Bob & Terri Anderson: In Business With God and the Amish 

Bob & Terri Anderson Photo

Bob and Terri Anderson stand in their store surrounded by furniture made by their Amish craftsmen. The couple felt led by God to move to Idaho; but in the beginning, it was a slow and difficult process for them to figure out why. The answer turned out to be a well-known business in Meridian. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson) 

By Gaye Bunderson 


Heritage: noun – something that is handed down from the past, as a tradition 


Bob and Terri Anderson never doubted God was looking out for them. The Andersons own Heritage Reflections, a handcrafted legacy furniture store at 3175 E. Copper Point Dr. in Meridian. They are more than entrepreneurs. They are also profound believers; and, in fact, they don’t doubt for a minute that God led them to Boise and the business. 

“The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” — Joshua 1:9 

Their story starts way back east in New England, where they were born and raised and where they met one another at Gordon College, a Christian college in Wenham, Mass. Marriage came first and then careers. They eventually moved to Arizona, where Bob ran an L.L Bean store for 10 years. The hot Arizona sun led the couple to consider a move to the Pacific Northwest, and they narrowed it down to three locations, including Boise. 

“I talked to 30 people and told them the three choices we’d narrowed it down to, and 27 people out of 30 had a connection to Boise and told me how much they loved it,” Bob said. 

So the Andersons took that as a nudge from God that their next move, literally, was to the so-called City of Trees. But their first experiences here were a tad rocky. 

“We bought a home,” Bob said, “but we had no jobs and no friends. It was 2011, and we couldn’t get a job – they wouldn’t hire us.” 

Both Terri and Bob earned teaching degrees in college; after the move to Boise, Bob eventually got a modest-paying substitute teaching position at Lake Hazel Elementary, while Terri found work at Heritage Reflections. While Bob’s work was inadequate at best, Terri fell in love with her job at the furniture store, to the point she even lost interest in returning to academia. 

But one day, Terri came home in tears. The owner had decided to close the store. At first, he had also told her he was not interested in selling the store to anybody. It looked like the end of a very brief era for Terri’s foray into the furniture trade. 

Bob admits that his faith, while still strong, was a little bruised at that point. He assured his wife that God was in control, but he later prayed, “I trust You, but can You give me a clue?” A clue as to their next move, a hint as to why He had brought them to the Treasure Valley. 

A phone call changed everything. 

“The phone rings on my lunch break and I see Terri’s photo,” Bob said. “I answer the phone and say, ‘Hey, honey, how’s it going?’” 

Bob’s acute sense of humor leads him to explain the rest of the conversation this way: 

“She answers, ‘Great’ and then says four words that put fear in men’s hearts: ‘I have an idea’. … She then said, ‘We should buy Heritage Reflections.’ After I got up off the ground, I remembered when I had said I would never own another business in my life. And when you say ‘I will never’ to God, He has a good laugh. My first thought [to Terri’s suggestion] was ‘No way,’ but I replied, ‘We’ll pray about that, honey’.” 

Pray they did, and Bob explains that he started praying in a sort of Gideon fashion, as in Judges 36-38. “Gideon said to God, ‘If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised – look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.’ And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew – a bowlful of water.” 

No fleece or dew were involved, but Bob nonetheless knew that purchasing Heritage Reflections was in the couple’s future. The original owner had even come around and told Terri he would sell the store after all – but only to her. 

The Andersons contacted Bob’s dad, an experienced entrepreneur himself, and sought his advice. He agreed to come to Boise and, together, the three of them would visit a law firm and draw up a deal. The biggest catch was that the paperwork had to be completed in a week for the deal to go through. 

Bob explained: “We’re sitting in a giant room and Frederick, the head and founder of the law firm, walks in. Dad tells him, ‘We need the paperwork drawn up by Friday’ and Frederick tells him, ‘No way – this will take 2 to 3 weeks; it can’t be done’.” 

Bob’s father decides to hang around for a week, thinking he may need to return to Boise at a later date. But by Friday afternoon, the lawyers call and say, “We’re actually ready.” 

Ownership of Heritage Reflections was only a few signatures away. When everyone was gathered at the law firm, Frederick tells Bob, “I’ve been in law for 50 years and I have never seen paperwork go through that fast, and I never expect to see it again.” 

Bob looked at the ceiling and said to God with a smile, “’Okay, now You’re just showing off’ – He can get paperwork done in one week!” 

On February 23, 2013, the Andersons walked into their newly acquired store, kneeled, and Bob prayed, “’If this succeeds, praise God; and if it fails, praise God’. I gave the Holy Spirit any credit for the success of the store, and we considered it God’s business.” 

The original owner had held a 50% off sale, and inventory flew out the door. For a while after the Andersons became its proprietors, people would walk into the near empty store and ask if it was still open for business. 

“For the first few months,” Bob stated, “we just didn’t have much inventory, and we had about 300 to 400 dollars in the bank, and we would come up short on a bill.” 

Terri said she would tell her husband that a bill was coming due, and they needed to pray over it. 

The Andersons’ faith was rewarded. Money came in through a few sales, and piece by piece, Bob and Terri began to fill the store with new inventory. The uniqueness of Heritage Reflections is in where its furniture comes from. It is painstakingly handmade in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio by more than 100 families that belong to and adhere to the Amish sect and its way of life. 

“What’s neat with the Amish, what separates them, is their motivation,” Bob said. “Most businesses just want to have their profits high and their costs low. But the Amish are motivated by their beliefs: do all as unto God. There’s no cutting corners. They use the best wood, the best stain, the finest lacquer.” 

In fact, according to Bob, they don’t scrimp on anything. He tells the story of a skilled local furniture repairman named Paul, an employee of McDowells Furniture Repair in Boise, who came to the store to fix a minor scuff on a piece of furniture. Paul rubbed the surface of the furniture with his hands and studied its foundation. Then he got on his back and looked at the bottom of the piece. He gave it a thorough examination, even opening up drawers, and he turned to Bob and said, “These are the best gears you can buy, the best screws – this is REAL furniture.” 

Bob and Terri are undeniably proud of what they sell. It could all just be considered bragging for the sake of sales if not for the fact that both the Amish and the Andersons are in business to glorify and please God, and Bob doesn’t hesitate to give credit to his Lord and his craftsmen. He stated that if anyone were to ask the Amish why they go to so much trouble to make the inside of drawers or the bottom of a table – things a customer wouldn’t see without a thorough inspection like Paul’s – with the same care they give to what a customer CAN see, they’d answer, “Because God sees it.” 

“They use gorgeous wood,” he said. “A person could buy a piece of furniture today and 200 years from now, future family members could own it and say, ‘That belonged to our great-great-grandfather’ – the quality is that good.” 

The Amish, he said, must make a profit like everyone else, but not at the expense of quality. 

Bob and Terri travel to trade shows put on by the Amish and, true to tradition, the Amish craftsmen dress in ancestral attire and arrive by horse and buggy. They’re the real thing, not Amish knockoffs, and their furniture is as genuine as they are. The Andersons attended a trade show in January and will attend another this March. They’ve built friendships with the families they work with to stock their store. “We visit the families; we know their kids. We have dinner with them, and we have developed personal relationships with them,” said Bob. 

The Andersons have known hardship and heartbreak in life. But their faith will withstand the test of time, for their belief is that God did not fail them in the move to Boise and the purchase of Heritage Reflections, and that He has never failed them. The Andersons and the Amish are in sync with doing everything to His glory.

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