Fernando Xavier took the time to discuss his business, Brothers In Granite, with Stone World magazine.
SW: Talk a bit about Brothers In Granite and how you got to where you are today.
FX: We started out with nothing, being a broker about 14 years ago. We had nothing but our computers and notebooks, going around and inspecting slabs. Then we started growing and we are a factory that does the entire block processing here in our factory. We are an exporter and factory down here in Brazil and we have a partnership with many quarries that we go to and buy blocks. Then we cut them, polish them and process them. We then display all of them on our website. That’s something we do differently than other exporters. We display all of it online because we sell it mostly to fabricators and fabricators don’t have a ton of time to come down here and see each slab. So we try to do that for them, doing a quality inspection for them.
SW: Looking at the past year during the pandemic, how has it affected your business?
FX: It affected everyone. Back in March of last year, it was a big shock to everyone. In March we locked down and it was the same as everyone else in the world. We stayed that way for three or four weeks at home. That was everyone. Our industry wasn’t shut down at all. The government let our industry run, like the construction industry running. We had to do all the safety precautions like the masks of course, but our business never really stopped. We had a decrease of sales of course, we couldn’t sell or deliver anything, but things started to pick up again. We had a very bad March, of course, but after March we had our best April ever. It was very shocking for us, we didn’t expect that for us to happen. We were scared a little bit because how were we going to pay everyone and keep the business going.
SW: Are you going to be making any changes to your business in a post COVID world?
FX: We are building up our industry here but after last year we have double planned. We are making more partnerships with more quarries. In Brazil, we work in partnerships. Someone owns the quarry then you make a partnership with that quarry.
We are building a second warehouse here and should be ready in three or four months. We are building a whole new factory nearby. We purchased some land, got a multi wire saw and started construction. We want to cut stones there by the end of this year. Right now we have our own warehouse in the U.S., just opened it up in March. We received the first two containers and unloaded the containers there. We won’t be distributors in the U.S., but it allows us to unload the containers and put it onto trucks for the fabricator, that’s it. We plan to open two more locations in the U.S. maybe this year, maybe next.
Listen to the full podcast here:
Fernando Salume of Brothers In Granite talks about Brazilian stone and how Brazil has fared during the pandemic
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