Charlotte granite countertop business built by husband and wife

When Angie's List members Ron Coffman and his wife remodeled the kitchen in their Matthews, N.C., home, they looked no further than across the street to find their marble countertops. The Coffmans are neighbors of Tom and Barbara Waite, owners of Imported Stone.

"We went out and saw some things at their store, and what we saw, my wife liked right away," Coffman says. "I trusted them, and they did a great job."

Coffman says he doesn't think the Waites treated him special because of their connection. "I assume they treat everyone this way," he says.

Other Angie's List members confirm Imported Stone's commitment to customer service, as evidenced by the company's six nominations for the Angie's List Pages of Happiness feature in the past year.

The husband and wife duo say they took an interest in the business after selecting and installing granite in their own kitchen in 2005. "It gave me an up-close-and-personal understanding of what it's like as a homeowner to go through this," Barbara says. "So in my mind, there's never a foolish question or someone taking too long to decide."

Tom admits their timing for buying the business could have been better because the recession and housing bust impacted their sales. But he says they expect to continue operating it until they retire.

Working with a spouse also presents challenges, and benefits, the Waites say. "You kind of live the business 24 hours, seven days a week," Tom says. But after 21 years of marriage, his wife says it's nice to work with someone who shares your interests and knows your work style.

Matthews resident Ed Anderson says the Waites made him feel immediately comfortable when he and his wife visited Imported Stone and toured their wholesaler's warehouse in search of the perfect granite countertop.

"If you know exactly what you want, you can tell Tom and Barbara, and they'll get it," Anderson says. "If you're like most people and need more help, they work with you and make you feel like you're their only customer."


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Are granite countertops right for you?

Text and photos by Lindy Keyser

Indianapolis homeowners seem to be following a new trend to trade in their quartz and tile countertops for much more durable granite. Dan Marsh, co-owner of A-rated Classic Stone in Carmel, says 75 percent of his countertop installations involve granite, a stone that not only withstands extreme heat but also doubles as a kitchen cutting board because it's nearly impossible to scratch. "As far as durability is concerned, granite far surpasses solid and laminate countertops," he says.

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