Fresh off a trip to the White House where President Donald Trump highlighted American-made products from all 50 states in the first Made in America Product Showcase, a Massachusetts-based company is highlighting what makes their business a real "ringer" in the manufacturing world.
Forging steel is a fine art at St. Pierre Manufacturing Corp. in Worcester.
"The company started as a tire chain business, my grandfather was an inventor," said Peter St. Pierre, vice president of the company.
From tire chains in the 1920’s, Henry St. Pierre turned his favorite pastime into a productive business venture.
"He had excess capacity, the tire chain business was a fall and winter thing, the horseshoes was a spring and summer thing, so it kind of just back-filled perfectly," St. Pierre said.
Now, this third generation family-run plant with less than 40 employees is getting national recognition — starting with a call from the White House last Thursday.
"The girl who answers our phones was like, 'I think this could be a prank,'" said St. Pierre, laughing.
It was actually a very real invitation to go to Washington, D.C., and pitch their horseshoes to President Trump himself as part of the first Made In America Product Showcase on Monday.
"He said, 'I’d be glad to accept that and I want to put it in our library' and he went over to pick up the set and he said, 'Ooh these are heavy,'" St. Pierre said of President Trump.
"I was nervous and I was like speechless," said 30-year employee Jose Mirabal, who joined Peter St. Pierre and his father Edward for the trip.
Mirabal, who works at the company alongside his wife, said what makes St. Pierre’s Manufacturing special is more than the horseshoes it produces.
"I know it’s a small company, but it has a big heart, you know, that’s the key," Mirabal said.
Not only is St. Pierre Manufacturing made in America, but they are the only large manufacturer of pitching horseshoes left in the United States.
"We’ve been around a long time and we realize we rely heavily on our employees - without our employees we’re not going to be in business," St. Pierre said.
And perhaps that's the secret to winning at this game of horseshoes.