Located in Chilton, WI, Francis and Alyce Buechel literally bet the farm to start their stone business, Buechel Stone Corp. According to Mike Buechel, the COO of Buechel Stone, his grandfather first started cutting stone with a dry saw, eventually affecting his health. “Over time it harmed his lungs to the point he had to choose, either process the stone in a different way, or quit the stone business,” said Mike Buechel. “Pa was determined to make it work and he did something few people would have the bravery to do. He bet the sure thing, the farm, for something uncharted, Buechel Stone.” Francis and Alyce went to the bank for a loan to get a stone splitter. Before the splitter, he had done everything with a Carborundum circular saw blade, a hammer and chisels. After going to the bank and a long discussion, the bank used the farm as collateral for the investment. Because of those beginnings, the company now has approximately 175 employees, awards and has expanded to other quarries.
Buechel Stone is building a culture on a foundation of family and core values, service-minded leadership, industry-leading initiatives and unlimited aspirations. “Our Buechel Brag Book of impressive and inspirational project photos — with all sorts of products from around the U.S. and Canada — just keeps growing, but what we’re most proud of is the relationships and experiences gained during production and project journeys,” said Mike Buechel. “None of it would be possible without a talented team of Rockstars, who we are proud to call colleagues. They give us the opportunity to provide a best experience in stone.”
Buechel Stone’s mission of “Providing the best, most dependable experience in the natural stone industry – guaranteed!” guides them in every decision they make, including how they treat people they work with every day. “We have a fun forward-thinking team devoted to quality, craftsmanship, dependability, growth, innovation and best experiences,” explained Mike Buechel. “In the last few years, we’ve started showing how grateful and appreciative we are by initiating a Rockstar Extreme Anniversary Program to recognize and reward years of tenure. We also share our teammates’ successes through a variety of social media campaigns, putting it in the context of proudly referring to them as the Rockstars they are.”
The company sells primarily to architects, designers, engineers, builders, landscapers, contractors, masons, consultants and homeowners through its dealer network. From a product standpoint, Buechel’s main focus is in its building stone veneer lines: Ashlar, Castle Rock, Dimensional, Fieldledge, Ledgestone, Mosaic, Tailored Fieldedge and Tailored Ledgestone. It also features landscape stone, along with state-of-the-art technology and capabilities, for sophisticated cut stone fabrication of architectural cut stone details and stone panels.
Recently, the company purchased the assets of Blue Ridge Mountain Stone in Marion, NC. Blue Ridge Mountain Stone was Buechel Stone’s main vendor for raw materials at their North Carolina production facility. This purchase included all assets, leases and customer lists previously maintained by Blue Ridge Mountain Stone and adds several new quarries to Buechel Stone’s quarrying operation.
“We knew some of the risks that came with relying on a third party to supply our raw material needs,” said Scott Buechel, president of Buechel Stone. “When we opened our production site [at Marion in 2017], it was most important to start the process in order to get our new [building stone veneer] products out to the market. When the owners of Blue Ridge approached us about purchasing the business, we knew it was the best way to show our commitment to the customers that have been promoting our current products – Barnwood Blue, Black Frost, Highland Scotch and Spalted Oak. It was also important that we solidify our commitment to the community of Marion.”
EXPANDING PRODUCT OFFERINGS
This purchase adds more new quarries from which to extract stone for expanding Buechel Stone’s product mix. Further information on new building stone veneer products being offered by Buechel Stone is coming soon. “We’re excited about the success of 2017’s new stone veneers and are looking forward to building on that. But we have a little bit of work to do before launching new products from these additional quarries,” said Tracy Lisowe, marketing director of Buechel Stone. “There are several quarries we will have access to that we weren’t promoting before. They have a mix of natural colors for stone veneer products that have already proven their popularity and continue to be on-trend. It’ll really help round out our product range with colors that are very much in line with design trend predictions.”
“At a time when more and more stone veneer products are being imported from India and China, we felt it was important to continue to promote the best domestic products the stone industry can provide,” said Mike Buechel. “We have high standards not only for our products, but more importantly, for our team. It’s the right place and right time to expand our product offering and hire and train new talent in North Carolina — for growing our company and ‘Rockstar’ team the right way.”
When trying to find new workers, the company falls back on its mission. “Our mission of ‘providing the best, most dependable experience in the natural stone industry – guaranteed!’ guides us in every decision we make, including how we treat our colleagues, as well as how we identify and bring new talent on board,” said Mike Buechel. “So we openly express our gratitude and appreciation, putting it in the context of proudly referring to our talent as the Rockstars that they are with incentives like our Rockstar Extreme Anniversary Program — to recognize and reward years of tenure with cash, trips and increasingly extravagant gifts as more years of service are celebrated throughout their Buechel Stone careers. From day one, we invite new talent to share in our mission of providing best experiences through Buechel Stone’s Clear Career Navigator.
“We have quite a bit of competition when it comes to other factories/employment opportunities near our locations,” Mike Buechel went onto say. “Word of mouth has been our best means of obtaining and retaining top talent. Because people know people like themselves, we have a referral program for our current Rockstars. If they refer a friend, at six months and one year they both receive a bonus. We have also done ‘I am’ campaigns to highlight our Rockstars’ unique abilities. People see and hear about Buechel Stone’s best experiences from their friends and their networks on social media.”