About Puzzle People of California

the Puzzle People owners, Michael and Pat SmithPuzzlePeopleofCalifornia
The Puzzle People was started in 1972 by Michael Smith, who was at the time a probation officer, working at a teen detention center. One Christmas Michael made a wooden USA map puzzle for a young nephew, and came to realize there was real satisfaction in making wooden puzzles as well as the potential for earning a living. Within a year he had shifted over to full-time puzzle manufacturing and sales.

Two major events occurred in 1978: Michael and Pat met, and Michael opened his first store on newly constructed Pier 39 in San Francisco. Through the doors came not only tourist customers, but buyers for mail order catalogs as well. Over the next decade the little business grew, adding major catalog clients, wholesale accounts, employees, and several puzzle stores. In 1983 Pat accepted Michael's proposal and an early retirement offer from her high-tech job so she could join Michael in a log cabin near the beautiful North Fork of the American River. In 1994 the first grandchild was born, and suddenly traveling to trade shows became less appealing. We've enjoyed the pace and travel involved in being larger, but once we found out how much fun grandkids are, we decided to slow down a bit. After so many years of meeting the public in our retail store, Michael and Pat are starting a new adventure. We have moved our workshop and home to a beautiful redwood grove near Philo , California . The Grove has been in the family almost 50 years – our children and grandchildren have been coming here since they were tots. We will continue to make puzzles for our web store (we really enjoy making them!), but expect there will be plenty of time for Scrabble, reading, traveling and fishing!

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Puzzle People of California
PO Box 536
Philo, CA 95466
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