125_hotelA rural south-central Pennsylvania location offers an easy reach to several diverse metro markets for owners Travis Collins and Rodney Bair. And anyone on a shop visit can also stay overnight in the company’s showroom: a renovated turn-of-the-19th-century hotel.

 

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EVERETT, Pa. – For some, the road to success is found off the beaten path.

Take the owners of B.C. Stone. A common refrain they’ve heard, since starting their fabrication business in the farm country of south-central Pennsylvania is, “You’re in the middle of nowhere.”

“My partner (Rodney Bair) has a little catch-phrase when people tell him that,” says Travis Collins. “He says, ‘We’re in the middle of everywhere,’ because within two hours of us we have several large markets to pull from.”

200_gilbert_20070604_3_2147
Click to enlarge

However, that two-hour radius is pretty modest when it comes to the markets now served by B.C. Stone. Five hours means nothing to the duo, who also service several national accounts.

These days, B.C. Stone is a big business in a small town, but Bair and Collins aren’t done thinking outside the box. One of their latest efforts is the renovation of an historic hotel that also serves as an opulent showroom for their company.

TWO-HOUR WINDOW

The idea of marketing within a two-hour radius of Everett is an important one for the partners. In the early 1990s,  they worked for a fabrication company in the Washington area, commuting every day.

“It was about a two-hour trip one way, if the traffic was good,” says Collins. “If you hit bad traffic, it could turn into four hours one way. We did that for three or four years.”

Then, something worse than an awful commute hit: In a slow economy, Bair was laid off. Although Collins remained on the job, the pair decided to research whether it was time to strike off on their own.

“Rodney started going around our area and found that no one really knew what marble and granite was,” says Collins. “Nor did they have a fabricator for it. We decided to set the shop up here and branch out.”

Because of their location, the two men decided they would focus on the wholesale market for stone fabrication. And, they immediately decided their market area would be a large one.

“Since we were traveling that distance anyway, we figured we could easily cover a two-hour radius from here with installs,” says Collins. “We’d be working from this area, rather than having to drive that distance every day.”