead Casket Company, with the original Fiddlehead Casket continuing to be available locally. Berrill says he is also been diversifying the company’s offerings to the local market, such as furniture under the name Fiddlehead Custom Woodworking.

“It all boils down to I have a bit of a natural bent to all the work that I do,” he says. “There may be some new products coming out on that side of things.”

- Cherise Letson