Since establishing Cumar, Inc. in 1992, Angelo “Ivo” Cubi has continually evolved his business – both through technology and innovative ideas reflecting the most current design trends. Originally from Verona, Italy, Cubi comes from a long line of family members in the stone industry, and today, his daughter, Carlotta Cubi Mandra, works side by side with her father as the company’s executive vice president. Cubi and Mandra each bring their own expertise to the fabrication business, and together the duo has transformed the operation into a state-of-the-art production facility catering to an upscale residential market, as well as doing luxury commercial work including multi-residential and hospitality. Cumar has become a place where homeowners and designers alike come when seeking rare and unusual stone varieties to develop a one-of-a-kind design.
Through the years, Stone World has made several visits to Cumar’s Everett, MA-based shop, and each time the company had something new to share. Most recently, we attended the company’s 25th anniversary party, which was complete with a red carpet for its guests to stroll down. The event was held in what will be Cumar’s new showroom in the near future. Cubi moved the fabrication shop to the 125,000-square-foot building in 1994. When purchasing it in 2012, the company expanded the space by 55,000 square feet, including a new 25,000-square-foot fabrication facility. More renovation plans are in the works to create a new entrance – allowing customers to enter into a spacious and luxurious showroom where they can spend time viewing material and gaining inspiration for their designs.
In the meantime, rather than letting the empty space lay unutilized, Cubi and Mandra got creative, and with the help of several local home furnishing retailers, transformed the large open area into a beautiful setting to celebrate the company’s milestone. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (mgbwhome), ArtefactHome and Landry & Arcari each designed a vignette with an exotic stone slab as the backdrop and a springboard for the design. The vignettes not only provided a stunning aesthetic, but on a practical side, created seating areas for the 200+ guests to sit and socialize. “We wanted to do something fun, highlighting the stone,” said Mandra.
Creating an experience
Mandra explained the idea for the new showroom is for it to be a stone boutique. “We want to offer alternatives,” she said. “It’s important to note, when I started 13 years ago I was hearing Boston was conservative. Now designers want exotics and crazy new materials. It’s fun for us. They’re looking for a block of stone you won’t see again.”
Cumar is the exclusive New England distributor of Antolini’s Precioustone Collection. “We use Antolini’s material the most because they fit our clients,” explained Cubi.
Several years ago, Mandra branded the name “Linea Couture” for Cumar’s exotic material. The collection is mostly precious stone and other genuine one-of-a-kind once-in-a-lifetime material.
For those visiting Cumar, the company offers an extensive collection of unique premium stone types which are ideal for all styles of design applications. “I’m always looking for material that will work in all applications, including kitchens,” said Cubi, explaining he devotes time each day to viewing new material. “We are always in search of something different and that requires the least amount of maintenance such as a quartzite.”
The company imports almost all of its stone from around the world. It currently stocks approximately 8,000 slabs and 500 varieties of material. Often Cubi travels to the quarries when selecting stone slabs. “I like to see material from the source,” he said. Technology does help on saving time, however, and many stone producers who he works with will email him photos of their best selection knowing he has very discerning clientele.
“We import everything we find interesting,” said Cubi, adding in the future he would like to bring in even more unique material to market to its clientele.
Cumar maintains a large stock of White Calacatta marble, as well as a substantial selection of onyx. “White Calacatta is always asked for,” said Cubi. “It always moves as long as it is a premium selection.”
At the time of Stone World’s visit, Cubi talked about a large project the company had that will feature Blue Savoie marble. Cubi had plans to visit the quarry in France to inspect the material.
The intention of the new stone boutique – along with the expansive warehouse of slabs – is to provide a place where customers can spend as much time as they like wandering through the aisles viewing the seemingly endless product types, as well as sit in a welcoming environment where they can brainstorm concepts for their next project.
Maintaining a state-of-the-art shop
According to Cubi, the fabrication shop outputs many complicated master baths and fireplace surrounds. “We always want to make something unique,” he said. “Every time it is something different.”
To have the capability to produce these custom stone pieces, Cumar has top-of-the-line equipment in place. Since its 2012 expansion, the company has invested in replacing old equipment with the latest technology, as well as adding to the lineup. Most recently, the company invested in a Donatoni double bench Echo CNC stoneworking center, adding to the Echo CNC single bench already in use. Several years prior, a Kronos CNC 5-axis machine from Donatoni was added to the workspace. Additionally, the shop is equipped with a Donatoni Zenit CNC polishing machine, a Flow waterjet, a Comandulli Omega edge polisher and Bovone edge polisher, a Breton Contour double bench CNC, a Bisso bridge saw and Bisso side saw. Cumar uses Dellas and Terminator blades, as well as vacuum pods from Blick Industries.
Within the fabrication shop, there is an area dedicated to hand work. “Because we have high-end jobs, every single piece needs to be hand finished,” explained Cubi. The company buys many of its tooling and accessories from GranQuartz.
Moreover, the work space has one Kaeser compressor and a water treatment filtration system from Water Treatment Solutions to recycle water. With safety and the health of his employees in mind, Cubi also invested in a custom-built state-of-the-art air filtration system from Airmax. Also with safety at the forefront, seven Faedo cranes are in place to transport slabs around the warehouse and fabrication area.
For templating, Cumar relies on a Proliner from Prodim. Cubi explained that once in a while they use regular templates too.
Investing in employees
Cumar presently has a staff of 73, which is an increase of 13 since Stone World last wrote about the company in 2014. In recent years, it has developed a fairly large engineering department, which is a reflection of its growing high-end commercial market.
One of the newest additions to the staff is Paul Guitard, who was hired as the vice president of operations. In this role, Guitard’s focus will be on supporting and managing the Cumar infrastructure and running the day-to-day business, as well as help build-upon and maintain Cumar’s reputation with clients.
Cubi and Mandra believe the success of the company is investing in his employees. Cubi has said in the past that he pays for employees to go to school, and he encourages everything from learning CAD to improving their English.
Type of Work: High-end residential and luxury commercial, including multi-residential and hospitality