Summit Stone Works Inc.
- Published: 14 May 2011 14 May 2011
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The nearby ski slopes of Colorado's Summit County often call to J.D. Monroe and his staff at Summit Stone Works, but renovation work for the area's massive condo rental base should give the shop a real lift in business.
When company owner J.D. Monroe – known to his friends as Seppi – moved to this ski-resort-rich area of the Rockies, his interest in the lifestyle seemed to equal his desire to start his own fabrication shop.
However, armed with a strong work ethic, an entrepreneurial spirit and experience in the trade, taking on stone seemed natural. Almost eight years later, he and his employees are hometown favorites for designers and contractors.
Of course, the weather can present a few challenges when it comes to wrestling a kitchen’s worth of cut stone into place in January – but whether it’s for a rental remodel or a muliti-million-dollar mansion, they know it’d better be done right, because they’ll see the client later on the slopes or at the supermarket.
A self-described native Midwesterner with a farm background, Monroe says his early life experience provided him with a strong work ethic. He’s also an entrepreneur at heart;
Summit Stone Works is his sixth business launch. Nor surprisingly, his previous efforts centered on construction and the ski industry.
However, he was working for a high-end granite fabricator and living in the Colorado Front Range city of Fort Collins when his personal life changed.
“At that point, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do,” Monroe says. “I’d just gotten a divorce. I’d always wanted to live in Summit County, because it’s the home of some of the world’s best skiing.”
Nestled against the west side of the Continental Divide, about an hour’s breath-taking drive west of Denver, the county is home to the Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin ski areas and the resorts of Copper Mountain and Keystone. Vail is another half-hour away across an easy mountain pass to the west.
When Monroe told his boss in Fort Collins of his plan to relocate, the other man asked him what he was going to do.
“I said, ‘There isn’t a granite shop there; maybe I’ll start one,’” he relates. “It was kind of a joke at the time.”
Still, Monroe says he was burned out on working in the ski industry, and after the move he made it a point to pay a visit to the Summit County Builders Association.
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