TO THE STONE INDUSTRY
USA and global market
from the quarry to the jobsite, the care and maintenance before and after
Interior/exterior ,applications ,what stones to use or not to use when
and where. , stone composition, how to select the right stone for the
Extraction of blocks, processing from block to slab and block to tile.
ALL THE STONE LIBRARY INFORMATION
Offering seminars and tours of quarries world wide.
The mechanics of a successful stone shop, from hand fabrication to fully
automated production facility; procedures; shop layout; proper material
flow, production capabilities, maximize existing shop equipment.
UP SHOPS OR EXISTING SHOPS
Shop organization and proper product flow ,efficiency.
Programs offered, saw cutting, slab layout ,cnc operators ,programmers
,technical support, proper material handling in shop, warehouse and jobsite's,
hand fabrication, dry cutting shaping, edge polishing ,surface polishing
core drilling, lamination, rodding.
Based on production needs and future expansions.
Save money on stone; consumables;[ shop and install ] tools adhesives
Reduce and or eliminate the learning curve weather you’re a start
up shop or existing shop, marketing how to, where to invest your valuable
hard earned dollars,, ,book matching slabs floors walls countertops a
lost art, I can train you to become a real stone man.
Len Malave talks about marrying Old World craftsmanship with modern technology,
he’s thoroughly acquainted with both sides of the partnership. .
before CNC manufacturers had successfully adapted their machines from
glass production to stone, however, Malave saw a vision of the future;
and when he opened the doors of his own business in 1996, the shop had
one of the first CNC STONE ROUTERS by Z. Bavelloni S.p.A. and ZONATO bridge
saws in the United States.
jokes about having stone in his veins; his father owns a restoration business,
and his brother is a fabricator. “I really got into the business
as a kid helping my father and people like my grandfather,” he says.
“ they took me under their wing and taught me how to work with natural
stone initially making our own tooling and fabricating our own jobs .”
However, Malave didn't build his career strictly on those youthful
experiences. A native of Cherry Hill, N.J., he joined the union at 18
years age and worked for a couple different locals, eventually signing
on with D’Ambrosio Ecclesiastical Art Studios in New York. “
I’ve had incredible role models,” he says. “Some of
the people that Mr. D’Ambrosio brought from overseas were master
craftsmen– real artisans, were brought in from Europe to do the work,
stonemasons ,painters, carpenters, iron workers,, I had the opportunity
to work with some of the finest craftsmen in the world.”
Malave runs three CNCs and two Zonato S.p.A. bridge saws, but the company
is about much more than speedy output. Malave enjoys educating people
about all aspects of his trade, whether it’s through seminars for
his customers, the creation of a stone library or consulting with people
much newer to the industry. “It’s important, with the growth
of people interested in the industry, that they go to someone who’s
Experience,” he says. “We’ve been there and done that.”
Malave talks about bringing stone from the mountain, he’s done that,
too. He imports his own slabs from both Brazil and Italy, and visits to
the quarries and factories of those countries help feed his love of travel.
It also guarantees the quality of every stone offered by Granite and Marble
by Malave. “I’ve been at this so long, and know so many great
companies in both countries, that I’m able to get a selection of
stone that’s just unbelievable,” he says. “We stock
about 2,000 slabs, and I don’t just go for exotic stuff. There are
a lot of types of Uba Tuba, for instance, and I find the best of the best,
or something that’s a bit unusual. It might be a basic stone, but
it’s just a really good quality.”
quest for top-quality stones fits well with the company’s customer
mix, since Malave definitely isn’t interested in turning out a cookie-cutter
product. He says the company does work with some homebuilders –
even those building tract homes – but only those building higher-end
homes with custom kitchens. It’s an approach that’s also taken
Malave’s reputation well beyond his North Carolina market. He says
many of his customers have multiple homes that have taken his crews to
places as far away as Washington DC, New York, Florida Colorado and the
Caribbean. “We’ll go anywhere and do just about anything,”
he says. “We’ve done a lot of real high end projects, when
someone said well this may not be able to be done, or we cant do that, we
got the call. One of the things I grew up doing is exterior panel systems
and wall-hung panels. We also do exterior staircases, pool coping and
decking.” Selling his products has never been a problem for Malave.
He believes the quality speaks for itself – he estimates 80 percent
of his jobs are either repeat customers or referrals – and he relies
a great deal on his showrooms. (The one at the Greensboro facility includes
two full kitchens, and a slab bathroom with an illuminated shower lined
with translucent stone). Granite and Marble by Malave also takes its show
on the road. The company does a number of home shows around North Carolina,
and shows off its capabilities through a booth with a puzzle floor, backlit
onyx walls and waterjet inlays.
Just as he was an early adapter of CNC technology, Malave also recognizes
the power of the Internet, although he says initially he saw the company’s
Website as nothing more than a necessary evil. “Now, I don’t
know how people do without it,” he says. “It’s a marketing
tool and a great reference for somebody to go in and learn more about
the business. We’ve had quite a few people who were just surfing
the Internet, found us and ended up calling us.”
Malave employs about 50 people, although only 10 of them are actively
involved in fabrication, working two shifts. “Our standard turnaround
is seven-to-10 days,” he says. “When you have the CNC machines
and some of the best shop personnel, it’s easy to do.” If
anything, Malave would like to be doing more work. , and he’s looking
at other locations along the Eastern Seaboard. “My goal is to get
the company back to working 24 hours a day, then open several other locations,
he says. “I want to be able to produce a minimum of 20 kitchens
a day. Per location ”
surprisingly, Malave has raised some of his own workforce with his three
sons. Shawn is a templater, installer while Jason works in the shop and
Justin does installations. after school And, his five-year-old daughter,
Anica, is – for now – helping in “customer service”
and even has cards to that effect. “I had to put a desk in my office
for her,” says her proud father. “She tells me her job is
to make sure everything’s okay."
The counter top business can be a confusing and arduous endeavor. There are a number opinions associated with the proper way to fabricate, machinery procurements, shop layouts, and many other aspects.
In 1999 I was transitioning from a flooring company and venturing into the Granite Counter top business. We initially started with a hand rail saw and a sector edge machine to fabricated counter tops.
Late in the year of 1999 I read an article about Len Malave’ in Stone World Magazine which described a well run shop with automated equipment. I contacted Mr. Malave’ and he welcomed my questions and invited me to see his shop in Greensboro, North Carolina.
I flew to North Carolina the next day and discovered a shop which included all of the attributes I was aspiring for my company. Len guided me with proper decisions on equipment purchases and numerous consultations on proper production flow. The learning curve of transitioning a hand tool shop to a fully automated fabrication facility is tremendous and financially challenging.
The implementation of improper machinery or shop design can become a production and financial disaster. Len Malave’ consulted and assisted in contract negotiations with both machinery suppliers and large commercial customer contracts in order to help facilitate our success in the counter top industry.
Cutting Edge Granite has become a leader in the central Florida area and is continuing to refine and implement new technology in the organization with the guidance of Len Malave’. Cutting Edge Granite is forever grateful for Len’s invaluable consultations and friendship throughout the years.
President / Cutting Edge Granite