125 Years of Perfecting the Art of Custom Cabinetry
Since 1893, Plato Woodwork has earned its reputation as one of America’s finest custom cabinetry manufacturers and fashion leaders. The master craftsmen of the Pinske family have owned and actively managed their thriving company in the small Midwestern community of Plato, Minnesota for five generations.
Over a century later, Plato still builds every cabinet as a true original. Designed, built and finished to your specifications and our exacting standards, we use a deft blend of state-of-the art technology and old-fashioned hands on craftsmanship to produce American made heirloom quality cabinetry for your home.
Just as importantly, we are committed to using domestic sources for our materials whenever possible. Though cheaper materials may be available, we feel that if you really want to say your product is “Made in the USA” there should be more to it than just assembling the product in America. And, since most of us grew up together here in rural Minnesota, you can imagine we are pretty dedicated to our local workforce and environment, too. You see, we are just as committed to the future generations who will one day be part of this company and community as we are respectful of our heritage.
We appreciate your interest and hope you will consider Plato Woodwork for your cabinetry needs.
The Pinske Family
Plato Woodwork Founded
In 1893, Theodore Pinske, a hard-working son of German immigrants, began his construction business in Plato, Minnesota. Over the years he established a reputation for fine craftsmanship and added a lumberyard and millwork shop. He and his skilled workmen built many of the churches, schools, homes, and barns in the area.
Barn Roof Innovation
In 1918, Theodore took a train to Montevideo, Minnesota after hearing about a barn that was constructed in the gothic-style using no crossbeams or posts. Instead, the roof was crafted using a series of built-up rafters cut to precise curves which created a smooth continuous arch. This inspired Theodore to revolutionize his building method.
In those pre-electric days, the curved gothic rafters had to be drawn out on timbers and sawn freehand, which was time-consuming and imprecise. Harnessing the Pinske creativity, Theodore and his son Edward took a Model T engine and chassis and built a portable combination ripsaw and cutoff saw that eliminated the power and time problems. Then they did what the experts told them couldn’t be done, building a jig that allowed them to rip precisely curved rafters with a minimum of waste. Innovation at every level paved the way to expansive success.
In the early 1960’s, Edward’s three sons divided the family businesses amongst themselves. Edward Jr. (“Pete”) focused on the construction business, Bob took over the millwork and cabinet shop, and youngest son Tom had the lumberyard.
Plato Woodwork, Inc.
Bob’s son Tim and Tim’s wife Marlys, joined the family business and shifted the focus to kitchen and bath cabinetry exclusively as Plato Woodwork, Inc. They marketed their cabinetry through a network of dealers and this is how the Plato Woodwork of today still operates.
Plato Woodwork’s first cabinets were modular and included a limited list of accessories. Over time, the number of available cabinets and configurations grew and in 1971 the first formal catalog was offered dealers.
Home on Third Street
Plato Woodwork found its home at 200 Third Street in Plato, Minnesota where 100% of the manufacturing still happens today.
Plato Woodwork’s Lifetime Limited Warranty was applied to every order that left the shop and continues to be part of the Plato package today.
5th Generation Owned
Karl Pinske grew up watching his parents, Tim and Marlys, run Plato Woodwork and learned the ins and outs of the business. He spent years working in the shop before moving into the office where he worked on the Sales and Marketing team. In 2003 Karl took over the position as President becoming the 5th generation to own the company.
As the popularity of European style cabinets grew in the U.S., Plato got to work creating their own frameless cabinet line. Inovae brought to the table the tools to create kitchens from the typical, modern European style to the very traditional. Plato designers could now offer their clients a competitive frameless product with the same finishes and door styles available in Plato Custom. Inovae cabinets with their 3/4″ box construction would eventually lead to the development of ICS.
Icon Collection Debuts
In 2010 Plato debuted the Icon Collection which was unique in that it paired a 1″ faceframe with a 3/4″ door. Initially the collection was limited to a beveled faceframe, Artisan doorstyle, with interior features including walnut trimmed drawers and scooped ASTs. Today you’ll find the Icon configuration, which includes no mid-rail, within the Custom catalog and it remains a top selection for transitional designs.
The market’s demand for a semi-custom option led to the creation of Plato’s Prelude line. The semi-custom construction allows for Prelude cabinets to move quickly through the shop, resulting in faster lead times for delivery. The cabinets are constructed with the same attention to detail and care as the custom line, but with less available options for finishes and customization.
Plato Woodwork expanded once again in 2011 with the addition of an on-site showroom. This space serves as the location for dealer trainings and features a range of displays and vignettes to showcase the capabilities and customization of the multiple cabinet lines.
Clients looking to add cabinetry to their closets, mudrooms, or garages could now use the Inovae Closet System to add “ready to assemble” hanging or drawer storage.
Plato Woodwork entered 2018 with a fresh, modern look with the debut of a new logo just in time for the 125th Anniversary. Commemorative cardboard was used for the year to mark the anniversary and an updated merchandise offering became available to Plato dealers. The marketing team developed brand guidelines to fit the vision for Plato’s future. New taglines, cleaner fonts and a sophisticated color palette were some of the key changes to fit the new image.
There was much to celebrate in Las Vegas at KBIS where Plato revealed a new booth and a new cabinet line in celebration of their 125th Anniversary. A party was held for employees, representatives, and dealers in attendance of the show.
The Collection Debuts
After more than 125 years of experience, Plato pushed the envelope in 2019 with the KBIS debut of The Collection. This new, truly European line, showcases textures in simple geometry with concealed hardware and innovative functions.