TAMPA — Granex, a stone and granite manufacturer, celebrated the opening of its new $9 million processing facility Monday morning.
The company imports 30-ton blocks of stone, granite and marble from 18 countries. It then uses heavy machinery to cut and polish them into about 30 large, shiny sheets. Those refined sheets are sold to wholesalers, who then sell them to fabricators who turn them into countertops, tiles or other products.
The 40,000-square-foot facility is located north of Hillsborough Avenue, near N 50th Street.
Chief executive Raj Emandi is projecting sales of $10 million in the first year of business. He currently has 12 employees and plans to hire 38 more over the next several months. He has been working in the stone importing and distributing business for about 25 years, he said.
While other U.S. companies in have similar processes, Emandi said Granex is the first in the country that imports the raw product rather than using its own quarry.
Gov. Rick Scott was in attendance and praised the company for bringing new jobs to the region.