In business for more than two decades, Cumar, Inc. of Everett, MA, continually invests in its fabrication business and searches for new ideas to best serve its customers.
By Jennifer Adams Stone World Magazine
September 4, 2014
Angelo “Ivo” Cubi first opened Cumar, Inc. in 1992. Based just outside of Boston in Everett, MA, the fabrication shop soon became known for its residential and commercial work. It has furnished stonework for many large-scale hotel and condominium projects throughout the Boston area. Today, the company concentrates on an elite residential market — primarily homeowners seeking unique and exotic materials.
While Cumar continues to build on its success, it is not without hard work and strategic planning, explains Cubi, an Italian native whose family dates back seven generations in the stone industry. The company moved to its current 125,000-square-foot facility in 1994, and Cubi just recently purchased the building. Through the years, the operation has gone through various expansions and transformations, and plans are in the works for further development in the near future.
“My clientele is very high-end,” said Cubi. “I used to do a lot of commercial work until the market changed in 2008. At that time, my daughter, Carlotta, and I built the company up by focusing on the upscale residential market. Now that the commercial sector is back, we are able to balance both sides of our business.”
Cumar sets itself apart from the competition by maintaining a large and diverse slab inventory. On average, the company keeps more than 500 different materials in stock. During Stone World’s visit, Cubi pointed out several unique materials such as Tiger Eye semiprecious, Polar Black from Norway, which actually is magnetic, and a rare pure white onyx from Iran.
“The majority is my own material,” said Cubi. “I prefer to buy from Italy, but if something from another country is interesting, I will buy it. I go around the world — to China, Brazil and India — looking for material.”
Adding to its extensive lineup of stone, Cumar is the exclusive New England distributor of Antolini’s Precioustone Collection. Offering such a range of high-end material has helped the company establish itself as a place for people to come to find something special for their residential designs.
Carlotta Cubi, company vice president, explained that she branded the name “Linea Couture” for Cumar’s exotic material. “We rolled it out a couple of years ago,” she said. “It is mostly precious stone — really one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime material. We don’t just have those 10 granites.”
She went on to explain that working with such high-end and exotic material brings its own set of challenges. “The material is very diverse so it is hard to standardize,” said Carlotta Cubi. “A lot of times we go to cut and there are more fissures or it is sugary.”
Each project requires special attention, and Cumar is prepared to take its time to understand the material it is working with and take the proper steps to fabricate it correctly. “That’s why people feel comfortable with us,” explained Carlotta Cubi. “They can do five to six bathrooms, and they might want exotics for the baths and quartz for the kitchen or pool house, and we can do it. That’s what sets us apart.”
She went on to explain that many of their customers are requesting specialty work such as fireplaces. “People are really putting a lot of money into making a focal point,” she said.
Cumar has seven Faedo cranes in place to transport its slabs around the warehouse and fabrication area. “The less movement, the more safe it is,” said Ivo Cubi. “We don’t use forklifts. I do safety the best way possible; it is my priority.”
After buying the building a year and a half ago, Cubi invested in a shop expansion, which took 14 months to complete. The new work space features an extensive lineup of state-of-the-art machinery.
The newest piece of equipment is a Kronos CNC 5-axis machine from Donatoni, which was purchased in Italy. Additional machinery used in the production process includes a GMM Sirio polishing machine, an Intermac Masterstone 4000 CNC stone center, a Flow waterjet, a Comandulli Omega edge polisher, a Breton Contour CNC, a GMM Eura bridge saw and a Vassanelli side saw.
The shop is also equipped with one Kaeser compressor and a Water Treatment Technologies water treatment filtration system to recycle water. With safety and the health of his employees in mind, Cubi also invested in a custom-built state-of-the-art air filtration system from Airmax.
The company buys many of its tooling and accessories from GranQuartz. It also uses Dellas and Terminator blades.
For templating, Cumar relies on a Proliner from Prodim. Cubi explained that once in a while they also use regular templates too.
In total, Cumar has 60 employees, including 10 in its engineering department. “Around 20% of the staff is customer service,” he said. “Every week, we have a meeting to discuss problems and solutions. The success of the company relies on people being comfortable.”
Cubi also believes that the success of his company is investing in his employees. “I pay for employees to go to school,” he said. “I encourage everything from learning CAD to improving their English.”
Next on the horizon for Cumar is to expand its showroom by an additional 12,000 square feet. “I have big plans for a new showroom,” said Cubi, not wanting to reveal all of the details just yet. “It’s going to be unique and something I know our customers will value.”
At the time of Stone World’s visit, Cubi said that a new photo system was being installed the following week, which would allow customers to visualize what their kitchen would look like. He explained that it is all about customer satisfaction.
Further plans include investing in more machinery such as a saw/waterjet. “You can never stop,” he went on to say. “If you stop, you will go down. You have to find something new and stay ahead of the competition. This is what I have learned. I love to do it. I am very happy with the shop.”