How did you get started in the industry?
The owner Austin Randell and VP Tracy Rivera hired Eric Reel in 2002 to open and run the Grand Junction location. I (Eric Reel) have extensive construction knowledge from residential builds to commercial applications and a good eye for design and color, it seemed to be a great fit from the start!
How has the industry changed since you got started?
The industry has changed dramatically since I have started in 2002 to now when I first opened up Granite Imports we only serviced homes in the $500k and up due to how expensive materials used to be. Your base materials that would cost what a higher end stone would cost now. Now the materials have come down in price a lot. The quarries and factories are much more efficient nowadays, the same goes for the fabricators in the market.
Tell us about your business.
We are a Colorado-grown business, we pride ourselves on that. We have three locations total, Grand Junction, Denver, and Fort Collins. We import a massive amount of material here at Granite Imports, we never sacrifice quality over quantity like other stone suppliers. Our owner Austin Randell and myself hand-select the materials we bring in, this ensures that we always have unique and top quality materials. We work with the best factories in Brazil and Italy because of the quality of the finishes. Collectively our staff has over 100 years in knowledge and experience in the stone industry.
What kind of services do you offer?
Here we really like to educate the homeowner, the whole process can be overwhelming when selecting colors and materials. We like to take the time to talk about different materials from granite, natural quartzite, marbles, travertines, and quartz (engineered stone) which we carry here at Granite Imports. A good example would be if you’re doing a remodel and you need to sell fast we can give advice on what colors are trending as well at what price point you should stay in to give you the best profitability. We can also help in selecting the right colors for your project, we offer the highest level of customer service and blunt honesty, it’s our top priority!
Tell us about you and your family.
I grew up in Palisade here in the Grand Valley, my wife Suzie and I have three amazing kids and are very active in sports and the outdoors here in the Grand Valley.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I love spending time with my family more than anything. I love fishing, if I’m not with my family I’m in my fishing kayak for largemouth bass or fly fishing a river!
What do you enjoy about living in Western Colorado?
We love being in the outdoors, here in the Western Slope we don’t have a shortage of doing something outside!
How do you stay involved in the community?
We love the Grand Valley, we help volunteer for the National MS Society during the walk they have in May. We also open our location for a local art show Art Estoic once a year in October that’s open to the public. We have local artists come in and use our slabs as a backdrop for the art they create. We also host an event called New Construction 101 where we bring a panel of experienced people in building to talk about the expectations and reality of a custom build compared to a track build. These are all open to the general public without a cost.