The smell of fresh wood, the sight of your favorite team’s logo, and the satisfaction of an ice-cold drink. These are the sensations inspired by having your very own custom cooler. The Rustic Club furniture company specializes in making custom cedar coolers right here in metro Atlanta. The story of how this local business got started goes back to the early 90s, when Titus Allen was a student at Morehouse College looking for a part-time job. Fortunately, he instead decided to begin a lifelong fascination with woodworking.
“I had bought a waterbed for my first apartment; putting it together I had an awakening,” he remembers. “Until then I wasn’t a very creative person, but I instinctively knew how to build furniture. I started visiting stores, studying the designs of beds and futon frames. Soon after that, I was making furniture in my bathroom—sawdust was everywhere! Woodworking has been a passion of mine ever since.”
Fast forward 30 years… what began as an Instagram post showing off a new backyard project has turned into a calling. “The response from that post was amazing! People I had never met were contacting me asking for a cooler,” says Allen. TRC coolers are now being shipped nationwide, and some clients take them overseas. TRC recently finished a cooler for a West Point grad who will be taking it to NATO headquarters in Belgium.
Every TRC cooler starts out with the wood and most of the components are 100% cedar, but they also use weatherproof composite materials. The coolers can be used outdoors on the patio, at a tailgate party (it has wheels) and in the man cave. One of the more remarkable features of the cooler is its bottle opener. TRC uses an exclusive “magna-catch” magnetic bottle opener that doesn’t allow bottle caps to fall to the ground. “People say it looks like magic when their caps stick to the wooden surface,” says Allen.
TRC coolers can be made in any color, with an infinite variety of designs or school/team logos. “Once I started offering Morehouse and Spelman designs to former classmates, everyone wanted their school too,” he says. New and exciting opportunities have been presented to TRC, which plans to start offering fraternity and sorority designs, including the “Divine 9” Greek organizations. Also in the works is a plan to move into the commercial sector.