In its initial stages, Jerusalem Gardens focused on marketing its stone within Israel. But eventually, they began supplying stone for projects overseas. "This developed because a number of architects and project managers we were working with in Israel asked if we could supply our stone to some of the projects that they were working on elsewhere around the world," explained Ze?ev Petrucci, export manager for Jerusalem Gardens.
The new factory is centrally located within Israel, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and a 20-minute car drive from Ben-Gurian International Airport. It stands in the industrial area of Har-Tuv just outside of the city limits of Beit Shemesh. According to Petrucci, the area is referred to the "Tuscany of Israel" by Israelis.
The factory is equipped with a new CMPI Rover cutting machine from Italy, which allows the company to execute very intricate cuts on large cubic pieces of stone. The machine can fabricate "everything from intricate profiles for doors to the most significant and important cut-to-size pieces imaginable," Petrucci said.
And in addition to automated machinery, the company relies on the skill of its workers to complete architectural projects. Talented artisans are stationed in a well-equipped handwork area, which includes a waterwall to move dust away from the workers and create an environmentally safe workplace. The water is then recycled through one of the company?s latest machines from Fraccaroli & Balzan of Italy. This recycling unit was custom-designed by Fraccaroli & Balzan for use in Jerusalem Gardens? factory.
In the near future, Jerusalem Gardens will be further expanding its factory with the addition of a new block cutter from Fraccaroli & Balzan. The machine has already been ordered, and it will be operational this spring.
"Our new factory has given us the ability to work on our distribution orders and special projects with greater efficiency. We are capable of handling the biggest special projects involving Jerusalem Stone and maintain strict deadlines," Petrucci said.
Stones fabricated by the company include some of the classic varieties of Jerusalem Stone, including Hebron Stone, Ramon Stone, Benjamin Stone and Galil Stone, as well as unique materials such as Jerusalem Red Stone.
Marketing targetsOver the past four years, Jerusalem Gardens has seen its sales in North America achieve a high level of success, with a number of architectural projects being completed. "Two of the latest projects that we have undertaken was stonework for the Inter-Continental Hotel in Chicago and the Institute of International Economics in Washington, DC," Petrucci said.
In addition to the North American market, the company has also expanded in markets such as Europe and Asia. "Our business is roughly 70% in North America and 15% each in Europe and Asia," Petrucci said. "Our business goal is to be roughly involved in 50% distribution and 50% in projects. This is to balance out the economic cycles that are a fact of life."
And the future for Jerusalem Gardens looks even more positive. "We will be sending out two major special projects in the next few months, which consist of over 300 cubic meters of cut-to-size stone," Petrucci said. "This is in addition to our regular shipments for distributor inventory and other projects, which are quite sizeable."