The Granite Guy aims to meet demand for quality countertops
Installing unique, shiny granite surfaces is The Granite Guy’s specialty.
The family-owned company, located just upriver from the cable bridge in Pasco, has been in business for 10 years.
“We basically do anything: kitchens, bathroom, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces,” said Irving Ortega.
He, his wife Cassandra, and his brother Omar, own The Granite Guy LLC, which launched in 2012.
“It’s been 8 ½ years or so since we’ve been on our own,” Irving said. “Before that, I worked 1 ½ years with my father-in-law. He brought me on and showed me the ropes.”
After that, he felt it was the right time to break off on his own.
Business has been solid ever since, and it continues to improve — even during the pandemic.
“We’ve done a good job of staying busy during the pandemic, and we’ve continued growing,” he said.
In a region where it seems houses can’t be built fast enough, there is a demand for quality granite countertops, he said.
The company specializes in remodels and newly built homes.
Irving said technology has helped him and his team toward better and faster production.
“Granite is a love-hate thing,” he said. “It can be heavy-duty work each day. But it’s always good to have a good team.”
Which Ortega says he has.
“Back about five years ago, we used to cut everything by hand,” he said. “There is still a lot of work involved, but it’s not as heavy now. We have digital plating now.”
The Granite Guy staff can fabricate and install any hard surface with its new CNC Fab Center from Park Industries.
Here’s how the process works: Irving and his brother go out to the job site and get an estimate for the customer.
Using a big laser, they shoot exact measurements.
Once that is determined, they digitalize the granite layout, then fabricate it.
The programmer enters the measurements into the CNC machine which can cut up big sheets of material, at times 10-by-6 feet tall.
“And then we fabricate them,” Irving said. “At that point, our group of three installers then install the granite. The process usually takes half a day.”
Success and technology have helped the company grow.
“Five years ago, we had four or five guys at most,” Irving said. “Right now, we have three installers, two fabricators, two people working the front desk, which is my sister and my wife, and myself and my brother are involved in sales.”
Irving wants the business’ growth over the next five years to be slow, steady and strong.
“We want to maintain a pace that keeps everybody on our staff happy and is not stretching them too thin,” he said. “The problem is we’ve had so much trouble finding enough workers. Last year we had ads on Facebook almost every day, but we’ve had no luck in finding anyone.”
The Granite Guy is licensed in Washington and Oregon.
“We have a few big builders around the state that we work with, including Hayden Homes,” Irving said. “They do work mostly in the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla.”
But it’s in Oregon where Ortega’s company has found its wheelhouse.
“We do a lot of our work in eastern Oregon. Honestly, there is not as much competition in eastern Oregon as there is in the Tri-Cities,” Irving said.
Ortega said his company does a lot of work with Cost Less Carpet in Hermiston.
“We do a lot of work in Hermiston, and some in Pendleton,” he said. “That’s been our main focus.”
Still, business is business anywhere.
“We see a lot of repeat business. A lot of it is word of mouth,” Irving said. “We might do a kitchen. And maybe later, they’ll want us to come back and do the bathroom.”
It’s why he sees more success down the road.
“In five years, I see us even bigger,” Irving said. “I’m more satisfied when the customer sees that transition in the home. It’s something they see that’s a nice, new look. Everybody is happy, and that’s why I love doing this.”
The Granite Guy LLC: 900 W. River St., Pasco; 509-619-9324; thegraniteguyllc.com.