In his stunning, state-of-the-art showroom, Joey Carabetta quietly and methodically works on the design of a new marble fireplace mantle for a very special client. Mantles are a new item garnering momentum for his company, Bluemar Marble. “Whether it’s natural stone, porcelain or quartz—we offer a variety of materials—it’s one element that designers are currently gravitating to us for.”
Joey, along with his three brothers, Frankie, Anthony and Mikey, and their father, Mike, work with some of the most prestigious interior design firms in the country, and they are one of their best-kept secrets. “Initially, we were solely designer-focused and that allowed us to enter into the realm of working with only high-end clients,” he says, respectfully declining to mention some of his favourites. “With that comes the need for confidentiality.
It’s kind of like a two-sided coin: In one aspect, you get to work with some of the best people in the industry, but the downfall to that is that it is very difficult to scale it.” Thankfully, while designers are still their priority (“it takes a lot of time and effort to establish these indispensable relationships,” he says), their doors are open to the public, preferably by appointment.
His father, Michele (Mike) Carabetta started the family-owned business in 1994. “He started in the stone industry at the age of 13 in a small southern town in Italy,” Joey says. “It wasn’t the pay that intrigued him—he made 80 cents per day—but the creation, the birth, the development, the fine-tuning of nature’s gift that could withstand the test of time.”
And it was the products’ durability that convinced him to produce whatever he was working on, which was usually for a neighbour at that time, at his highest capability. “He wanted to create something that could evoke a sense of pride and was intensely personal.” Joey says. “It wasn’t a job requirement to continually improve, more of an inner calling to raise the standard. It was the kind of passionate conviction that sparks fascination and obsession.”
Joey goes on to say that one of his father’s favourite quotes is from Michaelangelo: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”.
Mike’s drive to produce only the best items and his quest for knowledge was passed down to his four sons. “Speaking on behalf of everyone at Bluemar, everything we do is steeped in value. In our business, we place enormous value on loyalty and trust—it’s intrinsic to our personal relationships and essential to how we conduct our business.” Joey continues, clearly caught up in his passion: “Valuing personal connections at a time when so many people sit alone in front of screens; aspiring to build human relationships in an age when many issues polarize so many; and acting ethically, even if it costs more, in an industry when corners are routinely cut—these are honourable pursuits, at the core of what we set out to be. Our process is meticulous from start to finish. Our approach tailored to each challenge. Our work is a reflection of the passion and commitment Bluemar has to maintaining our customer’s experience. We strive to be a place where the respect for the product transfers to the customer.” In other words, they won’t stop until they find their clients’ angel.