Forbes names Cohen Architectural Woodworking a top small business
May 19, 2020 | 2:57 pm CDT
Cohen Architectural Woodworking is a family owned $12.5 million business. From left, Ben Cohen, COO; Naomi Cohen, Director of Design; Gina Cohen, Co-Founder; Phillip Cohen, Founder and CEO; Nate Cohen, CFO; and Noah Cohen, VP of Sales.

Saint James, MO – Forbes has named Cohen Architectural Woodworking one of its 25 ‘Small Giants’ for 2020, recognizing America’s top small businesses. The exclusive list represents a select group of companies committed to greatness over fast growth, enabling them to best serve their customers, employees and communities, while maintaining profitability.

Each year, Forbes teams up with the Small Giants Community to identify the top 25 best small companies in America (a.k.a. Small Giants). These companies are honored at a celebration during the Small Giants Community Summit and in Forbes magazine. The winning companies share six common qualities: purpose, leadership, culture, finance, relationships, and community.

The magazine highlighted Cohen’s humble beginnings, started by Phillip Cohen, Founder and CEO, making wooden porch swings in a neighbor’s barn as a way to recover from a life of violence and drug abuse. It discusses the formation of the company in 1982, multiple woodworking awards for architectural design and the company’s mission of helping those seeking a second chance at life.

“Forbes is one of the leading media companies in the world. To be named on their list of Small Giants is humbling.  I credit our entire team for this, for believing in our vision and working together. Our people are our strength. We are like a little village all pulling together to serve our clients and our community,” Cohen said.

Cohen Architectural Woodworking was recently featured in an article and podcast on Woodworking Network.

The Small Giants Community was started with the best-selling book, Small Giants by Bo Burlingham. Small Giants digs deep into the stories of fourteen remarkable companies that have chosen to prioritize purpose and people over profit. In his book, Burlingham explores these Small Giants and shares what gives these special companies their unique “mojo.” The Small Giants Community is a business community for purpose-driven leaders who want to share stories of incredible businesses and learn new practices and systems to implement in their own organizations. For more visit

Founded in 1982, Cohen Architectural Woodworking is a family-owned architectural design/build woodworking firm headquartered in St. James, Missouri.

"Two things are obvious to anyone walking through our doors–we care about relationships and we care about excellence," said founder and SEO Phil Cohen.

Cohen standardizes and builds high-quality custom millwork components and casework for healthcare, airports, education, retail, transportation, hotels, and more, for new construction, renovation, and disaster reconstruction. The firm has won multiple awards including the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Award of Excellence for six separate projects, and the 2016 Small Business of the Year award from the Rolla Chamber of Commerce.

Recently, Phillip Cohen, President and Founder, was presented with the 2017 SBA Small Business Person of the Year award for the State of Missouri and was given a Lifetime Achievement Award while being named to the St. Louis Small Business Hall of Fame. Additional accolades include qualifying for the Inc. 5000, named to the list of Best Places to Work by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and named a Top Family Owned Business by St. Louis Small Business Monthly. For more information visit



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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editor of FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.