Raphael Mimoni, owner/managing director of Mega Marble, West Hampstead, London, started out small in the surfacing industry. But a big risk — and a love of the deep edge profiles and curves of traditional European design — brought him and his company further than he ever could have dreamed.
Mega Marble was founded in 1996, its beginnings based in a fortuitous contract that allowed Mimoni to make his first big break in the surfacing industry. But Mimoni’s full career in surfacing goes back even farther than that — all the way back to 1989, when he began his profession working with marble.
“I have been in this industry for 17 years, starting work with a friend in his marble warehouse,” Mimoni explained. “After just three months, I decided to set up my own tiling company, shortly landing my first customer. I was fairly inexperienced at the time, so I read lots of books on the subject.”
Mimoni worked hard for seven years for his tile company, Master Tiler, and the experience gained during that time would serve him well — because in 1996 came the chance of a lifetime, a project that would make use of all his skills and eventually lead to the start of his current business.
But in order to reap the rewards, some major risks had to be taken.
Risks and Results
Mimoni landed a lucrative opportunity referred by the UK arm of an international bank that involved the kitchens and bathrooms of a prestigious apartment block in the exclusive St. Johns Wood area of London.
“The job consisted of tiling 180 kitchens and 260 bathrooms,” said Mimoni. “Rather than subcontract, I decided to do the whole job myself. So I went to the bank, got a loan for my first machine, hired premises and that was the beginning of Mega Marble.”
Now Mega Marble is one of the premier natural stone surfacing companies in the United Kingdom, specializing in the design, fabrication and installation of an extremely wide range of natural stone products. In addition to its extensive work with the traditional residential markets of kitchen studios, architects, designers and developers, Mega Marble carries out commercial fabrication and installation in the hotel, catering, office and retail sectors. The work is done either for the end customer directly or for shopfitters and cabinetmakers.
The company now operates out of a just-expanded, state-of-the-art 1,500-sq.-meter (over 16,000-sq.-ft.) modern office/factory on a new industrial estate in North London. Ebor has installed new specialist production machinery in the factory, including a Breton NC250 CNC work center and a Comandulli Edilux edge polisher, as well as water treatment equipment from Turrini Claudio. “All this complements the existing Denver technology we have already,” explained Mimoni. “We also have a team of 10 experienced masons to carry out work and finishing.”
In 2004 Mega Marble set up an off-site stone showroom (see Figure 1), which houses an inventory of natural stones. The company welcomes clients to its showroom in northwest London where they are able to view and select from a large range of natural stone. They carry a large stock of limestone, marble, granite and Jerusalem stone. The company not only deals with slabs, but also tiles, bowls and tables (see Figure 2).