In high-end residential or commercial projects, stone finishes often provide the “wow” factor.
But ironically, people don’t often shop around to see the various types and finishes available, relying instead on an architect or designer to make stone choices.
If he had his way, however, T.J. Sowieja of Rocky Mountain Stone Supply in Eagle would change the way people shop for stone.
“We will go the extra mile to find what people are envisioning, as far as product goes,” he said. “We are willing to come to the job site to make recommendations and to be available for the architect or the designer.”
The new stone yard opened in Eagle this spring and is located on Chambers Avenue right across the street from the Eagle County Justice Center. The operation is a partnership between two longtime stone vendors — Sowieja and Amy Davis — that came about when a mason they both worked with introduced them to one another.
“He thought each of us would bring a different piece to the puzzle,” said Sowieja. That thinking proved to be right on target with Davis and her business and financial background, and Sowieja with an architectural drafting and design degree.
“The reason why we picked Eagle for our stone yard is it is somewhat central to our market, which includes the Vail Valley, Aspen and Steamboat Springs,” said Sowieja. “We really felt the economy is starting to turn around. For instance, in Pitkin County, there has been an 18 percent increase in building permits this year.”
“Anything you want in stone, we will get,” he continued. The company deals in building stone, flagstone, interior finish stone, landscaping stone and even boulders.
“The customers we take care of are masons, designers, general contractors, architects and homeowners,” said Sowieja.
On the trade side, he noted that independent masons usually prefer to purchase stone from independent yards that do not have their own masonry divisions. On the homeowner side, actually seeing stone varieties and speaking with Rocky Mountain Stone Supply personnel can help customers define the types of product and installation that they envision for a residence.
The business has a close relationship with Rock-It Natural Stone, an Oklahoma-based family quarry business that offers 75 varieties of stone. Sowieja also touts his 12 years of experience in stone sales and his work on some high-profile projects, including the Trinity Church renovation in Denver. For that project, he combed through the original 1880 building blueprints to reproduce the intricate stone features of the historic building. The Trinity project took three years to complete.
“To me, it’s that kind of thing that will draw people to our company — our strict attention to detail,’ said Sowieja. “More often than not, referrals get us work.”
The Eagle stone yard is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by appointment. Sowieja can be reached at 970-618-7017.