Granite Industry Stays Strong Through Competitive Market

Granite Industry Stays Strong Through Competitive Market

In a city carved by granite right from it's own factories like Rock of Ages, Barre remembers the booming business days for granite of the 50's and 60's.

In a city carved by granite right from it's own factories like Rock of Ages, Barre remembers the booming business days for granite of the 50's and 60's.

"When there were a hundred businesses here in Barre along with over three thousand employees," Barre Granite Association's Executive Director Ed Larson said.

The numbers are now a third of that according to Larson mainly because of foreign competition…

"China and India have been shipping more and more into the United States all during that time and that was a challenge," Larson said.

And changing consumer demand at home.

Despite that Larson says the granite industry has started bouncing back.

"We are stronger than we have been in the recent past, we're working safer, we're working smarter," Larson said.

In order to continue thriving this industry has to continue to adapt.

"Having the artisan and the creativity and the ability to put a personality on a stone," Larson said.

Customizing pieces of art that foreign markets can't complete or compete with is now what sets the industry here apart. Making sure each customer gets a unique memorial or sculpture.

"We're making products that you could never believe we could have made back then," Larson said.

It's what has some predicting a solid future for granite in Barre.

"They tell me there's five thousand years worth of granite in that mountain up there and it's all great."

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