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“If you want to be remarked about, be remarkable.”

Because our company brand is our family name, and we value our place in the community, we go to great lengths to be upstanding business owners and engaged citizens. Even more important to us than the homes we build are the people we build them for. We promise to make your home building experience gracious, professional, and an exceptional value.

Jay Cates

Clients typically meet with Jay first. He’s in charge of pricing and bidding. Once the foundation has been laid to his exacting standards, he moves on to start the next project.

Jay’s on-the-job training began at age 15 under the watchful eye of his dad, Judd. He started at the bottom: cleaning up job sites, picking up lumber and sweeping. (Lots of sweeping.) He progressed into carpentry and reviewing architectural plans. Jay received his formal education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he captained the Gopher hockey team.

Off the job, Jay enjoyed teaching his two boys to hunt and fish and coaching their hockey teams.

Jennifer Cates Peterson

An expert multi-tasker, Jennifer Cates Peterson manages our business operations and communications. “We strive to make the building process easy, comfortable and fun for our clients. Clear communication is absolutely key to a high-functioning project.”

Jennifer entered the family business equipped with her CPA and a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Minnesota. Her boundless energy and finance skills keep the Cates family business running smoothly.

Jennifer is active in the community and with local non-profits. She and her family, including twin college-age sons, live on a hobby farm near Osceola, Wisconsin.

Jeff Cates

As our project manager, Jeff skillfully manages all the details and complexities with enormous courtesy and resourcefulness. “My father taught me craftsmanship and creative problem solving, and my mother taught me to be respectful and gracious to others.”

Jeff entered the family business at a young age, starting with the humble basics, and before long donning a carpenter’s belt and joining his dad back at the office for client meetings. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, where he captained the collegiate team that claimed the Division 3 National Hockey Championship.

Jeff has two sons who play hockey at the collegiate level.


Cates Fine Homes proudly employs some of the St. Croix Valley’s top carpenter craftsmen.
Their experience, and unrelenting attention to quality and detail, defines the Cates difference.