In the early 1990s owner Trent Bodine opened Hospitality Stone in Hayden, Idaho, and began importing prefabricated stone countertops for commercial applications.
In 2001, nine years later, he decided to get into the fabricating business and created Casa Bonita Granite and Marble, to serve high-end residential applications. After a couple of years of finding it difficult to maintain consistent results with hand tools, he invested in his first CNC machining center and has never looked back.
In The Beginning
Bodine's first foray into working with stone was with prefabricated tops that arrive already edged and with backsplashes. The company just has to cut to length and install the tops. This process, according to Bodine, paved the way for his development of a second custom work business.
Hospitality Stone, the commercial prefab business, has about six full-time employees to template, cut to size and install the tops. Bodine also said the company works with numerous subcontractors to be able to handle the ebb and flow of orders. Hospitality focuses largely on hotel work, handling 100 to 200 hotel rooms a month and covering most of the West Coast.
Originally, through his commercial business, Bodine made contact with some local home builders and ended up being contracted with them for a residential project. It turned out well and the next thing he knew, he was getting more requests for custom work. That was the beginning of Bodine's residential business end, Casa Bonita.
To get people talking, Bodine exhibited at area home shows and was well received, leading to an increase in his residential work. He founded the business with about a half dozen workers using hand tools, but once things got going, the business got growing, and now employs twice that many. Bodine said all of the work comes from word-of-mouth, with no advertising.
"We started out doing a few kitchens a week," said Bodine. "But over the last four years we have doubled in size."
From Prefab To Fab
Of course, starting a fabrication business is more than just opening the doors, Bodine had to not only learn customer fabrication himself, but he also had to hire a staff and teach them the ins and outs of the trade.
"The residential work we do is all customized," explained Bodine. "Obviously work with prefab material is a little simpler and it's more focused on the install. However, the transition was kind of fun."