Back in 2014, Roxanne Brown, co—owner of Alpha & Omega Stone in Belleville, NJ, was using other fabricators to do the fabrication work while she was brokering jobs to bring in business. Co—owner Rich Arrabito joined the company two years later and convinced Brown to get into stone fabrication. “I came in as a 50% owner in 2016,” said Arrabito. “Prior to that, Roxanne was selling material and brokering to other shops, but they were not giving her quality work. When they got busy they would push her off to the side. She was getting frustrated. I acquired this building years ago when it became available, so I said, ‘Why don’t we open a shop here?’ And she said, ‘I want to be partners in the shop.’ So instead of it being her doing sales and buying from me, we joined forces and she bought into the building and I bought into her business.”

They next went to The International Surfaces Event (TISE) in Las Vegas, NV, that year to purchase the latest machinery. “We bought state—of—the—art equipment, including the Saber [by Park Industries in St. Cloud, MN] which just came out that year,” said Arrabito. “Three months later, it was delivered. We had the whole shop fitted out by them with a recycling system and the power for it. We [also] bought a Laser Templator at the same time.”

The company currently has the Saber and Fastback from Park Industries, a LT—2D3D from Laser Products in Romeoville, IL, and receives the majority of its tooling from Stone Boss, located in Fair Lawn, NJ. “That’s it for the equipment,” said Arrabito. “Stone Boss is our go—to
tooling company or supplier. We get all our pads, tools, blades — all of it from them. They are one on one, they come here and they are
very knowledgeable.”

Alpha & Omega Stone doesn’t do a lot of walk—in traffic to garner business. “We work with kitchen dealers, general contractors and with property management companies,” said Brown. “The only kind of walk—ins that we get are from people who will Google us in the area, and because we start with an ‘A,’ we are the first thing that comes up when ‘looking near you.’ We also have really good reviews on Google, but we don’t currently cultivate it. We have recently started to do more commercial work. We were doing a 100—unit project in Jersey City that escalated to 400 units.”

According to Brown, their saw is capable of cutting 10 slabs a day, and it allows them to run the shop with minimal human error or personnel. “I have worked at other shops where you have seven or eight people in the shop and it is a mess,” said Brown. “Rich is a stickler about a clean shop. He designed this whole building and downstairs. Our showroom doesn’t have towers like most shops do. It’s really clean and modern. Everyone that comes in always say, ‘Oh, it looks like a New York showroom,’ which was his intent.”

The majority of Alpha & Omega Stone’s jobs come from the surrounding area. “We go to Southern Jersey,” said Brown. “We haven’t done work in Connecticut. We have gotten bids for it, but we don’t really need to do that because it’s such a time crunch [if we did]. You spend all this time on the road and you don’t know what traffic is going to be like. If something with the job goes wrong or something needs to be recut, you have to go all the way back. Even Brooklyn is pushing it, sometimes. Jersey City has so much construction going on right now that you can’t beat it. It is right in our backyard. The same with Newark.”

Material being cut

Currently, Alpha & Omega Stone is cutting a significant amount of quartz. “The only thing I am seeing is when we are doing high—end units in Manhattan, they are starting to use marble,” said Brown. “We don’t recommended it for kitchens because it is so porous. I warn our customers about it before they decide to buy marble. But quartz has been the way to go. Even quartzite has slowed down. It used to be a lot of the quartzites like Taj Mahal and Super White were really popular. We have only done a couple of jobs of those in the last four or five years. The last two years were white and gray. Now suddenly people are doing espresso cabinets and they are doing navy blue with brass fixtures. So it’s still white, but it’s white with earth tones. It can be white with browns. Caesarstone does a Bianco Drift that looks nice with it. There’s starting to be a shift with people getting more into earth tones. [In the commercial sector] it is also white quartz. We bring in 40 slabs at a time of white quartz. It is what it is.”

Arrabito does the templating for the company, while they have one two—man install crew, two polishers and a sawyer. “Almost everything we cut is an eased edge with a flat polish,” said Arrabito. “Most of it goes through the Fastback. The sinks get polished by hand. It gets all dry fitted here. The quality is controlled here. Then the job gets loaded on a dolly to the truck, and then goes to get installed.

Plans for growth

“My goal with this company since I have had it is to double my volume of sales every year,” Brown went on to say. “I kind of go off my numbers from last year. So it’s kind of an unrealistic goal, but I have been able to achieve it every year. But as the numbers get higher every year, it gets harder each year to meet. When we got our Fastback last year, it made it possible to continue to double our numbers because we can produce at that level now. It’s really all about keeping up with the technology. Rich is always looking at the new Templator — the new this, the new that. But we try to keep our manpower down to a minimum because of the equipment we have.”

Brown believes that technology is also what differentiates Alpha & Omega Stone compared to other fabricators in the area. “This business is all about technology,” said Brown. “You can find a granite store on every corner. But they are going to have old bridge saws or they are going to template with the wooden sticks. We don’t do that. Rich goes in with the digital templator. He’s in; he’s out. They are so accurate. We don’t bring pieces back because they don’t fit. Everything fits. He can template a full height backsplash and a counter in one day, so we are saving a trip. Most companies have to template the counter, put in the counter and then template the backsplash. We don’t have to do that. We can do it all in one day. So it makes it very time efficient.”

Alpha & Omega Stone purchased the property next to them and have plans for continued growth. “We want to take the building next to us out and double the size of ours,” said Brown. “We want to get another machine. Rich wants a waterjet. There is definitely growth on the horizon. Because we are good at what we do, we are not like most shops. The growth plan is definitely there. He even bought a lot at the corner. We are a really small shop, but we are efficient. We have room for growth, and we have set up a plan to do it.” 

Alpha & Omega Stone

Belleville, NJ

Type of Work: Residential and commercial

Machinery: a Fastback edging machine and a Saber CNC saw from Park Industries in St. Cloud, MN; a LT-2D3D Laser Templator from Laser Products in Romeoville, IL; tooling from Stone Boss in Fair Lawn, NJ

Workers: 8