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Traynor builds college job into growing area business

As a student, Patrick Traynor needed a job to pay his way through college.

Traynor was studying biochemistry at UW-River Falls when he started taking on woodworking projects, mainly fireplace surrounds and entertainment cabinets, he said Wednesday. The Ellsworth native taught himself the necessary skills, he added.

"Family and friends wanted things built," he said, indicating he was soon being asked to do kitchen cabinetry in new and remodeled homes. He recruited a couple of people to help.

By the time his college studies neared an end, he was doing more cabinetry work than school work, he said. So the craftsman decided to go into business for himself, beginning Traynor Woodworking in 2004. A family operation, the business now employs nine other people, including his father, Pete. His mother, Karen, assists with the bookwork on a part-time basis.

"The bigger the challenge, the better," he said.

Last year, the 2000 Ellsworth High School graduate moved his enterprise from an approximately 1,000 square foot shop at home to a nearly 11,000 square foot facility northwest of Ellsworth that once housed the former Greeley Ornamental Concrete and, more recently, Nelson Plumbing.

Read more in the print version of the Herald Oct. 31.