MACAEL, SPAIN -- Arriaga, a Spanish quarrier and manufacturer of stone architectural elements, tiles and slabs, has begun a concerted effort to market its products in the U.S.

“The American market is one of the most important markets in the world,” said Kai Niepel, company sales director. “We have marketed our products in the U.S. with some success, but we thought the time was right to be more aggressive in our efforts, knowing that our expertise is well appreciated here.”

As part of this effort, the company hired its first regional manager for the U.S., Raul del Campo, who is based in New York. With a U.S.-based sales representative, Arriaga can deliver better service, helping customers avoid time zone differences, and in some cases language barriers, according to the company.

Arriaga is located in Macael, a town in the province of Almeria, Andalusia in the South of Spain. In Sierra of the Filabres, marble has been extracted for centuries, and it is the only place in Spain where a white marble exists. The Arriaga family has been in marble production for generations. Today, the company consists of a group of three factories with more than 200 employees. There is Arriaga Quarries, which specializes in extraction and raw processing as well as production of tiles and slabs; Arriaga Artesanos, a producer of fireplaces; columns, balusters, handcrafted products, special projects and custom orders; and Arriaga Marmoles, which produces slabs and tiles.

A total of 25% of the company's products are fabricated from marble from its own quarries. The other marbles come from Spain or from other countries worldwide. The range is composed of 24 standard materials. The production is exclusively marble, limestone and sandstone.