Monica Gawet, president of Tennessee Marble Co., said that the acquisition makes the company the largest marble cutting and fabricating operation in the U.S. “This enables us to offer a greater variety of Tennessee marble with a better ability to match existing products,” Gawet said, adding that the acquisition involves the purchase of quarry rights and minerals and several leases.
Gawet said that her company’s strategic move was taken primarily to bring stability to the supply for Tennessee Pink marble, which is found only in East Tennessee. She said the material also has historical significance for the East Tennessee region, having been quarried since the 1890s, with a comeback in popularity over the past decade.
The former owners of Tennessee Valley Marble are Tom and Mary White, who have owned the company since August 2003 and have recently decided to retire. The two companies have worked on several projects together, most notably the Knoxville Convention Center and the ongoing U.S. Capitol Visitors Center project in Washington, DC. Gawet said that Tennessee Marble Co. will assume completion of several projects started by Tennessee Valley Marble.
Tennessee Pink marble supplied by Tennessee Marble Co., has also been use for Grand Central Station in New York City, the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, and the City of Maryville, TN, Municipal Building. Marble from Tennessee Valley Marble can be found in the Clinton Library in Little Rock, AK, the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Over the last 16 months, the two companies estimate that more than 100,000 square feet of Tennessee marble was fabricated and supplied on projects throughout the country.
Tennessee Marble Co., founded in 1993, is family-owned and operated and affiliated with Gawet Marble & Granite of Center Rutland, VT. The Gawet family has been in the stone business for nearly 100 years, and Gawet noted that the acquisition will increase the company’s production capacity by more than 30%.
Gawet’s husband, Gus Zacharias, is Tennessee Marble Co.’s general manager, overseeing approximately 100,000 square feet of production space and approximately 45 employees. The company plans to actively quarry natural stone at five sites in Blount, Knox and Loudon counties in Tennessee and in Isle LaMotte, VT.
Marble varieties manufactured by Tennessee Marble Co. include Tennessee Light Rose, Dark Rose, Tennessee Cedar, Georgia Cherokee, Vermont Danby, Vermont Windham Green, Imperial Black, Champlain Black, Alabama White and Colorado White.