Monarca Countertops operates out of a 6,500-square-foot shop in Phoenix, AZ.


Content with the size of her 6,500-square-foot shop, Trish Sumrall, the owner of Monarca Countertops in Phoenix, AZ, has stayed in business, while witnessing other shops in her area go under. “I never wanted to become a 50,000-square-foot shop,” she said. “I just want to become one of those shops that people recommend. All of our work is word of mouth or referrals.”

Inside the shop, the majority of slab cutting is done with a Flow Waterjet from Flow International Corp. of Kent, WA.

Prior to starting her own company, Sumrall on a whim left the fabrication shop she was working for in order to pursue other products to manufacture. “I was trying to get the company I was working for to enter the granite market,” she said. “They were hesitant, so I thought to do it myself.”

Despite economic hardships in the housing sector, Sumrall went ahead and started her own shop, which currently manufactures natural stone in addition to quartz surfacing, such as CaesarStone.

The waterjet is able to cut at a high level of precision.

“When I left the other company and started this, it was January 2006,” said Sumrall. “Right when we entered the market, Phoenix entered the housing market crisis.”

The company’s most recent investment was an Edgemate 100 from Edgemate Stone Tools of Waconia, MN. “The Edgemate allows guys that don’t have as much experience with edging to do it without messing up,” Sumrall said.

But three years later, her shop has maintained a consistent flow of work, regardless of witnessing other companies go out of business. “Right now, we’re doing about 50/50 residential and commercial,” Sumrall said. “Most of the residential is remodeling. The Phoenix metro area is our main market. We occasionally do work in Prescott, AZ, and smaller towns that used to have their own granite shops. A lot of those got shut down because of the economy, and that work is coming to Phoenix.”

In addition to natural stone, Monarca Countertops also fabricates CaesarStone quartz surfacing, which is pictured in this finished project.

In the residential sector, the company will at times do 15 kitchens a month, while one project for commercial work could last a month. A recently completed project was the Medicis Corp. headquarters.

CaesarStone quartz surfacing is again used in this residential project Monarca Countertops completed.

Monarca Countertops employs six workers and has its own installation crew. Inside the shop, the majority of slab cutting is done with a Flow Waterjet from Flow International Corp. of Kent, WA. An Edgemate 100 from Edgemate Stone Tools of Everett, WA - its most recent investment - is used for edging. “The Edgemate allows guys that don’t have as much experience with edging to do it without messing up,” Sumrall said.

According to Sumrall, next on its list would be to invest in digitized templating equipment. “I would like to get [digitized templating equipment] because we have the waterjet, and it would help me translate some of that stuff,” she said. “Some of it we’re doing by hand, so if I can’t draw it or get the angles correctly, that would be helpful to have.”

The owner of the company, Trish Sumrall, originally worked for another company, but left when it didn’t want to pursue stone products. At her new company, Monarca Countertops, which she started, Sumrall works with a variety of stone products, like the Carrara marble used in this completed project.

As of right now, the company utilizes cardboard templates. “We’ve tried other material, but these guys are used to the cardboard,” said Sumrall.

Hoping to ride out the economical downturn as she has done thus far, Sumrall would also like to become a distinguished shop. “The long-term goal is to have the service and quality that people really want to use us for certain projects,” she said.           

Sidebar: Monarca Countertops

Phoenix, AZ

Type of work: 50/50 residential and commercial work

Machinery: a Flow Waterjet from Flow International Corp. of Kent, WA; an Edgemate 100 from Edgemate Stone Tools of Waconia, MN

Number of employees: 6

Production rate: 15 residential kitchens a month; one commercial project