In 1994, Howard Goldstein was a general contractor on the North Shore struggling to find a good fabricator of stone countertops. In 2007, he’s the president of a thriving fabrication company, with three showrooms in Chicago and the Northwest suburbs. Rising consumer demand, personal passion and dedication, and technological innovation have made Stonecutters the success it is today.
During the last of his years as a general contractor, Goldstein began to realize he wanted to focus on one trade, rather than many. It was too much of a hassle to find and work with so many contractors — especially stone fabricators, who were rarely available or of a high quality. By 1994, he realized that “there was a hole that needed to be filled.”
The final straw came when he had to fire the stone contractors that were working on his house. Rather than hire new ones, Goldstein taught himself how to do stonework, using his own house as a classroom. Soon, he was ready for business, opening up his first office in Morton Grove. Stonecutters soon moved their main office to Glenview, in order to better attract the elite North Shore clientele that has made them so popular.
Today, the Glenview home office is bursting with offices, stone and high-tech machinery. Stonecutters have machines that can cut stones into any shape or size, with the ability to custom edge. They have machines that can etch patterns into the marble or granite. They even have a special machine that can print photos onto the very stone itself. These innovations have led to some very important clientele — Stonecutters produced the Halas Memorial at Soldier Field, and they also have contracts with the Adler Planetarium and the Green Bay Packers.
What makes stone countertops so popular? According to Howard Goldstein, they are a vastly superior alternative to laminate countertops. They are tough and durable — knives, mugs, plates, and cups won’t leave a scratch. They can come in many colors and textures, and have a fabulous clarity. They hide dirt very well. You can immediately set hot dishes from the oven onto a stone countertop without fear of damaging it. The price tag for these countertops is far higher than for laminate, but the superior stone product will last for decades.
Stonecutters has come a long way from a twinkle in the eye of one enterprising man. Howard Goldstein foresaw a need for quality countertops that has only increased over the years. He invested in state-of-the-art technology to provide customers with the best product possible. He is branching out into new projects that are diversifying the company and giving its work major public viewing. There is little doubt that Stonecutters will be rock solid for years to come.