Nestled in the historic area of Norfolk County, Massachusetts sits the Swenson Granite Works Medway store. All four men on the team have a love and appreciation for natural stone, and all things New England.Bill Haddad has risen from Assistant Manager to Store Manager, a role he had been in for 3 years. Haddad is joined by Assistant Manager Austin Arraiol from Taunton, Massachusetts who has been with Swenson Granite Works for just over a year, yard foreman Tony Cherella of Cumberland, Rhode Island, with Swenson for 18 years, and truck driver Dan Courtney, who is newest to the team — having joined Swenson Granite Works in 2020.
Bill Haddad, Store Manager
Austin Arraiol, Assistant Store Manager
Tony Cherella, Yard Foreman
Dan Courtney, Truck Driver
For these guys, weekends are spent engaging in all that the East Coast has to offer. Tony frequently travels to New Hampshire and Maine for recreation, while Dan occasionally escapes to his vacation home in New Hampshire. And of course, some of the top sports teams in the country are a constant topic of conversation. “We just love our Patriots, the Red Sox, Celtics and the Bruins,” Haddad laughs. “In that order.”
Though most of the Medway team is relatively new, Haddad says it has inspired them to rise to meet the standards of Swenson Granite Works’ name and reputation. “I really think we take customer service to a new level at Medway,” he said. “Between handling customer inquiries and servicing to getting stock and delivering orders on time, our team puts forth an extraordinary effort. Because we are new, we want to make sure we keep up with the company’s values and reputation for customer service.”
Tony Cherella, Yard Foreman, checking in an order of granite curbing
Part of that customer service is education. “The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Swenson is product knowledge. “Swenson carries unique products in granite you may not find elsewhere, and the team gets to educate our customers on a daily basis.” Hadded states matter of factly. “Education never really stops. We definitely get the most questions about the stone finishes here. It comes up in almost every conversation we have. We often find ourselves explaining the difference between rock or split face and how it will fit into the style of the customer’s home.”
Split face steps (left) are created using a hydraulic splitter to provide a rough texture that blends well with natural wallstone and flagging. Rock face steps (right) are split larger than they need to be, and then trimmed to size with a hammer and chisel. This leaves the edges bold and rocky. The edge will actually protrude beyond the top dimensions of the step.
That style, of course, tends to be classic New England that Massachusetts is so famous for. “So much of the country’s history started in this state,” Haddad said fondly. “We have a lot of love for stone in this area — even as it relates to what we do. You can see the historic stone pieces that have been around for hundreds of years, so we see the impact our work can have on the community.”
The store’s day to day activities haven’t slowed during the pandemic — in fact, they’ve seen an uptick. “Our business has actually picked up substantially, and we’re thankful for that.” Daily sales and interactions center around local contractors, who, Haddad said, pick up from the store on an almost daily basis. “We’re best known for granite steps and posts. Of course we also carry an impressive inventory of natural stone, such as Indiana Limestone, wall stone, cobbles, bluestone, and veneer, but more than half our orders are for steps.”
Granite steps at the Medway store’s outdoor display
WOODBURY GRAY™ granite lamp post and octagon bird bath
Keeping up with a meticulous and timeless aesthetic, Haddad admits that his favorite part of the job revolves around some of the more intricate projects he and his team are tasked with that require complicated granite fabrication, down to the very last detail.
In a time where so much of the world is at a standstill, he stresses that they keep moving forward, and are looking forward to some changes and upgrades in 2021. “There are exciting new products coming our way next year. Of course, Swenson Granite Works is known for its tried and true products, but we’re expanding on that. We’re expecting some new fire pit shapes, branching out from the original round — adding different styles (that can be produced with several different stones). And of course, we’re very excited about the launch of Woodbury Gray granite thin veneer. Oftentimes, people want everything to match, and until now they haven’t had that option because we didn’t have a veneer that matched exactly — people had to coordinate and complement with different stones.”
2020 was a long year, but the Medway store made huge strides — and Bill Haddad is proud of his team, as well as the community for their continued support. “We’re looking forward to 2021. We just keep moving forward!”
Visit the Swenson Granite Works Resources Page, where you will find inspiration and product guides for steps, gardens, curb appeal, lake houses, pools, patios, fire pits, edging and more.