Steve Joseph Bonora is a woodworker living in Nampa, Idaho. What would become SJWoodWorks began during the off-season before his 5th and final year as a wildland firefighter with the Carson Hotshots in Taos, New Mexico. While living in a house with very little kitchen counter space, he built himself a large chopping block using basic tools and a variety of scrap woods. He appreciated the process and the result so much that he decided to make smaller chopping blocks as gifts for family and friends. He really enjoyed those months working for himself to create something of lasting value for people who enjoy quality, handmade products.
Steve decided to stop fighting fires after his marriage in 2012 in order to see his wife more than 6 months a year. Making the decision of what to do next was difficult. Steve thought about returning to school to pursue a career in the health field, but he couldn't quite shake the idea of working for himself. He knew that starting his own business would be risky and time-consuming, but his career in fire certainly made him no stranger to hard work.
During the last two years, Steve has made a career out of his woodworking talents, and has enjoyed success at various markets in the Sun Valley and Boise, Idaho area, as well as at shows across the western U.S. Steve is also currently working on getting his products into local stores and businesses. His products include various sizes of decorative, long-lasting chopping blocks, spatulas, bottle openers and magnetic knife holders. These items are made from sustainably harvested domestic and exotic hardwoods such as rustic maple, black walnut, Brazilian purple heart and African sapele. Steve also enjoys doing custom work, and has made a serving countertop for a Sicilian food truck, chopping block countertops for kitchen islands, and more.