Eric Snyder slides into a booth and orders a cup of coffee, while meeting with an inquisitive writer who wants to hear the tale of how North Star Stone, Inc. came to be.
While chatting, Snyder is amiable and speaks with cool composure, even when he has sufficient reason to shout gleefully from every rooftop. Business is on the upswing, and the future looks exciting and brimming with promise. Success has come about through four generations of hard work and heritage, which is a testament to a traditional entrepreneurial model.
However, Snyder will tell you that establishing a rapport with prospective clients seeking fine, custom masonry work does not involve being a salesman. In fact, he’s been known to tell his staff, “If you want to treat people like a salesperson, I will fire you.”
“We choose to be honest,” he says. “We’re basically a bunch of country guys who want to be treated with the same respect we grew up with.” Additionally, Snyder and staff believe the customer’s needs and ideas always come first. “I don’t want anyone leaving here 90% happy,” he says. “I want them to leave 100% happy.”
North Star Stone has been a regional frontrunner in stone construction since 2001, and Snyder became the owner in 2022. It’s an admirable trajectory from his days as something of an amateur, working alongside a pair of hobbyist friends who were creating stonework using molds and a hand mixer. “My brother, father and I started out laying their stone,” he says. “From the beginning, we were there.”
The company works with commercial contractors, homeowners and virtually anyone in between, with a coverage area throughout northern Indiana and southern Michigan. Some of the most high-profile and enduring projects include various chain restaurants, such as Olive Garden, Culver’s, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. They have also worked on apartment complexes and stonework landscaping at several local golf courses.
For residential services, homeowners can visit the showroom in Valparaiso. Currently, there are plans to unveil a second showroom in the Cedar Lake region. North Star Stone works directly with contractors for whatever level of expertise is needed, from initial consultations to job site visits, all while ensuring that the customer has the ultimate say in materials and design. The company offers 17 styles in any color, all of which can be incorporated into a wide range of configurations. Another advantage the company has lies in the fact that the materials and formulations of the stone are completed entirely in-house at their central Valparaiso location. The material is created from recycled aggregate, combined with Portland cement and enhanced with iron oxide for a natural range of hues, which results in a product of durable build and low-maintenance texture. Having the capability to create their own stone is a tremendous incentive for contractors, particularly during a time when construction is often hindered by delays in material shipping and delivery. North Star Stone can provide those supplies directly to the consumer.
“Most of the people that supply stone had to wait eight weeks or so,” Snyder says. “We can turn it around in a day or so.” As a result, he notes, North Star Stone has had a substantial influx of business in the past decade.
When not working, Snyder is extremely involved in community pursuits, particularly sports. His greatest athletic passion is baseball, and he is always fully invested in related activities with his wife and children. His son, J.T., works in sales for North Star Stone, rising up through the ranks much like his father. Having that sense of sportsmanship gives Snyder and his staff a keen sense of team play, and their customers are very much a part of that winning combination. So much so, in fact, that their official website, ourstonehome.com, reflects that spirit.
North Star Stone, Inc. is located at 325 North 325 East in Valparaiso. They can be reached via phone at 219-464-7272, or by email at email@example.com.
Please wait while you are redirected to the right page...