Homeowners may be familiar with Cosentino as an internationally established brand offering premium and innovative stone surfacing materials, but few are aware of its origins or the man behind it. Home & Decor travels to Spain to find out more about the inspirational success behind the family-owned company and its humble beginnings.
One of Cosentino’s
Cosentino’s story began in the 1940s, when members of the Martinez-Cosentino family first settled in Macael, a Spanish region famous for its production of white marble. The family established their careers around the production of simple marble products.
The allure of Macael marble dates as far back as the fourth century, when it was highly sought after and excavated by the Romans for use as base materials for marble statues. Unique to the location, the marble owes its natural beauty to the surrounding mineral-rich mountains of Andalusia. So, like many others in the community, the Martinez-Cosentino family’s livelihood was closely connected to the marble quarries spread across the land.
known as Paco
This foundation led the second-generation owners of Cosentino, Francisco Martinez-Cosentino Justo (fondly referred to as Paco by his family) and his two brothers, to take over and grow the business rapidly in less than 40 years, earning it a spot on the world map. However, the rise to the top didn’t come easy for the brothers.
Paco shares that they started with a very small workshop, making marble tombstones and accessories, before saving enough for a bigger factory. But while the quality Macael marble helped establish Cosentino as a brand, the forward-looking brothers knew they had to venture beyond just quarrying and producing the natural stone, in order to expand and remain sustainable when faced with the situation of diminishing marble resources in the region.
Macael is home
to the world’s
largest pestle and
mortar. The mortar
measures 3.29m tall
and 3m wide, while
the pestle stands
PAVING THE WAY
“A drive for survival, and the desire to have a product that was in demand”, Paco says, was what spurred him. He had a vision for the local community to not be dependent on the marble for its future, especially if the resource ran out. With this in mind, he created a manufactured stone product from crushing chunks of marble and binding it with resin, but this created a weak stone surface that cracked easily. This failed attempt brought the company to the brink of bankruptcy.
However, Paco pressed on and finally achieved success with Silestone in 1990. By replacing the crushed marble with quartz minerals, he created a stone composite material that was resilient and stain-resistant. Today, the flagship engineered quartz brand remains a huge success and the go-to material in the kitchen countertop sector. Favoured by superstar architects and designers, its use also extends to a large variety of interior design applications, from panelling and stairs to sinks and shower trays.
Following this achievement, Paco quickly went on to develop other innovative surfacing materials. “In the quartz industry, there is so much competition, and we wanted to come up with something else that would be unique — and, of course, fill the gaps in applications that Silestone couldn’t,” he says.
As Silestone is to be used indoors only, Cosentino developed Dekton in 2013, a large- format ultra-compact surfacing material manufactured from a mixture of raw materials. This makes the product ideal for use on facades, as wall cladding, and on high-traffic floor areas.
at the Cosentino
A CONTINUED SUCCESS
At 66 years old, and still running the business headquartered in Almeria, Spain, Paco can’t see himself retiring anytime soon, even with the involvement of his daughter, Pilar, and his two sons, Eduardo and Francisco Jr. Under his direction, the company keeps up with design and lifestyle trends to launch new variations, such as the antibacterial Silestone in 2005, and more recently, Dekton Xgloss, which offers trendy glossy finishes for the original matte material.
Throughout the constant research and development of new products, sustainability towards the environment is taken into account. The water used in manufacturing processes is cleaned and reused as much as possible, and there are recycling bins for the waste materials to be handled responsibly.
What’s surprising is that while 70 to 80 trucks leave Cosentino daily with finished slabs to be distributed in over 80 countries, less than 1 per cent of the output stems from marble – the starting point of the family business. This is a testament to Paco’s foresight and vision. With a global presence and over 3,500 employees of over 50 nationalities, perhaps the secret of his success boils down to his philosophy and the way he runs the company.
“I don’t know if I’m different, but I think it’s important that everyone has fun in what they are doing,” he smiles. His belief, in addition to the company’s innovative and progressive approach, can only ensure its continual success and growth.
Natural stone slabs
await treatment at
WORLD OF STONE
With the plethora of stylish and versatile stone surfacing materials Cosentino offers, there’s something for all the built-in features of your home.
For: Wall cladding.
High-traffic floor areas.
What it is: A large-format ultra-compact surface measuring 320cm by 144cm that is lightweight, with a thickness of up to only 2cm. It comes in solid colours, stone and wood designs, as well as trendy textured surfaces like concrete and aged metal. Highly resistant and durable, it is ideal for use in architectural applications, as well as seamless interior features, such as kitchen worktops. a thickness of up to kitchen worktops.
What it is: An extremely resilient engineered quartz material with 94 per cent natural quartz content. It is scratch- and stain- resistant, non-porous, low-maintenance, and even has antibacterial properties. Available in both neutral and bold colours, subtle textures, as well as nature-inspired designs. Excellent as a countertop material, fulfilling both form and function.
For: Feature walls.
What it is: A luxurious series of state-mentmaking materials composed of semi-precious stones and other rare materials, such as petrified wood and crystals. Not just decorative, its hardness and durability allows the slabs to be applied in bathrooms and kitchens, or used as cladding. More care is required in its maintenance.
Backsplashes and decorative features.
What it is: Natural granites with an exclusive protective treatment that makes them stain-resistant and maintenance-free. The range is NSF International- and Greenguardcertified, so it’s safe for contact with food, and non-toxic.
Find out more about Cosentino and its products at 34/35 Duxton Road, tel: 6713-9543, www.cosentino.com.
PHOTOS COSENTINO & YOUNG LIM.