For eight years, Hector Cornejo made the daily commute from Merrillville to his job on the North Side of Chicago, working for a granite company. When his “I can do this” moment came in 1996, he decided to set up a one-man operation in his garage and became the first marble and granite business in the area.
“You have to work hard at something you love,” he says. “If you work at it, the rewards will come.” In October 2009 he celebrated the grand opening of his new 20,000-square-foot building on U.S. 30. It’s not only a very tangible sign of his success, but its high visibility has attracted even more business.
Starting out, Cornejo did everything, from fabricating to cutting to installing. He didn’t have the money to buy all the tools his workers use today, but he made do. A year later he built a 1,000-square-foot pole barn on his property to expand his work area, had two employees, and his wife, Gloria, joined the business to do the accounting and billing.
He taught her how to handle the pricing for bids and she remains in charge of these areas today as Vice President. Growth meant a move to a new building on U.S. 30 in a shop five times larger and the decision was made to focus on wholesale business, now 85 percent of sales.
While new housing construction is down, remodeling of existing homes is up, says Cornejo, which enables Momax to maintain 45 employees and keep his five install crews busy with installations.
The 2016 year marks Momax Marble & Granite’s 20th Anniversary, while a celebration will be held later on this year, the company will be opening it’s second location in spring 2016, in Lafayette, IN. The second location a 10,000 sq. ft. building will have it’s own sales floor and fabrication facility. The land does have separate storage buildings and they will be used to house 5,000 + stone & quartz slabs.