Archive for Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Twins moves into Tonganoxie market

July 23, 2003

Owners of a new Tonganoxie cabinet shop, Twins Custom Wood, plan to triple their business within the next five years.

Current annual sales range from $300,000 to $350,000, said owners Bob Edwards and Ron Purinton, who are twins.

Their long-range plan means that eventually the business will employ 15 workers in their new location at 815 East Fourth St.

The brothers, who are 45, have been in the cabinet business in the Basehor, Leavenworth and Kansas City, Kan., area since they were teens. They learned the trade from their grandfather and uncles.

Jeff Theno, of Howard Theno and Son Builders Inc., Basehor, has used Twin Custom Wood for 20 years in the construction of more than 100 homes. Theno spoke highly of the brothers.

"I just like the quality of work that they do," Theno said. "They do excellent quality work."

Not only has Theno relied on Edwards and Purinton for cabinetry and recommended them for other new home construction, he also has sent customers to them for custom made china cabinets and entertainment centers. The company provides free estimates for contractors and individuals alike.

The move to Tonganoxie was serendipitous.

Until now, the twins' cabinet shop has been headquartered in the heart of Kansas City, Kan., at 600 Central Avenue.

When they decided last year that it was time to move out of the inner city, the brothers looked west.

They found another Wyandotte County site and, over a handshake, agreed to purchase a building in the spring when they had financing lined up. But when the time came, they learned the owner had sold the building to someone else.

They next considered a farm near Rantoul, southeast of Ottawa. On a Saturday morning in June, they drove to Rantoul to take a final look before purchasing the property. When they got there, they learned it, too, had been sold.

A day or two before that, a friend had told them about the availability of the downtown Tonganoxie property, which includes a warehouse, two smaller buildings and adjacent land. So from Rantoul, they called a Tonganoxie Realtor who said there would be time to meet them if they could drive straight to Tonganoxie.

"I pulled up here, the gas gauge went 'Ding' on my truck, we made an offer on it and we ended up buying it," Edwards said. "It's a blessing from God, it really is."

In total agreement with him was his grandmother, Virginia Duncan, who lives in Kansas City, Kan., next door to Edwards. Duncan smiled sweetly as she said, "I think so, too."

Since gaining possession of the buildings on June 27, the brothers, with help from family and friends, have Sheetrocked the warehouse area, which is now their cabinet shop.

"My mom came in with a carpet cleaner," Edwards said of his mother, Peggy Edwards, who lives in Austin. Peggy Edwards also gave the office area a fresh coat of paint.

And their grandmother helped in her own way -- by bringing home cooked meals, including blackberry cobblers baked with berries picked in her back yard.

Along with the warehouse, the brothers also purchased the building that houses the Tonganoxie Feed and Farm Supply and a small building closer to Fourth Street in which their mother eventually plans to open a craft shop.

They couldn't be happier with their move to Tonganoxie.

For one thing, there's so much housing construction in this area.

And, this gives them a break from the bleak inner city neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan.

"We came to work every day and had to clean up broken beer bottles and syringes," Ron said.

In Tonganoxie, the men have been impressed with the residents, as well as with the city itself.

"It's such a nice town," Ron said. "Everybody is so friendly out here, it's like a dream come true. I wish we had done it years ago."

Bob agreed, noting the city's new streets, street lamps and sidewalks.

"It's like going to work in a park," he said.

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