May 30, 2010 10:37 PM by Jeannette Hynes
LeeAnn Trynoski won her first live buffalo in a raffle 15 years ago. Instead of taking the cash, she took the buffalo.
"Before we owned buffalo, we never even owned a dog," says Trynoski, owner of Colorado Buffalo Grill and RL Bison Ranch.
Trynoski and her husband, Rob, now own about 100 buffalo (bison) and raise them on a ranch in Elbert County, south of Elizabeth.
"All grass-fed, all natural," says Trynoski. "It's hard. It's really hard."
They sell a lot of their meat frozen, and run their mobile restaurant for breakfast and lunch in Parker. For seven months out of the year, she and her family live at festivals like Territory Days, sometimes working 20-hour days providing customers with their locally-grown buffalo burgers, buffalo steak, and buffalo brats. They employ their four children and their friends to run the counter and the grill.
In spite of the long hours (and sometimes windy and rainy weather), they say they can't imagine doing anything else.
"I love being out with the people," says Trynoski. "It's their day off, so you're making their day off better."
Territory Days hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.