Northstar Granite Tops: Attractive, dramatic, lifetime strong


Steve and Rock Bobick, brothers and co-owners of Northstar Granite Tops in Maple Lake.

Co-owner Steve Bobick inspects a customer-selected slab of granite.

Co-owner Rob Bobick and customer Sig Hall of Waconia begin the layout of a soon-to-be kitchen counter.

Employee Todd Reese polishes a countertop surface in Northstar’s production shop. (Photos by Katie Friedman)

 

Locally based at 601 Sixth Street in Maple Lake, Northstar Granite Tops has been providing beautiful, durable stone-surface products to homes and businesses since 2002. 
 
Owned by brothers Rock and Steve Bobick, Northstar Granite Tops fabricates and installs countertops for kitchens and bars, surfaces for tables and vanities, surrounds for fireplaces, and more – all to custom specifications.
 
And though they’re best known for customized granite creations, the crew at Northstar is able and equipped to obtain and work with any natural stone a customer could want. 
 
Hundreds of choices  
 
“It’s nice to see the look on people’s faces when they come into the showroom,” Steve said. “It’s fun to see them wonder, ‘How do I pick just one?’ ”
To keep from overwhelming people with hundreds of choices, the brothers purposely select two price points on granite, with roughly 10 colors in a base price point category and a half-dozen or so at a premium price point. 
 
“We pick the most popular colors and stock them here on location in our workshop,” Steve said, “and most people are able to get a color they like from that selection.  And if they want to see more, we still have many, many hundreds of colors available to choose from. If someone is looking for a particular color tone or movement, or consistent small grain in a pattern, or whatever – we can get it for them. We can find it.”
 
Color tones can range from darks – black or really dark brown, extremely dark green or very dark silvery gray –to lights such as off-whites, gold and tan. 
 
“But you can get any color,” Steve said. “Blue Pearl is an example of a nice blue. We can get any color – even a red or rusty orange. Most popular right now – trendy, designer, if you will – are whites with gray and black themes for kitchens and bathrooms. White tops with dark cabinets seem to be the current trends.”
 
The Bobicks purchase granite in “bundles” of slabs, which are essentially matched in the earth, side-by-side, and marked with sequential serial numbers. 
 
“Because of that,” Steve explained, “they can all be used in the same batch – it’s an essential match, like a dye lot. That enables us to get very good utilization with very little waste, which helps our competitiveness.”
 
Another popular offering is engineered quartz, an amalgam of crushed hard quartz and epoxy that’s strong, attractive and maintenance-free. 
 
“Quartz products are pretty popular right now,” Steve said. “We carry all the major brands. It’s a man-made product: crushed natural quartz with colored epoxy resins.”
 
Whether man-made or natural stone, he added, both are extremely durable, beautiful, scratch-resistant countertop materials that can add drama and character to any room.
 
Superior quality, service 
 
With its origins in Maple Plain, Northstar Granite Tops made the move to Maple Lake in May 2006. 
 
“This is definitely home now,” Steve said. “It’s been amazing, so much business coming from the surrounding area.”
 
The brothers remain closely involved in day-to-day operations of the company, as Rock participates in every templating job while Steve specializes in installation.  Together, they work to exceed customer expectations in both service and quality by investing in their employees, their plant and its equipment. Employees have undergone extensive training to ensure they can properly use state-of-the-art equipment and tools to craft the finest stone countertops available. And with turnover being virtually nonexistent among the company’s six employees, the crew’s experience only continues to grow. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has visited the facility and recognized it as a clean, safe environment for employees and customers.
 
Since 2009 the company has been accredited by the Marble Institute of America (MIA), a distinction that demonstrates Northstar’s expertise in natural stone craftsmanship and a true concern for worker and customer safety, as well as an adherence to business ethics and sound practices.  Northstar Granite Tops is one of just 71 Accredited Natural Stone Fabricators in the United States, and one of only two in Minnesota. An environmentally conscientious enterprise as well, Northstar’s facility was designed with a closed-loop water recycling system, requiring replacement of only what little water evaporates during the fabrication process. The company also recycles 100 percent of leftover countertop materials, donating larger remnants to local artisans and crushing the remaining scraps to be used in making road beds for the State of Minnesota.
 
At 601 Sixth Street in Maple Lake, Northstar Granite Tops makes it easy for area residents to keep their purchases local, and is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, Saturdays by appointment. For more information or to request a free quote, visit www.northstargranitetops.com or call 320-963-TOPS.
 
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