|Catering to Commercial|
A self-described whirlwind of energy, who finds sleeping more than six hours a night impossible, Fontana routinely puts in 12-hour days and six-day weeks. His own workday break comes at 6 a.m. each day, when he permits himself time to play rqcquetball a "tension reliever."
Currently, business seems to be more than booming. "Right now, we're backlogged with commercial orders. We're accepting orders (three and four months out)," said Fontana. "We tell people we'll do a great job for them, but that they'll have to wait. Some will and some won't."
Two big projects at present are for new restaurants. The last step before the restaurants can feature their grand openings is completing the granite tables and counter tops. "We try to keep all the granite in our shop so we aren't tied up ordering from quarries," he explained. This type of project may take four or five months, depending on the amount of counter space needed.
"Granite counters have to be exact," emphasized Fontana. "Monuments, in comparison, can be off by one-eighth or one-quarter of an inch and nobody would ever see that. But counter tops
have to be trimmed perfectly to match up in color and grain. I understand why other monument companies haven't become involved in this. It's not easy," he admitted, "but it is rewarding because the public gets to see your work--and they appreciate it."|
V. Fontana now clearly divides its jobs into either memorial trade or commercial. Its largest ongoing memorial project is the building of a chapel. Commercial projects range from conference tables and bathroom vanities for residences or offices to dedication and award plaques for corporations, such as Apple Computer. The company also makes granite time capsules for unsealing in future centureis. Statuary work is the only area where Fontana draws the line.
Old-fashioned service and courtesy are areas in which Fontana sees eye to eye with his father and grandfather. "We operate in a very straight-forward, old-fashioned way," he said. "We explain everything to our customers, then deliver the goods--on time. There's no hard sell here. And if it's a job that just can't be done on granite, then we tell them."
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