The piping industry is a market with a very particular niche, and Walt Cannoy continues to supply that demand from clients around the globe right from Lakeland. 

Cannoy doesn’t get many clients in Lakeland, and even from Florida; most of the pipes are purchased by international clients. 

“There’s not a ton of pipe collectors in Lakeland, not even a ton in Central Florida,” Cannoy said.  “So, to really be successful in this business, you have to have a global reach, which you build overtime through social media, networking, trade shows, and stuff like that.”

After Cannoy was featured in issue 22 of Lakelander MADE in 2016, generated some business for him locally but it didn’t change the status quo. The people who bought the pipes photographed at the time were given copies of The Lakelander by Cannoy personally.  

At the time of being featured, Cannoy was carving his pipes in a small shed in the backyard of an old house over on Cardinal Place off of Cleveland Heights Blvd. which inspired the namesake of his pipes, Cardinal House Pipes. 

Since then, he’s moved his workshop into a storage unit studio. It’s a cramped area surrounded by tools covered in sawdust with his pipes freshly carved or just polished with varnish.  

“I didn’t like that idea at all. But then I started looking around and found this place,” Cannot said. “They had these little workshop spaces and they showed me this one, which was more than enough space with water, electricity, and air conditioning. So now I’m here, still doing the thing out of the Cardinal House name for that line of pipes because establishing a line with that brand recognition isn’t easy.” 

Many of the subgroups of Cardinal House are named after Cannoy’s favorite locations in Lakeland like the Hollingsworth Series and the Morton Series which have become recognized in the piping industry. 

Despite no longer carving pipes at Cardinal House, he didn’t want to change the brand or how the pipes were made. The business is run by Cannoy and he produces every pipe though he has considered apprentices in the past.  

“As far as growth, I’m pretty much where I’m going to be,” he said. “Now that being said, I’m always looking for new ideas — new shapes, new inspirations, and new materials. Always trying to do something no one else has done before.” 

Cannoy was born and raised in Lakeland. He’s noticed the immense growth that his hometown has undergone, especially in Downtown Lakeland. 

“As big as the city is, the community is smaller than the city. It’s like seeing your friends, that connection, that socialization,” he said. “I have friends who own businesses locally that are thriving and striving. I support them. They support me, maybe not monetarily but by spreading the awareness of the pipe maker.

Check out Cannoy’s products here