As companies begin to open up again, we are all figuring out what our new normal will be. At the moment, for Boston Granite Exchange, our new normal allows us to be open by appointment only. We’re still here to help you get your kitchen renovation project moving, but we are doing so following guidelines to keep you and our staff safe and healthy.
Across the Counter spoke with Boston Granite Exchange General Manager Bill Thomas about how he adjusted to working from home and the transition back to the showroom.
ATC: What has been the biggest challenge for you during this time of isolation?
BT: Definitely the lack of face time with our customers and suppliers. Typically, I meet with our fabricators face-to-face to show them new stones we’re getting in. I also have suppliers from around the world who regularly visit the showroom when they are in the US. Our business is based on relationships. Those relationships have been built over time, and I’ve always valued that part of the job. Right now, I’m interacting using lots of technology.
ATC: What does that mean for you?
BT: I email our fabricators photos of the new stones we have coming in and keep in touch with fabricators by text – I am finding that texting is the best way to do the day-to-day communication with them. I talk to suppliers using WhatsApp, and they email me pictures of new stones they want me to see. And, new materials are coming in more slowly due to the world-wide nature of this event so being able to see them while they are in transit helps keep the process moving.
ATC: How is the BGE team doing?
BT: Everyone is physically healthy. Our sales staff has been working from home. Our warehouse crew and drivers are all working hard and doing a great job. I’m incredibly proud of our team; they went above and beyond our expectations during a really difficult time.
ATC: How has this strange time been for you and your family?
BT: Well, in the middle of Covid-19, we had a full kitchen renovation at my house. It had been scheduled, and I wanted it to go forward. It was all done using the recommended precautions. The contractors came in every day with masks, we had the windows open all day and we cleaned everything thoroughly after they left. We ate take out during the week and fired up the grill on the weekends. When the job was finished, we did a deep clean and our new kitchen was ready to use.
ATC: What stone did you choose for the kitchen?
BT: I chose a granite called Sahara Sky in a leathered finish.
ATC: How are things going as you transition back to the showroom?
BT: I’ve been pleasantly surprised since we reopened. Since countertops are the last step in a kitchen renovation project, we see downturns a little more slowly than other businesses, but we also usually see the upturn delayed. I think people are brave. They realize that life has to go on and they’re starting to move ahead while taking all the precautions needed to keep themselves and others safe. I don’t think things will ever be quite the way they were, but we’re all figuring it out together.
Despite the unusual times, the team at Boston Granite Exchange is here to help you finish your kitchen project. Given the current situation, if you have a kitchen renovation project that will be ready for new countertops within the next three weeks, make an appointment to come to one of our showrooms to make your final stone selection! To make the most of a 45 minute appointment we suggest the following:
- Start by exploring the virtual showroom on our website. View the stone selections we have to offer. Compare our natural stones granite, marble, soapstone and quartzite and The BGE Quartz Collection to decide which stone will best suit your lifestyle.
- Narrow your options and use our worksheet to keep note of the stones you like by type of stone, color name and lot number, along with any notes or questions you may have about the stones. Be sure to bring it on your visit.
Appointments are accepted via phone, so please call us at our Haverhill showroom at 978-372-8300 or at our West Bridgewater showroom at 508-521-1800 to set up an appointment time to choose your stone and get your kitchen project completed. We look forward to seeing you wearing your mask.