Taking production by the hand
When a group of four entrepreneurs got together to form Artisan Stone Co. in Denver, CO, they decided that their initial investments would place an emphasis on people rather than machinery. Now in its second year of operation, a solid business plan and a team of skilled stoneworking professionals has afforded the company steady growth in the marketplace.
Equipment in the shop includes a Cougar bridge saw from Park Industries as well as a Sector portable router from Ghines of Italy. Polishing pads and tooling come from Hard Rock Tool's Denver, CO, branch. â€œWe have a great relationship with Hard Rock Tool,â€ Andrew Lunsford said. Stone is finished dry as well as wet, and a Donaldson Torit dust collection unit is used when dry processing.
Artisan Stone Co. has 30 employees in all, including installation teams, templaters and sales/administrative staff. As it continues to grow, Artisan Stone Co.'s ownership remains practical about future investment. â€œGrowth has driven our business since day one, but we want to walk a line of growing without overgrowing,â€ Andrew Lunsford said. Rather, the company's emphasis remains on details such as completing work on time and meeting customer expectations. â€œWe're not chasing the cheapest price,â€ Gray said. As part of this quality-control process, all customers go to local slab distributors with their salesman, so they can explain the details of each stone material.
As Artisan Stone Co. continues to grow, future machinery investments may include a CNC saw, but not necessarily automated edging equipment. â€œOur clientele for custom work seems to really like the hand finish,â€ Stover said.
Artisan Stone Co.Denver, CO
Type of work: custom kitchen countertops and production work
Machinery: Cougar bridge saw from Park Industries of St. Cloud, MN; Sector portable router from Ghines of Italy; Dust collection unit from Donaldson Torit of Minneapolis, MN; polishing pads and tooling from Hard Rock Tool of Denver, CO
Number of Employees: 30 (seven in the shop)
Production Rate: 1,300 square feet of finished material per week