Clark County at Work: Stone NW Inc.

By Mary Ricks, Columbian news assistant



Business name: Stone NW Inc.


Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columb...; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Owner: Danial Cates.

Manager: Jerry Cates (Danial's father).

Office manager: Meg Schwirtz.

Address: 7002 N.E. 88th St., Vancouver; 19900 Brady Road, Camas; and 15903 S. Park Place Court, Oregon City, Ore.

What the business does: Stone NW is a locally owned and operated stone supplier that does quarrying and fabrication of natural stone. There are two retail locations in Clark County, and one in Oregon City, Ore. Stone NW operates or manages 14 quarries throughout the western United States.

Steps to build your business: Jerry and Danial Cates said they recently made their Vancouver location into a design center. By veneering the walls and floors of the center, customers can visualize what stone would look like on their homes. As Stone NW has grown, it now sells throughout the United States. The pair are always looking for new ways that technology can help with marketing, sales and productivity.

The company is continually gaining new quarries to keep fresh and innovative stone choices in the market. In fabrication and stone production, they have become leaders in making large-faced thin veneers, as well as full-depth veneer. Stone NW is currently providing stone for seven of the nine homes for the Street of Dreams in West Linn, Ore. The company is also involved with the Parade of Homes in Clark County.

Greatest challenge: The Cates said higher taxes and lack of labor willing to do processing stone work are their greatest challenges.

What's ahead: Being a seasonal business, winter is always a concern for the stone industry. At this time of the year, the company needs to build its inventory for future projects. It needs to get raw product out of quarries in good weather, since some of the company's quarries are in higher elevations, making access difficult in winter months.

Owner's business history: Danial Cates grew up in the stone industry. He was a large part of Interstate Rock, then moved to Heritage Rock in the early 2000s. He traveled the western United States in the mid 2000s selling rock for HQ Stone before returning to Vancouver in 2005. With his father's help, Cates changed Stone NW by fabricating thin veneers. Under his direction the company has grown to three locations in the Vancouver-Portland area.

Year established in Clark County: 2006.

Employees: 30 in Clark County and 15 in Oregon.

Telephone: 360-882-5058.

Fax: 360-882-1617.


Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.