Lots of kids have rock collections growing up, but Carlotta Cubi’s fascination with stone was a little different. As executive vice president of Cumar Inc., one of the nation’s preeminent natural stone suppliers and fabricators, Carlotta represents the eighth generation in her family to work with stone, a craft that her father, Angelo “Ivo” Cubi, brought with him from their native Verona, Italy. “That’s our hometown. My dad began his career there,” Carlotta says.
There, the natural stone industry is hundreds, if not thousands, of years old, and Ivo grew up working and learning alongside his father and grandfather, in a shop across the street from where he grew up carrying on a long family tradition filled with passion and expertise.
By contrast, the natural stone industry in the United States was relatively new, and in the 1980s, Ivo was asked to lend his expertise to companies on this side of the Atlantic. He quickly saw a gap in the United States market.
“There is so much saturation in Italy for this industry, and here there wasn’t,” Carlotta says.
Ivo founded Cumar in 1992, and the Everett-based company has only grown in size and reputation since. Today, Cumar is a full-service stone supplier, installer, and fabricator. Carlotta says that typically in this area, stone distributors stock slabs but leave clients to find their own fabricator.
Cumar has a 25,000-square-foot fabrication facility and expert craftspeople, designers, and installers. Plus, Cumar’s 50,000-square-foot inventory space holds roughly 7,000 slabs of beautiful natural stone in about 800 different colors.
“It’s really known for being one of the most exclusive inventories. The collection is very broad, and unique, and high-end,” Carlotta says.
Cumar’s deep, multigenerational expertise is just one of the reasons that its inventory is so staggeringly good. It also has strong ties to suppliers in Europe and beyond.
“The relationships Cumar has with the suppliers overseas goes back generations,” Carlotta says.
That means Ivo and Carlotta travel around the world—to places like Italy, France, Turkey, Greece, and China—to hand-select slabs right from the quarry, ensuring complete control over the quality of what’s being ordered.
Cumar also gets “first choice” on the blocks of stone as they’re removed from the earth, meaning they select which parts of the stone are the best, looking for qualities like color, consistency, and veining, to ensure that the slabs they offer to clients are the highest quality available.
The high-end offerings don’t stop there, though. All of Cumar’s stones are also “book matched,” which means slicing a stone in half, opened like a book, and polished on the opposing sides, so the vein continues through the slabs and creates a consistent pattern.
Carlotta (pictured above) says Cumar doesn’t want to be your typical stone shop; they want to inspire.
“That’s just something that our clients want,” Carlotta says. “They’re looking for that perfect stone.”
And what a selection of perfect stones clients will find at Cumar. There’s white Calacatta marble with a soft gray veining, semi-precious slabs like black and brown petrified wood, agates in shades of blue ranging from royal to sky to purple and lilac, amethyst, quartz, and thousands more.
“We have designers who come here just to get inspired,” Carlotta says. “What we’re really passionate about is those unique projects.”
They’ve got quite a lot of unique projects. In fact, some stones are so incredible that clients will build entire rooms and designs around a fantastic piece, like two-story fireplace walls that extend all the way up to the ceiling with a slab of natural stone. Another client requested a huge backlit island made of Cristallo white translucent quartzite. Yet another client created a purple amethyst-topped wet bar, while others fashion intricate, inlaid floors out of stone. Cumar is also helping clients create natural stone spaces that promise high performance for years with minimal maintenance.
“They know that whatever they dream up, we’re going to be able to get it done for them in the best possible way,” Carlotta says. “We want to be that resource for clients.”
In fact, Cumar is working to become even more of a resource for clients. Over the past several years, the company has expanded and renovated its physical space, starting with its state-of-the-art fabrication shop.
Within the next year or so, Cumar also plans to open a big showroom/design space. Carlotta says it won’t just be a place to house displays, but will also provide a place where design teams can have meetings, access design tools, and get inspiration, all geared around stone, to “make it more of a welcoming space for people to come.”
Its residential and commercial clients are taking Cumar across the country and beyond, to places like Denver, Utah, Palm Beach, and the Caribbean. That’s because clients know that the name Cumar is synonymous with the world’s best stone.
“We don’t want to be your typical stone shop,” Carlotta says.