Mez Men: Father & Son Create One-of-a-Kind Cutting Boards
When Sean Gomez started Mez Woodworks in 2016, he was playing the long game. There was no guarantee his stepson, Caleb Calloway, would one day take ownership. He couldn’t ensure Caleb would have the time or interest to do so. But he saw enough promise to take the risk. It paid off in dividends. Today, Caleb is the proud owner and operator of Mez Woodworks and calls the business the greatest thing anyone has ever done for him.
“As I watch Caleb grow and learn and then come up with his own spin on the designs, I often keep a close eye and give my input,” Sean said. “Sometimes I believe he thinks I do that because I would do something different, but that’s not it at all. I’m just proud of the work he does and I’m thrilled that I could pass something life-changing on to him.”
The idea sprouted on a family trip to Colorado. “We went to an art show and saw someone making end-grain cutting boards,” Caleb said. “We found them to be absolutely beautiful. We’d never seen anything like them. Sean asked me if I had any idea how to accomplish that kind of work, and at that point, it seemed kind of overwhelming to me. I couldn’t wrap my head around the designs or process.”
But when they returned home, Sean didn’t hesitate. He invested in equipment and began putting their artistic abilities and light woodworking experience to the test. “We watched thousands of hours of YouTube videos to see how people did these designs. But we really just wanted to understand the process. When it came to design, we wanted to create something no one had ever seen before.”
For the first two years, Sean took the lead while Caleb attended college. “I realized I wanted to work with my hands,” Caleb said. “So I dropped out of school and told Sean I was in. He was excited and probably not surprised.”
Since then, Caleb has continued building on Mez Woodworks’ momentum with designs so innovative and details so intricate, it can only be called art. “Some pieces of art are meant to be hung up and admired. Others are meant to be used. My work, when cared for properly, can be used for life. It is functional art.”
In addition to the beauty of his boards, Caleb says customers appreciate the durability and antibacterial properties of his cutting boards. Caleb’s dream is for everyone to have a piece of Mez Woodworks. “If you love to cook, the quality will really pay off. You’ll have it for the rest of your life, and it may just outlive you.”
Caleb says he’s honored to be making a living doing what he loves, giving credit to Sean for that rare gift. “I have always admired Sean. He is smart, a workhorse, and he teaches me something new every single day,” Caleb said. “Sean knew the entire time that Mez was going to be for me. He sacrificed his time, money, and energy for it. I’m extremely grateful for that. I will never be able to repay him, but I will keep trying.”
View Mez Woodworks one-of-a-kind creations at their website mezwoodworks.com or on Instagram at @mezwoodworks. His work is also available in person at DNA Galleries in The Plaza and Culinary Kitchen in Nichols Hills.