While the Internet is a popular place to search for stone, Classic Marble & Stone has a mission to teach the facts about the types of stone available.
“The first meeting we have with a potential customer many times is a fact finding mission,” says Mike Sorg, owner and president of Classic Marble & Stone in Hoagland. “Rather than selling to you, we focus on educating you and showing you how our operation works and how we are different than others.”
Making the short drive from Fort Wayne to Hoagland is well worth it. The facility speaks volumes and the people, machinery and stone selection at Classic Marble give you the answers to many questions you may have about buying natural stone.
Sorg and his staff have a long history in the stone field and a wealth of information to share with customers. Sorg started working in the stone industry when he was in high school and bought the company he worked for in 1985, renaming it Classic Marble & Stone.
“I’ll never forget my first customer,” he says. “When he came in to pick up the item we made for him, I asked him to give me the nicest dollar he had in his wallet. The project cost a little more than $1, but I wanted to have the first dollar as a keepsake.”
That bill is now framed and hangs on the wall next to Sorg’s desk, which is adjacent to the showroom. He doesn’t spend a lot of time behind the desk; he prefers to be hands-on when it comes to running the company.
“We often tell people that, yes, we have a nice showroom at the front of the business, but the real showroom is the other parts of the building where everything is happening.” Sorg says.
The Classic Marble team enjoys spending time with each customer. Tours of the facility are common; they are an opportunity to tell customers how full slabs of stone are turned into beautiful items ranging from kitchen countertops to fireplace surrounds, both for residential and commercial settings. The team explains the specific characteristics of the stone and how to care for and maintain it. Customers are encouraged to bring cabinet doors and floor samples with them. It helps with the selection process.
Classic Marble & Stone continuously upgrades its top-of-the-line technology, including three CNCs (Computer Numerically Controlled machines). Using diamond tooling, these machines precisely shape the stone to get exactly the
result the customer wants. Sorg doesn’t give all of the credit to the machines. He notes the importance of having skilled and experienced staff that can educate and help customers choose the right products.
“This industry requires skillful craftsmen and we’re very fortunate to have a great team,” Sorg says
Classic’s automated surfacing machine allows creativity with the finish on the stone. While polished granite is purchased from the quarries, this machine can hone or leather the surface. Honing granite or marble not only gives it a rich matte finish, it also offers a unique and beautiful finish.
Leathering natural stone is also referred to as brushing or a suede finish. This process hones the polished sheen off, then brushes the surface giving it a textured and very natural look.
“It is nice to have the ability to create these different finishes on site,” Sorg says. “Our in-house inventory is huge and that is unusual. We have a variety of price ranges as well as a nice selection of classic, consistent stones to exotic stones with variation and movement.”
Classic Marble’s inventory offers customers variety and an ability to stand in front of the slabs and not simply pick from a small sample.
If you are looking for something different than its stock material, Classic Marble can send you to a variety of importers around the Midwest to help get that perfect look you need. Sorg has had relationships with many of the importers for 25 years, so they understand the quality he demands for his customers.
Fine craftsmanship, attention to detail and customer care have always been at the forefront of Classic Marble & Stone. Sorg says that has never changed and never will. The things that do change revolve around technology and innovation, which are driven by the talents of the Classic Marble team.
Sorg regularly travels to trade shows and exhibits all over the world in search of the latest and greatest. He and his staff are considered experts in their field, but Sorg says there is always room for education and improvement.
“The day you quit learning is the day you’re done. We’re always trying new things and different techniques looking for a better way.”
Owner(s): Mike Sorg
Address: 10450 Bruick Drive Hoagland, Indiana 46745
Phone: (260) 639-3872
Years in Business: 29
Products & Services: Custom-made surfaces in marble, granite, quartz and soapstone